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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Students protest gun resolution

Robert+Rosinski%2C+24%2C+Civil+Engineering+Freshmen+and+President+of+the+unofficial+club+Students+for+the+Second+Amendment%2C+voices+his+opinion+about+guns+on+campus+at+the+ASUA+meeting+in+the+Ventana+Room+of+Student+Union+Memorial+Center+Wednesday.
Robert Rosinski, 24, Civil Engineering Freshmen and President of the unofficial club Students for the Second Amendment, voices his opinion about guns on campus at the ASUA meeting in the Ventana Room of Student Union Memorial Center Wednesday.

The Associated Students of the University of Arizona decided to host a public forum to discuss a resolution for UA to oppose guns on campus after students protested during Wednesday’s meeting.

The Ventana room of the Student Union Memorial Center usually has an empty audience Wednesday nights when ASUA members meet to discuss student issues, but last night students filled the seats in order to have their voices heard.

“”I honestly, in my heart, feel it is important for the people on this campus to be able to protect themselves,”” said Coty McKenzie, a political science junior. “”All gun free zones do is allow people who illegally bring guns on campus to harm more people.””

Sen. Tyler Quillin came prepared to pass a resolution to oppose state Senate Bill 1011, which, if passed, would allow teachers who have gun permits to carry weapons on university campuses.

Currently, students and professors are allowed to store weapons and firearms inside their locked vehicles if they are hidden from view. The ASUA resolution calls for an amendment to this provision.

Quillin was pleased to have students attend the meeting and stressed how important it is for people to discuss this topic.

“”We love and we need your input,”” Quillin said to students at the ASUA meeting. “”Creating the dialogue is key.””

Quillin and Sen. Daniel Wallace informed audience members that their overall priority was the safety of students. They said the more people who are allowed to have guns on campus, the more it would jeopardize everyone else’s safety.

“”The overwhelming majority of students I’ve talked to are against having guns on campus,”” Wallace said. “”The faculty shares that opinion.””

Students and ASUA members entered into a debate over their positions regarding guns on campus and the new state senate bill

Sen. Stephen Wallace suggested that ASUA should host a public forum to allow more students and faculty to voice their opinion on the matter before voting on the resolution.

Quillin added that he quickly drafted a resolution because the two other Arizona universities have already passed similar resolutions and the state senate is getting closer to introducing the bill.

“”It was a semi-rushed endeavor because it was introduced into the Senate yesterday,”” Quillin said.

Kevin Pounds, an optical science junior, argued if the goal is to keep students away from guns, logic would suggest the university should also prohibit security officers and UA police from carrying guns. But he added that he does not support taking guns away from these people.

Charles Crawford III, a computer science and business sophomore said although he wishes we didn’t have guns, if guns weren’t allowed on campus, it would be a one-sided fight for anyone who decided to bring a gun onto campus.

“”Too many people are being guided by fear and logic,”” he added.

Joe Fitzpatrick, a pre-business junior who attended the meeting to oppose the resolution, said his voice was not considered in the drafting of the resolution. “”I don’t really feel ASUA would be speaking on my behalf if they passed this,”” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick has a gun permit and keeps his firearm in his car, but would like to be able to carry it on him in case he needs it to protect himself or someone else.

Rob Rosinski, a civil engineering sophomore and president of the unofficial student organization Students for the Second Amendment, also has a gun permit and stores his weapon in his vehicle. He says it makes him feel safer when he is “”in transit.”” He doesn’t feel the law should be different for people on campus.

“”Why should my rights outside this campus be any different (than) on this campus,”” Rosinski asked.  

Rosinski said he will not be satisfied if the state allows teachers to carry weapons but believes it’s a step in the right direction.

“”I don’t believe just giving (the right to have weapons) to teachers is enough, because some teachers won’t carry,”” he said.

ASUA members are not yet sure when they will hold the public forum, but they hope to have it soon.

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