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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    Gun-free zones are ‘unarmed victim zones’

    Ordinarily I don’t get involved in these issues, but I could not let one of the quotes taken from Sgt. Eugene Mejia pass without comment.

    Mejia is quoted as saying, “”The persons proposing the laws have good intentions, but from our perspective it would hinder our ability to respond quickly.”” To this I say, “”Sgt. Mejia, the university community saw your quick response several years ago when the College of Nursing had three faculty members murdered.””

    To the more rational of the university community, I say “”If you are the target of a crime, the only other person besides the criminal that is sure to be on the scene is you.””

    Gun-free zones are not gun-free zones, they are unarmed victim zones. This moral fatuousness of proclaiming ourselves a gun-free zone is foolish at best and cowardly at worse.

    Laws that prohibit the right to carry a concealed handgun deter one group of people, the law-abiding citizen. Criminals with guns continue to come and go on campus as they choose. Don’t believe me? Look at past “”Police Beat”” reports.

    No one has the right to deprive you of the most effective method of self-defense you can obtain, a hand gun.

    If you doubt this, then try a simple thought experiment: You are in class when a madman stands up and begins shooting, and you reach into your pocket. Which would you hope to find in your pocket at such a time: a cell phone or a hand gun?

    I thought so.

    John Luiten
    computing manager
    Department of Computer Science


    Officials afraid to share power with citizens

    In Tuesday’s news article “”Guns on Campus,”” the paternalistic officials responsible for university policies seem to have trouble making arguments. At any rate, the first problem our friends here have is that they don’t seem to be really opposing the new bill: They are opposing the carrying of concealed weapons in general, and rather than attempting to amend current related law to, for example, require more training, they are simply using irrelevant excuses to prevent common law from invading their “”progressive”” and authoritarian enclaves. And yet again, these guys pretend that the sort of individuals who would commit crimes won’t hide their weapons and bring them into the “”gun-free”” easy-victim zone anyway. Frankly, without weapons, any student will be screwed if someone on campus wants to kill him. Ironically, while these higher-echelon UA officials are now claiming total responsibility for our safety, in a legal situation they would be the first to completely avoid it.

    Daniel Greenberg
    political science junior


    Danger is safety?

    Have we reached the point where Orwell’s bleak view of the future, where the slogan “”War is peace,”” has come to pass? Will more guns in the classroom, in the hands of our teachers and students, actually make us safer?

    This is the logic Sen. Karen Johnson, R-Mesa, Ariz. embraces in SB 1214. In an Arizona Daily Star article, Johnson said we are all “”sitting ducks”” and open season for any lunatic with a gun. We all should be armed against this remote threat so that when we are faced with an armed psychotic we can, in her words, “”plug them.””

    Johnson is right about our vulnerability, but having more guns is not the solution. At the movies, in church, walking down the street – we are always vulnerable to this type of sudden violence, and carrying a gun will not alter that fact. Every day we take a leap of faith, we trust our fellow man not to lie to us, or cheat us or kill us. There is no process or system of checks and balances, or weaponry that can prepare us for, or protect us from, this kind of violence. It is always unexpected and unimaginable precisely because we are trusting and have faith in one another.

    Because these tragedies are so unnatural and impossible to comprehend, they are surrounded by immediate and acute chaos. It is hard to imagine that injecting more lethal force into such an environment would result in less carnage and death. Trained law enforcement and military personnel would find these circumstances challenging; are we to expect students or professors to perform better?

    Increasing the number of weapons in a classroom will only improve the odds that more people will be harmed by that lethal force. The possibility of “”friendly fire”” would increase exponentially and the ripple effects of the violence could swell to a tsunami. And where does the person-to-person arms race end? If one student has a .38, then the student next to her wants a 9 mm. Maybe the teacher feels safer with an assault rifle.

    Law officers are trained to shoot the bad guys, who are usually identifiable as the ones with the gun. How does that scenario play out when everybody is armed?

    I work at the UA College of Nursing and have been touched by violence and tragedy. Every day I pass through the doors with the sticker that says “”Weapon-Free Zone”” and think of my friends who are not there anymore. Could I have done something to prevent those shootings? Could the police? The university? No, there was nothing that could have been done then. But what I can do now is speak out against the disturbing idea that the solution to violence is an armed society, locked and loaded, guns waving and ready for a firefight.

    The premise of civilization is mutual trust. If we allow SB 1214 and HB 2629 to pass, we might as well paste over the weapon-free sticker with the Orwellian slogan, “”Danger is safety.””

    Kevin Button
    coordinator, information technology
    UA College of Nursing

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