High school students across the country, including myself, are starting to look at colleges. There are many factors to consider: Do we want our college to have a good football team? Should it be strong in math and science? How big do we want it to be? And of course, do we want our campus to be filled with semi-automatic weapons?
In the last eight years, beginning with the expiration of the Assault Weapons ban, the gun control laws in this country have gotten progressively looser and the rate of mass shootings has gotten higher. A handful of states changed the law to allow anyone with a permit to carry a concealed gun on college campuses. These laws override universities' policies, a fact that has angered many college students and administrators.
It is especially baffling that the state of Colorado, home to both the Aurora and Columbine shootings, is one of the most lenient states when it comes to gun control. Some argue that the risk of one of these gun-toters opening fire is incredibly low given that they have to have to have a license and be over 21. According to Mother Jones, however, of the 142 guns used in recent mass killings, over three-quarters were purchased legally.
These statistics do not make me feel safe. Far from it. I would be afraid not only of an accidental discharge or a madman wandering onto campus, but I would also be afraid to speak my mind. In school we are free to discuss our opinions, argue, debate without fear of retribution from someone who disagrees. Filling universities with weapons utterly contradicts that freedom.
There would be the constant worry that anyone who loses their temper might pull a gun out in the heat of an argument. It would compromise safety and create fear in a learning environment.
To me, the connection seems clear. More guns means more violence. Students need to think about boycotting the schools that allow concealed weapons on their campuses.
We need to write petitions, appeal to the universities, to our government to get weapons out of our schools. They are terrifying and they need to go.