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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Mailbag: April 13

Legislature’s focus on firearms distracts from education

There’s been a lot of talk in our statehouse about the university and “”constitutional rights.”” Unfortunately, it’s all been about guns. What our legislators — who claim to be constitutional champions — ought to be defending is the Arizona Constitution, Article 11, Section 6. It says, “”The university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible.”” Does $10,000 tuition sound “”nearly free”” to any of you? I urge you to call Gov. Jan Brewer to defend our constitution and provide emergency funding for the universities to lower tuition back down to “”nearly free.”” If she refuses, let’s impeach her.

— Rafe Sagarin, UA marine ecologist

Emotional appeals misrepresent gun debate

On “”Campus gun law aims for safety, misses target””: How many of your friends have and regularly use firearms? How much real exposure do you have with this crowd you so willingly write against? How many of Arizona’s gun laws have you actually examined? Or even, how many times have you written articles based on an emotional appeal instead of a logical one?

I am disturbed by how often I see articles that focus on “”what ifs”” instead of actual events. So let’s look at the facts then. Only people over the age of 21 would be able to carry on campus. Armed citizens would not be able to enter buildings. This means that the vast majority of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and even seniors won’t be able to carry guns on campus because a) they are too young or b) they have no place to store their weapons.

No, there will not be weapon vaults outside of every classroom. Where did that idea even come from? Did you not research what happened to the 25 universities that allow guns on campus in Utah and Colorado? How many times have you actually seen somebody open carry somewhere not at a firearms venue? And how many of those times did you observe a murder or assault take place? The truth is, the people who exercise these rights are probably the most law-abiding citizens you will ever meet — and they probably are everywhere you go, you just don’t know it.

There are crazy people out there. Some of those crazy people have guns. Some don’t.

But don’t stand up on a pedestal to shout out that those who exercise this right are menaces to society. Guns don’t possess this aura that makes people go into a blind rage and start killing.

Yes, guns can be scary. Guns are made to cause grievous bodily harm to all types of living things — nobody is debating that. They are something to be respected. But I have never heard of a gun that was used in an unjustified killing without an unstable person pulling the trigger.

Please, stop trying to make us look like we are just ticking time bombs waiting to snap and commit mass murder outside the Student Union Memorial Center, like you say. I won’t use rhetoric to try to make you seem incompetent, so why are you? The first amendment is open to interpretation, and although I disagree, I respect your opinion. There should be no place for fear mongering, even though both sides do it. This wouldn’t be a debate if both sides didn’t have valid points, even in a political system as screwed up as today’s. Besides, if everybody supports your viewpoint, nobody will carry guns on campus despite the recent bill, right?

— Jay Fielder, Operations Management junior

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