Friday, April 29, 2011

No guns in school!

Since this is my first post, I figured I'd just jump in.
Sen. Jeff Wentworth is a Republican senator who has suggested that concealed handguns be allowed in schools. His opinion is that students shouldn't be defenseless against armed attackers (Virginia Tech was his example). Luckily, his bill (SB 354) failed.
Before I go on, I'll make it clear that I own a gun and have no problem with other citizens owning and carrying guns. However, I think that anyone who thinks that a gun will protect them from another armed citizen is not using their brain. Guns make very small shields. Also, gang members, for example, have no trouble shooting opposing armed gang members, so why do you think they'd cower before your handgun?
I've heard the arguement that "an armed society is a polite society" too often and really don't understand the reasoning. The Code of the West sounds nice in theory, but what would have happened if the Virginia Tech shooter had opened fire on an armed student body? There's a term that most war veterans are familiar with called "friendly fire." And that's among soldiers trained in combat, not mediocre practice shooters. Imagine bullets flying at where they think the sounds came from. An armed student who is disoriented may think the guy in the crowd shooting at Seung-Hui Cho is the enemy. 32 students were killed. That number might have been lessened by an armed student body. It also may have been much larger.
The assumption that everyone should carry a gun is flawed. Not everyone is skilled (practice or not) and not everyone is mentally stable. Guns don't belong in the hands of emotionally charged and stressed out students. Please leave the shootouts to the police, who are less likely to turn a horrible situation worse.

1 comment:

  1. Good beginning, and to the point!

    This is not the first time this bill has resurrected from the dead by Republicans. Now, it is being sneaked into other bills as an amendment. It seems that we are past the main point of arming college students for “self defense from another Virginia Tech shooting” as many Republicans want you to believe because Republicans tend to find ways of adding it to other bills.

    According to the Associated Press, Sen. Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio, TX) “amended” Sen. Judith Zaffirini’s, (D-Laredo, TX), bill that would give Texas universities “more flexibility to deal with budget cuts” (Associated Press). Now, Sen. Zaffirini has decided to move towards killing her own bill to keep Sen. Wentworth’s concealed weapons provision from becoming law. The reason why Sen. Wentworth amended the bill in the first place was due to the dismal votes needed to pass his original bill on its own merits.

    I agree that each person has the right to bear arms, but I do not believe that everyone is thoroughly trained to handle weapons in a situation where there is imminent and grave danger, unless they served in a war like I have. An example would be the shooting in Arizona where there was an armed citizen who, with good intentions, was about to shoot the person who wrestled the gun away from the actual shooter.

    It is understandable that those who legitimately have a license to carry and conceal can own and actually carry a weapon, but to allow students to carry weapons on college campuses only increases the chances that students and/or faculty may get hurt directly or indirectly. You are right to point out that “the assumption that everyone should carry a gun is flawed”, but it is also flawed to make gun laws just to score political points.