Gun violence awareness among college campuses

Gun violence awareness among college campuses

Gun violence awareness among college campuses
April 18
21:44 2017

Bethany Wallace | Staff Writer

The school shooting at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, California has left people, once again, questioning how our school districts and government will seek to increase gun violence awareness throughout the nation. For those who are not aware, Cedric Anderson walked into North Park on April 10 and performed what police call a murder-suicide mission. Anderson killed two adults and an 8-year-old student before turning the gun on himself. One of the slain adults was his estranged wife.

We do not understand why these terrible events happen. But the overall truth is that this all happened because of a choice. A choice someone made because they felt it would bring them justice. There is no one to blame when these kinds of things happen.

According to Everytown Research, there have been over 200 school shootings in the United States between the years of 2013 and 2017. At least 18 of these have happened in Texas. The site says, “Communities all over the country live in fear of gun violence, [which is] unacceptable.”

How have we gotten to this point? The point to where parents are scared to send their children to school because they worry for their safety. Now our own college has allowed its students the right to carry should we fair for our safety. But who does this law really protect?

Personally, I have no problem with policemen or security having a weapon in a school zone, but I do not feel it is right to allow everyone to carry a gun on campus. Of course by law you must have a license in order to own a gun, but what are we going to do? Have faith that everyone will follow that law, or is security going to check every student’s bag on campus to see if they have a weapon and even a license?

Older students are just as likely to be involved in a school shooting as students of other ages. We are stressed, under a huge amount of pressure to do well in school and are expected to fulfill an enormous amount of responsibility. But in addition to all of that growing up, let’s just throw a weapon into the mix.

In 2016 “less than 2 percent of college students reported being threatened by a gun”and “about 1,100 college students commit suicide each year,” according to data from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

“A joint report issued by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice found that in each school year from 1992 to 2006, at least 50 times as many murders of young people [aged] 5-18 occurred away from school than at school,” according to the Law Center.

There is a time and place for certain weaponry to be carried. However, I do not believe schools, much less an elementary school, were one of them.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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1 Comment

  1. Jason V.
    Jason V. April 21, 17:13

    (1) UNT did not create the right to carry on campus. It was the Texas legislature that, apparently, realized there were some students that didn’t want to be sitting ducks for a school shooter.

    (2) You write that “you do not feel it is right to allow everyone to carry a gun on campus.” You should know that not everyone is allowed to carry a gun on campus: Only those with a valid Texas license to carry or those carrying under the authority of a reciprocal agreement. Open carry on campus remains unlawful, and the restrictions on obtaining a license to carry are far stricter than those in place for ownership of a firearm generally.

    (3) You write that “[o]f course by law you must have a license in order to own a gun.” This is not true. There is no licensed required under state or federal law to simply own a gun. Texas requires a license to carry for those who wish to carry a firearm on their person outside of the home, certain sporting and agricultural activities, or while traveling (which is also defined by statute).

    (4) You wonder if we now simply need to “have faith that everyone is following the law.” I have news for you: that hasn’t changed. Many UNT students owned guns before the campus carry law was passed and people had plenty of “faith” that those students were following the law.

    (5) You write: “[w]e are stressed, under a huge amount of pressure to do well in school and are expected to fulfill an enormous amount of responsibility.” Well, if you think that college is tough, just wait until you graduate. Everyone in the real world is stressed, under a huge amount of pressure to do well, and expected to fulfill an enormous amount of responsibility. It might surprise you to know that we don’t have winter or spring breaks in the real world either.

    (6) You right that carry of weapons should not be allowed in elementary schools. It might interest you to know that Texas law still prohibits carry by license holders in elementary, middle, and high schools. This is in addition to the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act.

    (7) I find it both remarkable and entirely unsurprising that you quoted two partisan political organizations for the “facts” provided in this story while conveniently ignoring that Texas Marksmen has been a student organization at UNT since 2010 and has been providing no cost or low cost license to carry classes on campus (as well as other more advanced training off campus) since that time. I am wondering whether it occurred to you to talk to one of its members, or at least a student that has taken one of its classes, before writing your story.

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