As we recognize Gun Violence Awareness Month, more legislators are passing campus carry in universities across the nation. This means student safety concerns are on the rise.
School shootings have become more and more prevalent in this day and age, and with the recent shooting in South Carolina, people are questioning why this legislation is even being considered.
According to the Texas Tribune, the Texas House officially passed campus carry in universities including The University of Texas at Austin, a college that has experienced an unfortunate, tragic past with gun violence.
Although legislators and other supporters argue campus carry should be allowed as an expression of their second amendment rights, here are five reasons campus carry might possibly be the worst idea ever:
1. College students already face higher risks of suicides.
Psych Central reported:
"In a survey of 1,085 University of Maryland college students, 12 percent said they had contemplated suicide. Eight out of 10 students reported having had a depressed mother. "Other risk factors the researchers identified included: exposure to domestic violence, feelings of being unloved, depression and prolonged separation from family and friends, triggering anxiety."
In college, young people are exposed to all kinds of people and environments.
Some relationships are lost while new ones are made, and students are constantly learning about themselves.
College is a place where students obtain the skills for success; however, college life comes with both good and bad aspects of growing up.
Students have the opportunity to find great internships, academically succeed, get involved in the community and meet lifelong friends.
Yet, peer pressure, underage drinking, wild parties, stressful exams and financial troubles are also some of the many factors that contribute to the struggle of a college student.
All of this has led students to be at higher risk of suicide, and passing campus carry may only make it easier for students to follow through with thoughts of suicide or other dangerous acts.
2. Are guns on "safety" really equivalent to gun safety?
You may have the right to bear arms, but I also have the right to live.
I have the right to be able to come to class with the idea in mind that I can express my opinions freely without someone who has a different opinion pulling a weapon on me.
I have the right to be able to study peacefully in an environment without fearing an altercation may occur nearby, or that someone's weapon may accidentally go off, regardless of whether it was supposed to be on "safety."
We have seen news stories where someone's gun, which was supposedly on safety, went off regardless.
For example, earlier this year, a former Glasgow officer accidentally shot his finger while examining a gun he wanted to purchase at a gun store in Kentucky.
According to The NY Daily News, the officer, Darrell Smith, assumed the gun was on safety, but decided to sue the store upon discovering the store owner did not do a safety check.
3. Identification of suspects on campus.
Since campus carry has been banned in the past, police have been able to stop and identify suspects with illegal arms on campus who could have been potential threats to students.
Now, if campus carry is passed, police and other investigative officials may misidentify, or find it more difficult to identify, potential suspects on campus.
It may just be another student who is licensed to carry a gun, whether it be open or concealed.
4. Reaction time.
Some may say a benefit of having campus carry is it may allow responsible, licensed students to stop a potentially dangerous suspect.
However, has anyone taken into consideration the reaction time necessary to take action in such cases?
This isn't the wild west, and most people don't have the ability to instantly whip out their guns and fire like the Sundance Kid.
Let's use this scenario for example: You're a licensed student with a concealed weapon on campus, and your school's emergency system is blaring because there is a threat on campus.
What you don't know is you're in the same classroom as the threat.
What started out as a fellow student legally allowed to have a concealed gun on campus turned into a threat and a weapon pointed at you, your fellow classmates and your professor.
Although you could potentially stop the student from doing harm to others, the threat already has his or her gun out, so if he or she sees you reacting, it could prompt him or her to harm you before you or others have the chance to stop it from happening.
5. So, let's be real… why do you want to bring a gun to class?
How does it contribute to your education? What will you do with that gun in calculus?
What will you do with that gun in biology? What will you do with that gun in your Spanish class?
Will that gun help you on the test? Is that your new study guide?
This is not a matter of being Republican or Democrat, black or white, or male or female.
This is a matter of having the ability to obtain an education that provides you with the skills necessary for future success.
You may ask, "Well, how are you so certain that I'll achieve future success?
The economy is still kind of rocky and more college graduates are still finding themselves without jobs."
And, you're right; when this legislation gets passed, our futures could change tomorrow... and with guns on campus, we don't know whether it'll always be for the better.
As future leaders of tomorrow, students have so much power.
With college loans and expenses, it may not always feel like it, so it is important to have these conversations, but we must stay educated and take action to guarantee our educational institutions are the best they can be.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.