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Student handbook should address weapons ban more clearly

I’m not afraid of guns. After all, I grew up around them.

That is, as long as people follow the rules. It’s those times when people start breaking rules and endangering the safety of others that guns begin to scare me.

With the higher frequency of school shootings, it is no shock that guns are forbidden on almost all college campuses. The National Conference of State Legislation’s website very clearly states that Ohio is among 21 states that have banned concealed carry weapons on all college campuses.

Then why does it seem to me that we could do more to avoid horrors like Virginia Tech’s shooting?

One thing that should be changed is the 2012-2013 handbook says only that “weapons of any kind create a potential safety hazard and, therefore, the use or possession of these items is prohibited in University residences.” It was the only mention of firearms in the entire 85-page book.

There is nothing that states the right to bear arms does not extend to campus property.

It seems logical that a person wouldn’t have the right to a gun on campus, especially considering Ohio law. Then again, it would also be logical to assume that coffee is hot and can burn you, yet people have sued for burns from scalding coffee and won.

Therefore, the University needs to take a clear stance regarding guns on campus. In lieu of that, the administration needs to take a step further and lay out punishments for the concealment or usage of guns at the University.

There may have been no major problems with gun use at the University previously, but this does not mean authority figures should not attempt to prevent atrocities similar to the Columbine High School shooting from transpiring. Setting a system of rules and punishments is a very good source of deterrence, which has the potential to lower the risk of catastrophe. People do not like being faced with the possibility of punishment.

If they see a direct, negative consequence to their actions, they will be less likely to do something to jeopardize others.

Furthermore, another rather large blunder I’ve noticed around University grounds is that there are no signs on the doors of buildings stating firearms are not permitted within them. Ironically enough, there are signs on these very sets of doors stating something about no smoking within the confines of the building. Why then aren’t there signs to prevent weapons? Is the risk of smoking more hazardous than the risk of a person with a gun? I think not.

It would be an extremely easy feat to put signs on doors that bluntly state that there are no firearms or weapons allowed in the buildings, offices, classrooms, etc. of the University. I honestly have no idea why this issue has not been corrected. I do not feel that this error is being made because the University doesn’t care for its students; I sincerely believe since there hasn’t been any real issue yet and with state laws what they are, administrators are not making this a top priority.

I am simply asking the University to please consider revising the steps it has taken to prevent any shootings, accidental or on purpose, from happening.

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