04 Oct 2012

Why Open Carry on Campus is Against Your Interests

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The Open Carry on Campus discussion is a hot topic debate. On the one hand there are those that believe it will offer them better protection on campus whereas others believer it will endanger fellow students. Many states have been debating this very issue with some students pushing for the right to carry concealed weapons. In fact, following the tragedy of the Virginia Tech shooting, some students have formed a group known as ‘students for concealed carrying’. They want to be allowed the right to carry a concealed weapon around campus to give themselves better protection, despite there being excellent levels of security implemented on most college campuses. Perhaps young people are becoming a little too blas√© about carrying a gun and are not seeing the serious implications that open carry could bring.

How Open Carry On Campus Could Affect Classroom Performance
Many academic lessons encourage high levels of debate between students in order to attain different perspectives about various topics. It’s thought by anti-open carry groups that these types of lessons could not flourish in a classroom where guns were present. This would be a real shame because this type of debate is a key factor in how individual students develop opinions and aspects of their personalities as well as encouraging friendships. Healthy debate might be impossible if each student had a concealed weapon about their person because certain individuals may be afraid to express an opinion for fear that it may cause disagreement, which might lead to an over zealous person pulling out a gun.

Statistics about students
Independent research shows that over 50% of students regularly partake in binge drinking and drug taking recreationally. This means that these particular students would not be as alert as they should be and this could impair their judgment. Potentially, this could lead to many accidents and even death. A Tech or University could not simply allow open carry to students who have blemish free reputations because at the end of the day nobody is perfect and it’s common for a ‘model’ student to succumb to peer pressure and take up drinking and drugs.

Is a Student Mature Enough for Open Carry?
During this whole argument about whether open carry should be allowed on campuses across the USA, scientists have proven that the part of the brain which controls judgement (the frontal Lobes) have not developed properly in young adults. Indeed, from adolescence to the mid 20s the brain develops in a somewhat uneven way. This may explain the delightful and sometimes unusual behaviour of young people but more importantly, it may make a young person more prone to risk taking. Given this scientific proof, it goes without saying that students should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon.

The Cons Outweigh the Pros
The majority of students are not familiar with how to handle a gun, let alone fire one, so if campuses ever did allow an open carry policy, it would cost a lot of money to provide adequate training and licensing of each individual weapon. With most students pleading poverty, it begs the question of who would be left to pick up this tab.

Research shows that mass campus shootings are rare so this doesn’t explain why so many states are pushing for this new open carry law. In fact crime figures show that robbery and violence have been slowly decreasing since 2008 which makes the need for guns on campuses a ridiculous notion.

Many students suffer from depression so the organizations that are firmly against open carry are worried that suicide rates would dramatically increase, due to the fact that a deeply depressed student would have immediate access to a gun. Suicides would happen needlessly because students would not seek counselling or visit a medical professional first.

Many Universities argue that holders of concealed weapons are less likely to be convicted of any crimes than the rest of the population. But is this a strong enough reason to allow young people the freedom to put a weapon inside their school bag along with their text books? Prohibiting guns on campus is a positive move and certainly does not violate a person’s right to personal safety. The majority of campus buildings have the very best security systems which do offer adequate safety for staff and students alike. There have been a number of robberies reported on various campuses but this is inevitable where there are huge amounts of people. You could just as easily get mugged in the park or have your locker broken into at the gym. As a nation, we need to get things into perspective in order to deal with criminal acts in the appropriate way.

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