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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mail Bag

    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 week 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

    Cross fire won’t make my campus any safer

    I am constantly shocked and disappointed in the arguments for a lift on the weapons-free zone on campus. I, for one, strongly believe that allowing concealed weapons on campus is an absolutely horrible idea. In a letter written yesterday (“”Gun-free zone? More like turkey shoot””), Nick Lincowski asks the rhetorical question, “”How safe are you?””

    Well, I feel that I have to answer. I feel a lot safer than I would if anyone who wanted to carried a gun into my Political Science 309 class. Letters were written blaming the far left for the ban. I say that the “”blame”” goes to common sense.

    Think about it: Someone carries a gun onto campus. They get cut off by somebody on a bike, or get into a heated argument. What’s to prevent that person from using the gun in a moment of anger/rage/whatever? Just because you have a permit and are “”trained”” doesn’t mean that you won’t use a weapon when emotions blind common sense.

    I also laugh at the argument that one faculty member or student with a gun could prevent any and all school shootings. Such a broad, sweeping statement. All we need now is a gunman and student shooting it out in hallways. Now, you have bullets flying both ways, thus increasing the potential number of students/faculty being hit. Also consider if police see one student trying to be a hero, and mistake him/her for the real criminal. It will always end badly.

    I cannot stress enough my firm conviction that lifting a ban on concealed weapons is a horrible idea, and most definitely not in the best interests of the campus community.

    Alex R.J. GutiǸrrez political science senior

    McCain’s stance on Iraq a matter of principle

    Unfortunately, Wednesday’s editorial by Shane Ham (“”John McCain: A man divided””) proved one thing: that the left-wing is rooting for America to lose the war in Iraq for pure political gain.

    Ham started off his tirade by criticizing McCain for the one issue on which he has remained steadfast, which is the war in Iraq. While I do not consider myself a huge fan of John McCain, I think it is hard to ignore the fact that he has showed enormous courage in his stance on the war. Sen. McCain was recently quoted as saying that he would “”much rather lose a campaign than lose a war,”” and I take him for his word on that.

    Since the beginning, he has been harshly critical of how the Bush administration, particularly former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, managed the war and failed to recognize the need for several hundred thousand more troops in the initial stages of the war. While it may be a viable argument that McCain has been a political opportunist on other issues, I find that point hard to argue in the case of the war.

    McCain’s history as a fearless hero of the Vietnam War and his expressed commitment to victory in Iraq, regardless of political consequence, provides sufficient evidence of a principled stance on this issue. McCain’s “”Churchillian”” loyalty to victory, as some have described it, leaves many conservatives rethinking opposition to a McCain candidacy.

    Ham was dead wrong when he said that “”withdrawal is Plan A”” for McCain. Victory is undoubtedly Plan A. If we commend ourselves to this idea, then there is, as McCain said, no need for a Plan B.

    I would also argue with Ham’s assertion that “”promising to pull out of Iraq is the only way to win the presidency.”” Recent polls show that an astounding 26 percent of voters are actually “”scared”” of Hillary Clinton becoming president. An excellent example of this is the Facebook group “”Stop Hillary Clinton: (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary).”” After just two months in existence, it has reached a membership of nearly 200,000 people and continues to grow exponentially.

    The nomination of a candidate with high “”unfavorable”” ratings more than paves the way for a pro-victory candidate, such as McCain, Giuliani or Romney, to win the presidency. Look for a slight “”surge”” (no pun intended) in McCain’s poll numbers in the coming weeks.

    Ry Ellison pre-business freshman

    Guns on campus logistically impossible

    I was appalled to read Nick Lincowski’s suggestions that armed students on campus could prevent a tragedy like the one at Virginia Tech (“”Gun-free zone? More like turkey shoot””). Is he really advocating having armed vigilantes roaming campus, taking the law into their own hands? Let’s take a moment to consider the logistics of Lincowski’s vigilante proposal.

    Police officers have a strict protocol about when it is appropriate to use deadly force to take down a suspect, and are carefully trained to do so when necessary. Who will provide this protocol to the vigilantes? What training will they undergo and what regulations will they face to prevent them from shooting someone who isn’t about to commit a violent crime?

    When a police officer is forced to shoot someone in the line of duty, his or her actions are carefully examined by an internal review board to determine if the shooting was justified. Who will review the actions of these vigilantes when they “”defend themselves”” by killing someone?

    When an officer is found to be unjustified in taking a life, he or she is subject to punishment, including demotion, suspension, dismissal and criminal charges. Aren’t Lincowski’s “”law-abiding citizens”” breaking a law when they shoot at someone? Will these individuals be subject to prosecution? I’m sure the victims’ parents would think so.

    Additionally, police officers who kill someone in the line of duty often suffer from psychological disorders afterward, including experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. What psychological trauma will Lincowski’s vigilantes suffer after a fatal shooting? Who will provide counseling for them?

    Lincowski’s call to allow guns on campus is a knee-jerk reaction to a tragic situation that no one could have foreseen or prevented. It certainly is difficult to feel safe when random violence could strike at any time. But having armed students on campus who are ready to take the law into their own hands is hardly a legitimate solution.

    The best way to protect ourselves is still to constantly be aware of our surroundings, to refer troubled students to psychological services, and to report suspicious persons or activities to the proper authorities.

    Lindsay Wygant anthropology graduate student

    Just say ‘no’ to guns

    I first offer unequivocal respect to those whose lives were stolen on Monday morning. That day will follow me for the rest of my life. Thirty-three lives that could-have been more. In each of us lies the capacity for great and terrible things.

    It is the role of society, from parents to police to friends, to draw out the greatness, and recognize, reform and punish the terrible if necessary. To claim that concealed handguns could have prevented Monday’s “”turkey shoot”” is almost as arrogant and disrespectful as the flippant comparison. And, lest we forget the laws under which we live, the killer passed a background check in 60 seconds.

    Could a gun have fixed that? No, and the whole psycho right-wing gun-love thing is played. Fix something. Don’t shoot it. Universities are institutions of scholarship. Guns, with all due disrespect to the Second Amendment and its bigoted supporters, are a symbol of all that is cowardly: undeserved, instant power, parading as a patriotic right.

    For all of history, there has existed a tenuous balance between intellectuals and the brutes that defend them, but rarely today do we see figures that tread well between groups. Some of us live naively without fear, while others are paralyzed by it. Neither group can exist without the other’s protection, although warlords are not typically elected over senators in the U.S.

    I rely on police and university protection because we pay them to defend us. It is their job to do so, not that of a gun toting junior. We must allow students to be students because fear begets nothing but fear, and has no place in the classroom.

    To those who feel student safety, not personal education, is priority No. 1, UAPD applications are on the UA’s Human Resources site. There, you will be held accountable for our safety, and allowed your weapon on campus. Try not to let gun-empowerment go to your head. Remember that some of us don’t care how much power you have, at least until you shove it in our face, or don’t use it to save our lives.

    Noah Pollock senior majoring in creative writing and Spanish linguistics

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