College students and others who visit college campuses should be able exercise their second Amendment by being able to conceal carry on school property in order to protect themselves from danger. Many mass shootings, assaults, and rapes have occurred in the last few years on college campuses and in nearby communities. If people were allowed to protect themselves from attacks with a firearm, it would significantly reduce the number of attacks in “Gun-Free Zones”, so the United States government should allow campus carry. As American Citizens, we have the right to carry a firearm or firearms with us for protection.
This is more commonly known as the Second Amendment. This has come into controversy over the past few years as more and more people want to remove guns from other citizens in order to “make themselves feel safer”“. This movement has started a mass debate across the country. Gun control put a strain on the 2016 presidential election, with this being one of the most important topics on both sides of the aisle. With Donald J. Trump now being the president-elect, he has stated on his personal website, “[He is going to] empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves.
Law enforcement does a tremendous job, but they can’t be everywhere all the time” (Constitution), including campus carry. Campus carry makes students, faculty, and community members safer because they can protect themselves from attacks. In 1966 there was a mass shooting on the University of Texas’ campus caused by Charles Whitman. He was up in the conservatory platform on top of a 300-foot tower and shot down on students in between classes. During the shooting 46 people who were shot, 14 of which were killed and 31 were wounded (An Ex-Marine).
So many people were shot and the advantage that Charles Whitman had how did he not kill or injure so many more? In an essay in Inside Higher Educaiton on April 12 of 2016 it answers that question, “Some [bystanders) claimed that the covering fire provided by citizens had reduced Whitman’s ability to take more lives than he did” (Kreuter). During this shooting, multiple students had returned fire to allow other students to flee from the scene and get help. If this did not happen, there would have been many more killings or injuries because Charles Whitman would not have had a distraction of the return fire that needed his attention.
In an article for concealed carry called America Concealed on October 3rd of 2016 it states, “There have been a number of well-documented violent attacks involving an active shooter on college campuses in the past few years. The crowded spaces filled with busy, preoccupied students offer deranged individuals a target-rich environment” (Archer). A college campus is not a good place to seek protection without the protection of a firearm. Campus carry allows students, faculty, and community members to protect themselves in the event of an incident like this.
With so many shootings on campuses in recent years, colleges as well as students should feel the need to protect themselves. According to an analysis of FBI crime data by economist and political commentator John Lott, “1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults, and 12,000 robberies could have been prevented between 1977 and 1992 if concealed carry had been legal in every US state during that time period” (Concealed). The United States could have prevented all of these attacks if students were allowed to carry on college campuses.
With colleges being “gun free” zones it allowed criminals and murderers to not have to worry about having someone to fight with. In an article in the Washington Post on August 24 of 2016 it states, “Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year , the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low” (Riddell).
When the new law was put into place there was a decrease of arrests by 20 percent, with this much criminal activity stopped in the last year by allowing concealed carry, imagine how much crime could have been stopped in the whole United States including college campuses. The United States government could have saved so many lives and saved others from disaster if people, including students, were allowed to conceal carry everywhere. All Americans have the same rights, the right to bear arms. Does this only apply to adults who are out of college?
No, it does not, or at least it should not. Everyone has the same rights. Students should not give up their rights in order to have a college education. In an article on Red State on September 11 of 2014 it writes, “Government officials have created illogical and arbitrary lines of demarcation where it is deemed perfectly acceptable for legal and responsible Americans to carry firearms but illegal for these same citizens to do so on many campuses”(Restoring). The government officials should not have taken away as much of their citizens’ rights as they have.
The Second Amendment reads, “a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”(Madison). This applies to every citizen in the United States. Not just those who are not in “Gun Free Zones”. However, if a person were to carry on campuses they would have to be licensed and they should have to tell the school so they were aware of who has a firearm. Those who oppose having campus carry believe with the heated discussions that occur in college classrooms, guns would not be appropriate.
In an article for PBS sociology professor Jennifer Lynn Glass, creative writing professor Lisa Moore, and English professor Mia Carter said, “Allowing firearms into classrooms could be dangerous when discussions can wade into emotionally and politically charged topics such as gay rights and abortion” (Verntuno). These professors are afraid that with the topics that are usually discussed students can become passionate about what they believe, and they are worried that if a student were to have a firearm, they would pull it in class.
These people are just worried that with the stress and situations that these students go through, firearms just don’t mix well. Their argument is not entirely true. Everyone has stress. In an article on American Concealed on October 3rd of 2016 it states, “Anyone living and working out in the community deals with just as much stress, maybe even more, than a college student. Millions of certified and trained citizens are able to carry concealed without issue, even while handling car payments, mortgages, taking the kids to school, and high-pressure careers” (Archer).
College students are not the only ones who deal with stress on a daily basis. They should not be the only ones who are not included in the rights of the United States Citizen. Everyone is included. The Columbia Center for Psychiatry put out an article on stress stating, “Stress is something that most people experience on a daily basis. Stress is defined as our reaction to events, environmental or internal, that are associated with substantial adaptive demands that tax or exceed our adaptive resources” (Fischer). Everyone goes through events that cause them stress, not only college students.
If they are allowed to carry everywhere else except in “Gun Free Zones”, including college campuses, they should extend the policy to allow them to carry everywhere. “Gun Free Zones” have made those areas targets for criminals. As we have seen in an article in the New York Post on June 15th of 2016 it reads, “A young ISIS sympathizer planned a shooting at one of the largest churches in Detroit. An FBI wire recorded him explaining why he had picked the church as a target: “It’s easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus, people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus, it would make the news” (Lott).
ISIS is one of the most dangerous groups in the world. They plan, strategize, and do research to find the best place for their attacks. They know that “Gun Free Zones” are good targets. The United States government should realize this and change the “Gun Free Zones”. In the Detroit News on October 15th of 2016, there is an article that states, “The suspected Charleston killer’s first choice was to target the College of Charleston, but he chose the church instead because there were armed guards at the college”(Lott). Just having guards on campus that are armed, deters killers.
If the United States had more college students with guns, there would be less shootings, assaults, and rapes on campuses. If the United States government were to allow campus carry on all college campuses, there would be a drastic decrease in the number of assaults, rapes, and shootings because people could protect themselves without having to wait for the police to arrive on the scene or worry about having to call for help. Having guns on campuses allows the citizens to take their protection into their own hands. The United States government should allow campus carry in order to keep their citizens safe.