Point-Counterpoint: Concealed handguns on college campuses

Guns on Campus can be a good thing –by Beth Marshall

The debate on whether guns should be allowed on college campuses is especially prominent in the wake of recent disasters and terrorist attacks in America. People feel the need to protect themselves without reliance on civil servants such as police officers or SWAT teams. If students and faculty members have undergone the appropriate training to become licensed gun holders then they should be allowed to carry concealed guns on campus.
A law prohibiting guns at school is completely justified, but criminals are known as criminals because they break these types of laws. Chances are the guns used in most school shootings are stolen or bought illegally. Shooters who wreak this havoc do so knowing that schools have masses of unarmed people. This is precisely why schools are such frequent targets. These criminals aren’t going to look at a mere rule and say “oh, this is against the law, so I guess I should just go home and forget about this elaborate plan.” They go into it knowing how wrong it is.
With all of the tragedies that America has faced lately, wanting to feel safe at school is understandable. When you hear news about another shooting in another public place, you feel like you can’t go anywhere without worrying about a life or death situation. Carrying something a little more potent than pepper spray will put any mind at ease.
Allowing guns on campus would give students and teachers a chance to protect themselves and maybe even prevent senseless death. The student body and the faculty members would be the ones on the inside of a situation. In the time it takes for trained professionals to arrive on scene and save the day, whoever is terrorizing the school has that much time to attack unprotected innocent people.
Anyone who legally has a concealed handgun license must be 21 years of age or older. We would need some extra security to ensure that any student carrying a gun at school has a legitimate license, of course, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
If a disaster like this were to arise and a student or teacher could defeat or at least injure any perpetrators, wouldn’t that be helpful as opposed to harmful? This would not only prevent deaths or injuries to innocent people, but it would make a once tragic story a heroic one. The criminals always get all the attention and news coverage. This could take the spotlight off them and project it on a brave, not to mention armed, good samaritan.
Allowing guns on college campuses would call for a lot of regulations and safety precautions, but if it will save more lives in the long run, then it will be worth the hassle.

Keep the guns off my college campus –by Amanda Dansby

Personally, I am a gun advocate. I believe that guns can be used, not only as a form of self defense, but recreational use can also be fun if done in a safe environment, such as a gun range or in a hunting area. However, concealed handguns on a college campus are a different story.
The Second Amendment states, “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.”
The Amendment states that the people will be allowed to have guns, but it doesn’t clarify how and where they’re allowed to be carried. When you go to a courthouse, or a government building, law officials don’t allow you to enter without going through security and, most likely, a metal detector.
Why is the protection of government officials more regulated than that of the American student body?
On Wednesday, April 17, the U.S. Senate decided not to expand background checks when customers purchase firearms. This decision alone shows that the U.S. government has yet to comprehend the intense power that guns can have when in the hands of the wrong person.
In a November 2009 article, published in the American Journal of Public Health, Dr. Charles C. Branas and other individuals conducted a study entitled “Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault.” The study found that “individuals in possession of a gun were 4.5 (rounded) times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not in possession.”
Not all gun users will be shot because they carry a gun, but knowing the proper safety precautions and procedures could be the difference between life or death.
This margin for error, however small, is not one that I want to be subjected to when I am on campus. Although I do believe guns can be useful for self-defense, I do not think that college campuses are the appropriate environments on which to have them, especially concealed.
I believe that any margin for accidents is unacceptable when there are so many people in one small area. My belief: all college campuses should be gun free.