Keep your ears open.
You may hear the phrase “students are allowed to have guns now” or “guns can be carried around the college now.” That can sound scary, right? I get it, guns are quick. All it takes is a slight movement of the finger, and someone could be wounded, or even killed.
Well, I think it sounds alarming until the situation is thought through.
First things first, is this conversation even worth having? What does the second amendment mean, and who does it apply to?
I took a liberal view of the second amendment for a long time. It seemed Republicans simply focused on the second half of the statement, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” while the first half, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” seemed to trump the idea that the people of today should be able to own a firearm.
It took explanation of context to change my view on the matter.
Professor of Law at UCLA Eugene Volokh, in a video done by Prager University, said, “The Militia Act of 1792 defined ‘militia’ to mean all white males [age] 18-45.” It seems clear to me this refers to citizens, as Volokh explains, “Today, of course, militia would include women and people of all races.”
He goes on to explain another confusing part of the law.
“…historical context is key,” said Volokh. “In the 1790s, the phrase ‘free state’ wasn’t used to mean an individual state…rather, it meant what we’d call today a ‘free country’…A ‘free state’ is what the [founding fathers] wanted America to be, they saw an armed citizenry as a hedge against tyranny.”
So, let’s say the founding fathers wanted it, and the conversation is on the table. Will this really make the campus safer? Will people feel safe now that they can have their guns?
Many people who are in favor of the new policy will not say they want to carry because it makes them feel safer, rather, the concept is they know it will make them safer.
If someone values human life, then it makes sense that they would value human law. No one who cares to go through the lawful process of obtaining a concealed carry permit would flippantly use the weapon out of rash anger.
As I stated in the beginning of this article, guns are quick, which can be scary, but this I believe must be observed from a logical standpoint.
Following the Port Arthur massacre in April of 1996, a gun ban was instituted in Australia. After the ban was in place, there seemed to be a decrease in the homicide rate.
However, a study done in 2007 and published by the British Journal of Criminology determined, “There is insufficient evidence to support the simple premise that reducing the stockpile of licitly held civilian firearms will result in a reduction in either firearm or overall sudden death rates.” The study showed the gun homicide rate was already falling in Australia before the shooting, not because of the new ban.
Mass shootings are often planned, and it seems logical to me that someone would be deterred from their vile act if it was likely they would meet resistance.
Remember that awful shooting in Orlando? That was a gun-free zone.
Remember the school in Newtown, CT? That was a gun-free zone.
The Crime Prevention Research Center found that from 1950 to the summer of 2016, 98.4% of mass public shootings took place in gun-free zones, while only 1.6% happened in places where guns are allowed.
I find it reassuring that my school is now in the minority.