VERSUS: Pells argues everyone, even civilians, should have the right to carry a weapon on campus
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 01:02
With a heightened concern for campus safety, we need adequate ways to defend ourselves. Unfortunately, the school and the law has taken away the best way we can protect ourselves by banning guns on campus. Despite what the administration or legislature might think, we need to be allowed to carry guns on campus.
For those who think that guns are dangerous, they sure are. However, cars, bricks, trees and knives are dangerous, yet no one demands these things be banned. Society demonizes guns and it needs to end.
Gun control advocates like Senator Diane Feinstein, who recently introduced legislation banning 150 types of “assault rifles,” don’t understand the real problem.
There is no such thing as an assault weapon. Assault is an action one does to another. Weapon is a term we use to describe a tool used to harm another. Guns don’t spontaneously shoot. Rather, someone must pull the trigger.
Besides incorrectly categorizing guns, many people only focus on one aspect of guns. Yes, guns can be used to kill people; bricks, knives, pots and pans, wood planks and cars, however, can all kill people as well, if not in an easier manner. But guns aren’t only used to kill others violently.
Most people use guns as a form of protection against intruders, trespassers and others who try to violate their rights. To protect oneself, it only requires a few seconds to get a gun from its storage place, while it may take several minutes for the police to arrive.
Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz from the Northwestern University School of Law published a study in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology that says, “there are about 2.2 to 2.5 million DGUs [defensive gun uses] of all types by civilians against humans, with about 1.5 to 1.9 million of the incidents involving use of handguns.”
USA Today posted an article earlier this year with statistics comparing gun- and car-related deaths. “In the United States in 2010, the rate of firearm deaths was 10 people per 100,000, while for traffic accidents it was 12 per 100,000.”
Guns are not the problem; they are only tools we can use. Gun use can be both negative and positive, like the use of anything else. Guns don’t make killers just how flash drives don’t make illegal downloaders and lighters don’t make arsonists. We have an abundance of tools to use in any way we see fit. Some will abuse the products and use them for violence, including guns to kill, ropes to hang people in the Jim Crow south and baseball bats to lout. However, most people do not abuse these tools.
The USA Today article also includes a total death rate from guns in 2010: 31,672. The U.S. Census for 2010 recorded 308,745,538 people living in America. In 2010, approximately .0001 percent of the population died from guns. On the reverse, 99.9999 percent of the population did not die from a gun-related incident. Any death, including those by guns, is tragic, but guns aren’t the problem.
The problem is how we portray guns and the people who use them for violence. There is only one view on guns, that they are only used for violence. However, guns are used more to prevent violence and for protection.
With the safety of students in jeopardy, the law and school have stripped the best form of protection we can have. I’m not suggesting that everyone carries a gun on campus, but that everyone should have the ability to carry one if they so choose.
If a gunman ever does enter the campus, he won’t remember the “no gun policy,” leave and come back with a few knives. The gun ban doesn’t make us safer, instead it makes us vulnerable.
The Harvard School of Public Health analyzed 19 years of data from 50 states and concluded, “For every age group, where there are more guns there are more accidental deaths. The mortality rate was seven times higher in the four states with the most guns compared to the four states with the fewest guns.”
Well of course there are more accidental gun deaths when there are more guns. There are also more crashes on the roads when there are more cars. Accidents happen. The proper way to deal with accidents is to learn from them to prevent them in the future, not try and ban the accident from happening.
Those who fight for gun control don’t want guns off the streets, but instead want a centralization of gun use and force. The police use guns to disarm the citizenry.
A prohibition of guns won’t work. Alcohol prohibition didn’t work. The drug war we’ve had since the 1980s hasn’t worked either and drugs are still readily available. Prohibitions don’t work.
If we want to carry guns on campus, we should be allowed to. If some people don’t like guns, they shouldn’t carry them. But in no way should they take away the rights of others to carry guns. Guns are solely products, commodities, tools, and the best and most efficient way to protect us against violence.
Granted, the school and the government never intended to take away guns to make us vulnerable, but it’s the unintended consequence we face. We need the right to carry guns on campus if safety is a major concern.
Drew Pells is a senior in business administration. The opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Barometer staff. Pells can be reached at email@example.com.