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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Editorial: Gun forum not a political rally

In response to proposed Arizona legislation that would allow concealed weapons on campus and prohibit Arizona universities from controlling gun carriers, GPSC and ASUA co-sponsored “”Learn Without Concern,”” a public forum held on Wednesday to discuss the bills.

The Graduate and Professional Student Council and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona’s combined effort to ignite informed debate could have been commendable. Instead, its organizers seemed to momentarily lose sight of why they were gathered in front of the Old Main building, and allow “”Learn Without Concern: Civil Discourse on Concealed Weapons on Campus”” to become a pep rally for Daniel Hernandez.

The goal of “”Learn Without Concern”” was to “”hold a public, non-partisan speaker series to facilitate civil discussion,”” according to GPSC’s press release. Who knew “”civil discussion”” would, at least briefly, revolve around Hernandez’s actions on Jan. 8 and why everyone should vote for him?

GPSC President Emily Connally, who introduced the speakers, took the opportunity to inform the crowd that “”Daniel Hernandez is running for ASUA president and I think everyone should vote for him.”” She went on to describe Hernandez’s heroism and implore the audience to vote for him as ASUA president.

While Connally spoke, ASUA Senate candidate Robert Rosinksi said he was also running for ASUA. Connally then told the audience that Duke was also running, and everyone should vote for Duke. Maybe this states the obvious, but “”Duke”” doesn’t sound anything like “”Robert,”” and Rosinski has never gone by a nickname.

Meanwhile, audience members protested Connally’s endorsement of Hernandez. Some booed, and called out that they were there to talk about guns, not ASUA politics. They have a point.

At a forum to discuss gun legislation, an especially important issue to the UA, Hernandez’s hero status was entirely irrelevant. Attendees weren’t there to hear Connally’s personal opinion on who they should vote for in ASUA elections. They wanted to weigh in on the impact of concealed weapons on campus.

Furthermore, endorsing Hernandez because of his heroism on Jan. 8 was a cheap distraction. Telling people to vote for the man because he’s a hero showed a disregard for his platforms, ideas and qualifications as a legitimate candidate.  

No one denies that Hernandez should be applauded for his quick thinking during the aftermath of the Jan. 8 shootings, and that he is fully capable of being a successful ASUA president, but that didn’t need to be discussed at “”Learn Without Concern.”” Given the timing and setting, Connally’s impromptu endorsement of him was inappropriate and bizarre.

— Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat editorial board and written by one of its members. They are Kristina Bui, Ken Contrata, Michelle A. Monroe and Heather Price-Wright. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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