Big Question: Guns on Campus
by Rohan Smith | UNC- Chapel Hill
Where do we draw the line on gun control? Is there a valid argument for the passing of a bill allowing guns to be carried on campus? When I read a recent article about a measure being pushed which would allow the carrying of concealed guns on University of Texas’s campuses, I was shocked beyond all belief.
However, I realise that my shock might be specific to my heritage. As a foreigner (I’m from London), I find it hard to comprehend the fact that the right to own and carry a gun is commonplace in the United States. I recognise that I have a particular view on the situation and do not hasten to judge or behave as if my point of view has some moral high ground over the principal that every man should have the ‘right to bear arms’.
Nevertheless, I feel that the question of guns on college campuses transcends such a principle, going past any possible arguments in advocacy of gun possession. There seems to be an inherent problem with allowing weapons into an environment of learning, an environment where the question of violence should be only a theoretical one, an environment where the mind is the only weapon that should be wielded. Is it not disrespectful to the history of such institutions to allow them to become the provisional grounds for violence? I see this idea as nothing more than it is, and that is the sanctioning of violence on the college campus. There is nothing about a gun that is not violent; a gun is created to maim, to wound, to kill. Whether it be in self-defence or not, it is used to harm and thus by introducing them to college campuses there is a clear message being sent out: Texas condones violence in a college environment.
That is my personal feeling and I would stand by it to the grave. However, I know that arguments in favour of the bill pivot around the idea of self defense. With armed students and professors on campus, instances such as that which occurred at Virginia Tech may be less likely to happen and may be ended with fewer casualties. I am skeptical, and believe that such a measure could easily lead to greater volatility on campus as well.
As students, we would be most affected by such a bill being passed – so would you support such a plan at your school? The Big Question is this:
Should students be allowed to carry guns on campus?Rohan Smith is a NextGen Journal Correspondent. He doesn't know exactly what he wants to major in, but he has interests in journalism, creative writing and African Studies. From Great Britain, he is studying at North Carolina for the next four years and is currently playing for their JV basketball team.