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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Guns breed fear, not safety

    Fighting guns with more guns? Wow. I must disagree entirely with Samantha Ware’s opinion on Tuesday (“” ‘Weapon-free zones don’t prevent tragedy””) that guns should be allowed on campus with a certified permit. That idea would lead to an environment in which I would feel extremely unsafe. Guns rarely solve problems. And for those problems that require force, I am quite content in letting the police handle those problems.

    More guns would not prevent anyone of the wrong mindset from using his or her gun. In fact, violence on campus would be more likely if you allowed weapons on campus. Despite the tragedy of last week’s shootings at Virginia Tech, these violent crimes on campus do not happen so often (although them happening at all is very disturbing) that we need to make changes in campus policy.

    Instead, why not try something other than cradling our right to bear arms like a child that carries a teddy bear? Take a moment to help someone every once in a while. Help make life easier for one another. Someone recently told me that these problems arise in society because nobody cares. Maybe he’s right, but I’d like to think that some of us can make a difference.

    I’m not saying, “”Go! Change the world!”” But knowing that some strangers or classmates are willing to give you a hand can make a huge difference in someone’s attitude toward life. Someone who feels more connected to humanity will be less likely to go on a shooting spree. Guns are not the answer. They split us apart and make us afraid of one another.

    Michael Hall political science senior

    Wells Fargo has guns, but students don’t

    In Tuesday’s article “”Police: UA safer since shooting five years ago,”” UAPD Chief Anthony Daykin is quoted as saying an incident similar to the one in Blacksburg, Va., cannot be prevented at the UA. This should serve as a warning to the students, faculty and staff of the university that they are not safe.

    It appears from Daykin’s comments that UAPD exists only to clean up dead bodies after a massacre and, of course, to hand out speeding tickets. Calling our university a “”Weapon-Free Zone”” is a misnomer: History has shown us that anyone can carry a weapon from one side of North Campbell Avenue to the other.

    The university is more of a “”Defenseless Victim Zone”” – one where criminals can be assured that they can do as they please with little interference from students, faculty, staff or, apparently, the police.

    The current policy does not mean the university is free of weapons. Police officers, of course, are permitted to carry weapons on campus. Every morning, a Wells Fargo armored car with two armed guards rolls up to the Student Union. Why are they armed in a weapon-free zone? More importantly, why is Wells Fargo permitted to use firearms to protect its money when students and employees are denied the same to protect their lives?

    Michael Sonenberg UA alumnus

    Anti-gun rights groups exploit tragedy

    I must take umbrage at the cartoon published in your April 18 edition that depicts the National Rifle Association as somehow influencing President Bush and Congress in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy. Also, I would like to object to Ms. Burgos’ column titled “”Dancing on fresh graves,”” which asserts that pro-gun-rights groups have somehow been turning this into a political issue so soon. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Indeed, it is the anti-gun-rights groups that have taken immediate action and started politicking before all the bodies have been identified. Immediately following the tragic shooting, the NRA released the following statement: “”The National Rifle Association joins the entire country in expressing our deepest condolences to the families of Virginia Tech University and everyone else affected by this horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families. We will not have further comment until all the facts are known.””

    Compare this to the statement of the anti-gun group the Brady Campaign: “”Details are still forthcoming about what motivated the shooter in this case to act, and how he was able to arm himself. It is well known, however, how easy it is for an individual to get powerful weapons in our country. Eight years ago this week, the young people in Littleton, Colo., suffered a horrible attack at Columbine High School, and almost exactly six months ago, five young people were killed at an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. Since these killings, we’ve done nothing as a country to end gun violence in our schools and communities. If anything, we’ve made it easier to access powerful weapons. We have now seen another horrible tragedy that will never be forgotten. It is long overdue for us to take some common-sense actions to prevent tragedies like this from continuing to occur.””

    Also, the anti-gun Violence Policy Center said this: “”Mass shootings have come to define our nation. Today’s shooting at Virginia Tech – the largest mass shooting in U.S. history – is only the latest in a continuing series over the past two decades. These tragedies are the inevitable result of the ease with which the firepower necessary to slaughter dozens of innocents can be obtained. We allow virtually anyone the means to turn almost any venue into a battlefield. In the wake of these shootings, too many routinely search for any reason for the tragedy except for the most obvious – the easy access to increasingly lethal firearms that make mass killings possible.””

    It certainly appears that the pro-gun-rights groups are more concerned with paying their respects to the victims than with advancing any sort of political agenda at this time. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the anti-gun groups.

    Pete Stephenson physics junior

    Demonization won’t prevent future shootings

    I have seen signs of hope coming out of the tragic events that unfolded in Virginia last Monday. Strangers comforting each other have been shown on every major news station. A nationwide movement in colleges and universities has begun to support the students and faculty of Virginia Tech. Although the aftermath of this tragic event is not over, the rebuilding process has begun.

    However, I have noticed a second tragedy start to unfold. Since the gunman’s name was released, his entire life history has been broadcast – revealing his private life and creating generalizations about his family, culture and ethnicity. A second nationwide movement has begun denouncing this young man as a person.

    It is interesting to see how we as a culture choose to alienate a person from ourselves because he or she has done something wrong. Let’s face it: This young man committed acts of murder that were pure evil. But why did he do it? Instead of trying to place blame and separate ourselves from Seung-Hui Cho, we need to take his problems as our own. We need to try and find the reason why he thought there was no other way to make a statement than by taking the lives of 32 wonderful people. If we fail, then this could happen again.

    John Kozel communication sophomore

    We need a decent $1 menu!

    I have to say I am disappointed to see McDonald’s go (“”Burger King to replace McDonald’s in Union””). I am rather partial to the best fry in America … but I am also partial to a decent dollar menu.

    The union prices are high enough, and McDonald’s is the only restaurant at the UA that provides a dollar menu. Hopefully, Burger King will be able to match this menu, because after all, we are college students always looking for a good deal!

    Sara Pat Badgley family studies and human development sophomore

    Exaggeration is the problem, not the answer

    For some reason, debating anything political today rarely sticks to just the issues. In his article “”Martyrdom: The Right’s secret weapon,”” Taylor Kessinger illustrates this point perfectly. In fact, after reading and then rereading Kessinger’s article, I can’t seem to find anything that even resembles a real political issue that is being widely debated today – and I even used a really big magnifying glass.

    The article is just a blatant attack on conservative ideology with false conservative summaries like this one: “”To these people, seriously suggesting that humans ought to combat global warming, that sex on TV isn’t such a bad thing or that gay people should be allowed to get married, is not simply a matter of opinion.”” Quotes like these help show the irony of political discourse in America today.

    The irony here, for example, is Kessinger’s use (or misuse, if one prefers) of the word “”martyr”” to describe the modern development of conservative ideology, when in the end he seems like the actual martyr. Do not just accept what I say on its face. Look at Kessinger’s own words.

    Kessinger ends his article with, “”But alas, I ought to end here. I need to return to masterminding Satan’s plan to destroy the United States.”” The question we should be asking as citizens (even liberal citizens) is: Do most conservatives actually think/act this way? The answer is a resounding no. Most conservatives do not deny the existence of global warming; they question the solutions to the problem. Most conservatives do not use Ann Coulter as the figurehead for their core beliefs, just as most liberals do not believe everything Michael Moore says. And for the record, exaggeration and hyperbole in politics can be useful in questioning how logical an argument is.

    The problem arises when one side, in this case Kessinger, accuses the other of unfair tactics by using the exact same tactics. One cannot expect to stop conservatives who do use misinformation and deliberate exaggeration by being just as exaggerated and misinformed. Fighting fire with fire only results in more mutual misunderstanding with little hope of any desirable outcome.

    Sam Cutter philosophy freshman

    Gun safety laws don’t make us safer

    In an April 20 letter to the editor (fitting its date), Alex R.J. GutiǸrrez (“”Cross fire won’t make my campus any safer””) represented the typical paranoid reactions to calls for ending gun-free universities. Alex has a seemingly valid argument: “”I feel a lot safer than I would if anyone who wanted to carried a gun into my Political Science 309 class.”” However, there are two simple objections to this: First, does a gun-free zone prevent “”anyone who wanted to”” carry a firearm on campus? Second, is feeling safer in this case equivalent to being safer?

    The answer to the first question is simple: No. Clearly, Virginia Tech’s policy against the carrying of arms neither stopped nor slowed the infamous murderer. The gun-free zone was no obstacle whatsoever to having a gun. Like a game of Capture the Flag, zones and boundaries are only significant for those who follow the rules. In other words, while such zones do not stop crimes, they do stop law-abiding citizens from carrying the tools necessary for effective self-defense.

    As a public institution, the UA has been terribly irresponsible in enforcing such policies in spite of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 2, Section 26 of the Arizona Constitution, which state, respectively, that “”the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,”” and “”the right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired.””

    To the second question, the answer is also no. Policies made to make us feel safer not only rarely make us actually safer, but they also tend to make us less safe. Is it worth it to sacrifice our liberty and our safety in the name of delusional feelings inspired by the media and gun-control extremists? I hope not.

    Clearly, due to the various fictional scenarios GutiǸrrez cooked up, he doesn’t trust other people. This is unfortunate. The fact is, laws already exist to prevent crimes such as those he described. If someone unjustly threatens another with a firearm, that is already a crime. If one unjustly shoots another, that is also already a crime. If someone is angry and intent on killing you and you’re defenseless, you’re probably going to die and irrational anti-gun laws aren’t going to tip that probability in your favor.

    Daniel Greenberg political science freshman

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