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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    Gun-free zone? More like turkey shoot

    As students at a university where a shooting has previously occurred, the tragic events that took place at Virginia Tech this past Monday sit heavy in the hearts of all. The loss of life was immense; with 33 people dead and more injured, it is the being called the most deadly shooting in U.S. history.

    It makes one think: How safe are you? What measures are in place to keep you safe from harm while you’re in class, in your dorm or walking across campus? Heaven forbid that another shooting occur on our campus, but if it did, what would you do? What could you do?

    The truth is … not much. Current law, as well as UA policy, prohibits you from providing yourself with a means of self-defense. The UA’s weapons policy (see: http://web.arizona.edu/~policy/weapons.shtml) prohibits common defensive items like pepper spray. Like Virginia Tech, the UA doesn’t allow firearms on their campus even for law-abiding individuals trained and licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Even if they did, Arizona state law prohibits it.

    As UA students, we’re forced to be unarmed and defenseless, hoping that being suspended or expelled will be a sufficient deterrent for those that mean to harm us or to those around us. Forgive me if I’m less than confident.

    While one can always call the police, response time is measured in minutes, while in life-threatening situations like the shooting at Virginia Tech, survival is measured in seconds. A single armed student or faculty member could have quickly ended, if not prevented, any and all school shootings.

    It’s time for change. It’s time to rethink the “”feel-good”” legislation that is leaving thousands of innocents defenseless. It’s time to let our state representatives know that we want to be safe. It’s time that we let university students and public school teachers protect themselves and those in their care.

    I urge you to call, write a letter or send an e-mail to your representatives and ask them to place public schools and college campuses back on the list of places where law-abiding citizens can defend themselves.

    Nick Lincowski history junior

    Republican reign coming to an end

    I am writing to respond to David Francis’ GOP pillow talk (“”Checking in on the 110th Congress””). First of all, he should read the entirety of polls. His beloved President Bush has numbers that are permanently in the same vicinity as he claims Congress’s currently are. Moreover, recent polls still say that the American people trust the Democrats to get us out of the quagmire in Iraq, which was the overwhelming motivator behind last fall’s electoral results. Given David’s right-wing tilt, I guess I can’t fault him for wanting to forget last November.

    Secondly, as far as Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Syria, let us not forget that diplomacy was a key feature of the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations for trying to fix the mess we created, a group headed by such terrorist-loving lefties like James Baker III. (You know, the Secretary of State under Bush Sr. and a key figure in the Bush/Gore 2000 mess … helped G.W.B. get elected.) The simple fact is, the cowboy days of “”with us or against us”” of post-9/11 have already proven to be a huge mistake that has eroded our standing in the world.

    Lastly, as far as ethics scandals go, Jefferson and Conyers both could have been fired by their constituencies, but those voters chose not to. It isn’t the Democratic Party’s obligation to weed out the presumed bad apples; it’s the voters at the polls. Anyone who invokes the specter of Tom “”The Hammer”” DeLay and simultaneously tries to call the other side of the aisle corrupt is clearly, well, out of ideas.

    I think the record Democratic fundraising for presidential candidates also speaks volumes about who the public feels is better equipped to solve our problems. The Republicans have had the White House for 28 of the last 40 years, and it’s time to kick them out again. But that’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax …

    James J. Jefferies IV political science junior

    UA should reconsider campus weapons ban

    I was horrified to read about the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech on Monday. Naturally, I wondered about the possibility of a similar event occurring here at the UA. While the university has numerous blue-light phones and an excellent police force, there’s still a several-minute response time for the police to arrive, assuming one can even call the police – it seems like many of the victims at VT were caught unaware and were unable to call for help.

    Arizona has “”This Campus is a Weapon-Free Zone”” stickers on what seems to be every exterior door on campus. Virginia Tech had a similar “”no weapons on campus”” policy, yet that prohibition didn’t seem to do much good there and leads me to question the policy here. Why should the law-abiding be disarmed on campus? What good does it serve to keep good people from carrying weapons for their protection?

    Criminals like the shooter at Virginia Tech simply ignore those prohibitions, secure in the knowledge that their victims are disarmed while the law-abiding are left defenseless. If law-abiding people can be trusted to safely carry weapons for their protection in just about every other place in the state, why shouldn’t they be allowed to carry them here on campus?

    Obviously, any misuse of weapons on campus should be dealt with very swiftly and seriously by university authorities, but an outright prohibition goes too far. In the interest of public safety, I would like the university to reconsider its prohibition on weapons on campus.

    Pete Stephenson physics junior

    Guns on campus will increase safety

    We have recently seen a tragedy of monumental proportions in Virginia. Unfortunately, like jackals before the bodies are in the ground, the shrill voices of the anti-gun crowd are already calling out for more gun control.

    The sad fact is, however, that the far left had made such a travesty possible. It should now be apparent to everyone that a weapons-free zone is nothing more than a shooting gallery for the criminally deranged. We have allowed the left to turn our campuses into victim disarmament zones, and we have reaped the consequences.

    Sadly, a bill to allow licensed and trained individuals to carry means to protect themselves, Virginia House Bill 1572, failed to pass the Virginia legislature in January. At the time Larry Hinker, a spokesman for Virginia Tech, was quoted praising the bill’s defeat with the words, “”This will help parents, students and faculty feel safe on our campus.””

    Mr. Hinker, allowing trained and licensed students to protect themselves would have made them safe. This morning I was appalled to hear a spokesman for the UA suggesting that a weapons-free zone was a good idea. It is time to end the experiment. It’s time to abandon the wishful thinking of the left. It’s time to tear down the victim disarmament zones. It’s time to stand up for ourselves.

    Mark E. Horning physics graduate student, Arizona State University

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