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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Be thankful Arizona’s guns on campus bill is dead

    The Arizona legislation that would have allowed concealed weapons onto college and university campuses is officially dead. It’s a relief to know for sure now that anyone who passes by on the UA campus is not carrying a concealed weapon.

    A man opened fire on campus at Oikos University in Oakland, Calif., around midmorning on Monday. He killed at least seven people and wounded three more, according to the Associated Press.

    This shooting is just one of many cases — including Columbine, UA’s 2002 shooting and Virginia Tech — that still haunt the nation’s memory.

    It is true that if someone wants to go on campus with a gun and start shooting, they will do so, regardless of current gun laws. But allowing guns into the hands of virtually anyone over 21 won’t stop them either, and it isn’t the right fix.

    There is no easy solution to this, but legislation like Arizona’s was far from viable. Sure, it may help students feel safer if a shooting were to happen on campus, but there are more negatives that outweigh that one positive.

    Second, college students are notorious for partying and getting drunk on the weekends, or even as early in the week as “thirsty Thursday.”

    The UA is considered a “wet” campus, which means alcohol is allowed on campus if you are of the legal drinking age.

    Alcohol changes normal brain function, and may be linked to increased violence. The disinhibition hypothesis states that “alcohol weakens brain mechanisms that normally restrain impulsive behaviors, including inappropriate aggression,” according to a medical article titled “Alcohol, Violence, and Aggression” on athealth.com, a provider of mental health information and services.

    A 2002 study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that students who have a firearm at college are more likely to binge drink, drive after binge drinking and use illegal drugs. Combine the influence of alcohol with a firearm, and there will be chaos.

    Furthermore, the Arizona Board of Regents released a fiscal impact study that examined how much the legislation would have cost Arizona universities.

    According to the study, it would cost all three in-state universities a one-time payment of $13.3 million, plus an annual cost of $3.1 million. Much of this money would have gone toward installing gun storage lockers in 732 public buildings across the three university campuses.

    The legislation would not have required the lockers, and therefore would not provide state funding for them.

    The financial strains of such renovations may have meant an increase in various costs that students already complain about. But the intangible costs and harm that could have come from this bill outweigh the one benefit of feeling safer.

    Danger is everywhere, regardless of the place. College campuses are filled with young adults who are still maturing, and putting a gun in their hands may cause more harm than good.

    Putting an end to this was the smartest decision Arizona lawmakers have made in a long time. Altogether, putting this bill to rest will put the minds of those on campus to rest.

    — Ashley T. Powell is a journalism sophomore. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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