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Allow more guns on campus

Everyday, whether you know it or not, the state of Ohio gambles with your life and the lives of everyone around you. They hope nothing bad happens to you here at school like getting beaten, robbed or killed by others students and residents. While these are horrific possibilities nobody wants to experience, the state legislature has decided only to pass feel-good laws and policies that tell everyone this is a “weapon-free zone.” The problem is they don’t understand this is simply asking for violence to visit us instead of coming up with real solutions to a deadly and dangerous issue.

The answers are out there right in front of us. The state of Utah allows students to carry concealed handguns on campus if they pass state licensing programs. The effect has been greatly seen: campus crime is down and nobody has gotten hurt by those who carry weapons at school. Not everyone is forced to carry a gun, but you are allowed the option if you so wish and all students should be allowed to decide how they should provide for their own personal safety.

Many will claim this is an irrational stance on the issue and that the police can handle the protection of the student body. I am the first to admit our campus police are great at what they do; but the problem is they cannot be everywhere at once, and what are we to do when they aren’t there to help us? The startling fact is many of you do not even realize the police are not legally obligated to personally protect you.

You may ask where this is stated and I would like to direct you to the case Warren v. District of Columbia, where the DC Appeals Court clearly stated: “a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.”

While this did not go to the Supreme Court, even states like California and New York have enacted laws that follow this startling precedent and do not guarantee you individual police protection. They only have to protect the group (society) as a whole.

Now, we know the police do not have to protect us individually, do the laws against protecting yourself with a handgun or any other sort of weapon seem irrational since you are not guaranteed any sort of outside help?

We have already had two violent attacks where the police were not able to prevent the violence and the survivors are only alive by the grace of God. Even though they were not able to help in these two cases of violence, they are very responsive – yet firearms provide a much speedier response.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the University police can be anywhere on campus in about five minutes. Even though five minutes is a very short time, that is a very long five minutes to whomever is being beaten, robbed or killed because the state passed a law that kept them from fighting back.

At the Appalachian School of Law in 2002, an angry law student opened fire in a class room, killing three and wounding three. The reason why the angry student was stopped was because the actions of two other students, Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, who retrieved their handguns from their vehicles and stopped the disgruntled law student. Who knows how many fewer would have died if these two students simply had been allowed to carry their weapons on campus?

The current laws do not work: most states and their institutions of higher learning have tried to ban handguns on campus, and many students have paid with their lives because of the foolishness of these policies.

In 2006, a bill was introduced in to the Virginia Assembly to allow those that possessed concealed handgun licenses to carry their weapons on campuses all over Virginia. The administration and those at Virginia Tech opposed the bill because they believed they could protect the students. The bill then died in committee, and we all know what happened later.

We are taught when confronted with an issue, that taking the extreme of either side is rarely, if ever, a great idea. And like any issue, the extreme side being taken (no guns allowed at all) probably is not the best avenue to go down and instead, we should look at the middle ground (some sort of combination) of allowing some more guns on campuses while not arming all who go here.

That is why I ask all of you and the University to pressure the state legislature to change this policy before more innocent people get attacked because of a foolish, misguided policy. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and these laws will make great paving stones.

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