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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Is anyone else fed up with violence?
    Is anybody as fed up as I am about all the violence? Last Thursday, a gunman at Northern Illinois University shot and killed five people. It was Valentine’s Day. VALENTINE’S DAY FOR GOODNESS SAKE!! Is anybody, anybody at all as fed up with all the death and violence in this world as I am? I am sick and tired of turning on the news at 4 in the afternoon and finding out someone else, who is completely innocent, has died a premature death at the hands of some deranged psychopath. Everyone seems to think the same question too: “”Why did they do it?”” Yet somehow, the answer is never really found. All I see happening is that psychologist saying the perpetrator had a mental instability and the media shrugging and saying “”What do we do?”” leaving the question unanswered.

    Well, somehow the answer has never seemed clearer to me. Look around and count the number of times you see an advertisement, game, song or even commercial that preaches violence as the answer. Look at some of the most popular singers these days. 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg are both people who gained fame from songs that preached how great violence and the gangster life is. You don’t see the news talking about how bad the violence is. Of course they will say it’s a tragedy that these innocent people died; it’s treated as an isolated incident. This perception, however, is an errant fraud. In the past 10 years, the number of school shootings has more than doubled than in the previous 40 years. I think it is high time that the trend of violence among the youth of America is looked at as a serious crisis in our society. Perhaps it would be beneficial if we stopped promoting violence as a solution, it will aid in the prevention of a shooter from finding their way to our campus.

    Preston Hall
    geosciences freshman

    Concealed weapons holders a danger to others

    I will preface this letter by expressing my strong opposition to the legalization of concealed carry on university campuses (“”Give guns a chance”” yesterday). While I am firmly opposed to the idea, I can and do accept and to some degree understand that others, for a variety of reasons, feel much differently.

    Tragedies like the most recent at NIU shove the issue forward, evoking passions and prompting debate around the same tired arguments made by both sides. While I continue to accept the familiar supposition by CCW proponents that, in general, broad campus weapons bans are ineffectual in preventing massively fatal gun crimes perpetrated by lunatics, I am continually frustrated by proponents’ failure to fully articulate their argument. Such an argument needs to unabashedly justify an alternate scenario for tragedies like the one at NIU; in particular, that campus CCW legislation would allow another armed student to responsibly and effectively intervene, namely by fatally shooting the attacker before further violence could be carried out. This must be the (seldom articulated) scenario envisioned by CCW proponents.

    If so, we should be able to confidently accept that students or faculty would be aptly prepared, in a tactical and psychological sense, to intervene. Although I would agree that members of the law enforcement or military communities would be sufficiently well trained, I doubt that any CCW-permitted individual, having taken the basic (but, we are told, thorough) state-sponsored 8-hour certification course would be. Instead I think it much more likely that an inexperienced individual, particularly in consideration of the attendant stresses, would at worst be a danger to everyone or complicate the efforts of law enforcement to bring the situation to an end.

    While I am deeply saddened by the tragic deaths at NIU, as I certainly was about the similar incident last April at Virginia Tech, and despite what I accept to be the honorable and well-intentioned arguments by CCW proponents, I cannot support a measure for permitting weapons on our campus. Let’s leave the noble work of civic protection to the trained members of the military and law enforcement.

    Chris McPherson
    optical sciences graduate student

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