Dominic is a sophomore political science major and writes "Dominic's Politics" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Dominic at email@example.com.
Las Vegas, Nevada. Orlando, Florida. Blacksburg, Va. Newtown, Connecticut. Burlington, Washington. New York City, New York. Los Angeles, California. Mattoon, Illinois. San Bernardino, California. Irving,Texas. Seattle, Washington.
Some of these cities you’ve probably never heard of. Others ring loudly in your ear as they’ve been drilled into your head by the media.
These cities have a lot in common, but one thing stands out above all; they are just a small list of places that have experienced terrible incidents of mass shootings in the U.S.
Some of these have even taken place on college campuses.
After every mass shooting, the same thing happens over and over again.
“Thoughts and prayers.”
Those three words have been drilled into our heads so many times they are almost meaningless. In the wake of tragedy, politicians everywhere pour all over social media, dropping that phrase in hopes it will ease their constituents. Well, on both sides of the aisle, this phrase is failing.
On the left, where I fit in, we are calling for common-sense solutions. Restrictions on magazines, more background checks and increased mental health awareness and funding, just to name a few.
Many on the right agree, to some extent, on many of these solutions. But there are some who are taking the other route.
What I want to focus on is those who are calling for the end of gun-free zones, and more specifically, allowing the public (and students) to carry guns on college campuses.
Before I came to college, I never really thought much about this, which makes sense. I just assumed public places should be gun-free, entrusted to the protection provided by law enforcement.
I still feel this way, even more strongly. Not everyone agrees.
I’ll put this simply; allowing students to carry is moronic. It’s ridiculous and, according to various studies, most students agree.
How can we allow something like this when the majority of students don’t want it?
Guns on college campuses do not make students safer. Gun-control advocates are backed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. These studies find that because of higher rates of drinking, drug use, anxiety and fighting, guns would only heighten the danger.
Now, the researchers admitted that since the campus-carry movement is new, there isn’t enough research to see its effect on gun violence. Since that was the case, they decided to look at things such as right-to-carry laws influence on violence.
“The researchers said their data showed that most fatal mass shootings occur in places where guns are allowed, and people with guns rarely are able to stop them. The Johns Hopkins group even raised questions about a central argument in the gun-rights movement: that concealed-carry permit holders are far more law abiding than the general population. The claim does not hold in states with relatively loose gun laws, the report said,” the NBC article stated.
Now, I realize Johns Hopkins sounds like this big, scary faraway place that some of you may feel doesn’t have a role in determining what happens at Ball State. With that, I decided to dig a little closer.
Ball State University Police Department’s Chief, Jim Duckham, has been quoted in multiple Daily News articles as being against carrying on campus. “I don't want guns on campus. I don't think it's a good thing,” he said. “I've heard the arguments, and you're just not going to convince me,” Duckham said.
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And I’ll give you one more. “There’s a lot of detailed training that goes into carrying and firing a weapon for law enforcement officers,” Duckham said. “If students could carry guns on the campus, there’s no telling who the good guy and bad guy are during a shooting or high alert situation. And imagine if someone who had never fired a gun before decided they wanted to be a hero – there’s not telling what could happen or who could get hurt.”
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Now, I don’t know about you, but I trust our Chief and his officers to do what is in our best interest and to keep us safe.
Police officers, university Presidents, researchers and many others all agree that allowing students to carry would not work. I stand by them.
Just as Chief Duckham said, there’s no way of telling who the good guys and bad guys are. Lives are at risk. I’m putting my trust in the hands of trained police officers.
The only thing that will keep us safe is more education, common-sense gun legislation and increased mental health funding.
Enough with “thoughts and prayers.” We must take greater action to prevent more innocent lives from being lost.