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Should college students really be allowed to carry guns on campus?

We discuss the issues around concealed carry


As a student who will be going to college in a few months, it makes me nervous to imagine my fellow students carrying a weapon around campus that could kill me with one shot. The thought is even more daunting considering the fact that the weapon would be concealed and I would have no way of knowing if they had a gun on them.

In the United States, it is written in the Consitution that every citizen has the right to bear arms and, depending on your beliefs on gun control, you even love or hate that Consitution clause. However, one place where guns are definitely not necessary is with thousands of young adults on college campuses.

Unfortunately, eight states allow concealed weapons on their college campuses.

You’re probably thinking, “why would legislators even think of allowing students or teachers to have concealed guns on campus?”

Students for Concealed Carry is an organisation of college students that agree that the right to bear arms should extend to the right to bear them on college campuses.

They argue that no state that has allowed concealed carry on college campuses has seen an increase in gun violence and that because, reportedly, 90% of suicides are committed at home, concealed carry doesn’t create a greater risk of suicide for college campuses.


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The group also cites that college campuses are no busier than any movie theatre, office, or public space, attempting to invalidate the argument that universities are too crowded for guns to be allowed.

The University of Texas at Austin is just one of the many schools that allow concealed weapons. It is forced to allow this (even if the greater majority oppose it) because of the Texas Senate bill 11. As stated on the school’s website, the bill allows for students (not faculty) over the age of 21 with a license to carry a concealed weapon. This rule does not apply to fraternities or sororities and carrying a concealed weapon while intoxicated remains a crime.

In opposition, the campaign to Keep Guns off Campus highly opposes legislation that allows students the right to carry concealed weapons on college campuses regardless of the second amendment Constitutional right.

Many that do not believe in concealed carry on college campuses argue that guns do not prevent sexual assault, can cause fatal accidents, turn arguments lethal, and are rarely successful in taking down another active shooter.

According to The Trace, an organization dedicated to providing information regarding guns in the United States, 0 of the 300 cases from the National Crime Victimization Survey examined by David Hemenway of Harvard have been prevented by a gun. Likewise, The Trace also explains that of the 160 shootings from 2000-2013 detailed by the FBI, only one was stopped by a citizen with a concealed weapon who happened to be a trained military official.

Likewise, in an article written by the New York Post, it is explained that since 2007, “concealed-carry permit holders have been responsible for at least 898 deaths not involving self-defense”.

The debate regarding concealed carry on college campuses is just one part of the even larger battle of gun control laws in the United States.

The National Rifle Association (NRA), which is America’s largest pro-gun organisation, spent over $6.5 million on ads in favour of Donald Trump during the 2016 election. This is due to his conservative views on gun laws that support allowing all U.S. citizens to bear arms.

However, President Trump is very aggressive when it comes to national security, with both his plan to build a wall at the Mexican border and his Muslim ban, which is in juxtaposition with his stance on gun control. In theory, wouldn’t prohibiting average citizens to have guns make Americans safer?

In fact, of the 129 mass shootings (in which four or more people died) that occurred in the United States in the past 50 years, 141 of the 247 guns used were obtained legally, according to The Washington Post.

As a student who will be going to college in a few months, it makes me nervous to imagine my fellow students carrying a weapon around campus that could kill me with one shot. The thought is even more daunting considering the fact that the weapon would be concealed and I would have no way of knowing if they had a gun on them.

As I do understand that there is currently a Constitutional right to bear arms, I don’t see why it’s necessary at a college campus. It endangers thousands of young students and faculty for no reason, regardless of the intent of the gun holder.

The debate regarding gun control has spanned for decades and I don’t see it ending anytime soon, however, I can rest safely knowing that there will be no students carrying concealed weapons at the university I’m attending next fall.

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Written by Julia Contorno

Lover of cats, concerts, and coffee.

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