Should people be allowed to bring guns on college campuses? | The Tylt
Should people be allowed to bring guns on college campuses?
Many are fundamentally against the idea of having armed students or faculty in the classroom for a variety of reasons.
Some school officials think students and teachers carrying guns could affect the discourse in classrooms in a negative way. Students may feel uncomfortable engaging with difficult topics, or expressing unpopular opinions, if they know someone in the room has a gun. Judith McDaniel, a professor at the University of Arizona, wrote about a difficult classroom discussion she recently had. She says knowing some her students were carrying firearms would fundamentally change how she teaches:
Would I have held the same class today if I had known there were possibly guns among some of my students? What would I have been looking for as I guided the conversation about racism and lynching? Would symptoms of discomfort have looked different to me?
I don’t know. And I don’t want to know. My job is to teach. To me, that means allowing students to explore ideas that are not easy or popular or safe. Teaching means taking risks and encouraging others to do the same as we search for the deeper meaning, the more elusive truths, the harder lessons.
Others say the simple fact of having more guns around drastically increases the chance of something bad happening. They say the hypothetical scenario where the "good guy with the gun" takes out the bad guy doesn't really happen. What's more likely to happen is that by the time law enforcement arrives, they'll have to work twice as hard to differentiate between armed students and armed assailants. There's a reason why police officials and university leaders want guns off campus.
Perry and Thrasher are not alone. In fact, the entire State University System of Florida opposes concealed carry on campus. And university police chiefs all over the country agree: in a 2009 poll, only 5% thought that allowing students to carry guns on campus would prevent shootings. Ninety-five percent of college presidents oppose guns on campus. And in 2013, a poll of students at 15 Midwestern colleges found that 78% opposed concealed guns on campus, too.
Proponents of carrying guns on campus say the world we live in is dangerous. More and more, colleges and universities are targets for horrible attacks and crimes. It's immoral to prevent people from protecting themselves. Like with concealed carry permits, gun owners should have the choice to keep a gun on them to save their own lives—if it comes down to that. It's their Second Amendment right.
Many states already allow citizens to carry guns in public after the acquiring the proper permit, background checks, and training. Expanding that right to college campuses makes sense—it's no different than carrying a gun in a supermarket.