Updated on May 25, 2015
Gun-Free Safe Zones are Anything But
Did somebody forget to tell [University of Texas shooter Colton Tooley] the UT campus is a gun-free zone? I have been wracking my brain for the last few weeks trying to figure out how he was able to physically bring a gun onto the campus when the stated policy of the University is that students simply aren’t allowed to have guns.
This is how Phillip Harris begins an op-ed in the student newpaper at UT, The Mercury. Harris goes to explain that it’s time to get real!
How many tragedies have to happen or almost happen, like on the UT campus a few weeks ago, before we wake up and realize that gun-free school zones make absolutely no sense? Never before have I heard such foolish statements as when discussing gun policy on a university campus. Statements so ungrounded in logic as to be absurd.
“I just feel safer on a campus that doesn’t allow guns, I like knowing that the person next to me in class doesn’t have a firearm.” How on earth is this a possibility? We don’t attend a school surrounded by fences and metal detectors. Anybody who pleases can waltz onto campus armed to any degree they choose.
In fact, the only thing that gun-free school zones guarantee is that all of the law-abiding, responsible students at a university, and there are many, won’t have a weapon. The people who break laws are the people we least want to carry a weapon, and those are the only ones who would carry a gun in a gun-free school zone. Besides the Police, who are legally allowed to carry a gun, of course.
Gun control isn’t about guns; it’s about controls. The laws make no sense at all. How quickly could this have ended had even ONE student exercised his rights to self-defense and ended the rampage earlier, even though the only death or casualty in this instance was the shooter himself (he shot himself)?
The purpose of the 2nd Amendment isn’t necessarily about defending ourselves against people like Tooley – though it definitely helps – but against a hypothetically tyrannical government. The military is responsible for the outside threat.
There are always going to be stories here and there about a “legal” concealed handgun carrier using his rights to commit a crime, but that doesn’t mean all gun owners fit this bill. There’s a story in Roanoke, VA about a moron who shot himself in a restaurant. Didn’t hurt anyone. Didn’t damage anything. Yet, a judge thinks he has the authority to confiscate his money, suspend his permit, and take away his gun – a .45-caliber Glock pistol! He suspended a jail sentence.
This is insane! I would fight this to the hilt. What crime was committed here? Last I checked, stupidity wasn’t a crime! Yet…
We need to resist efforts at every opportunity to restrict our freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, especially the one that most defends the rest!
It’s clear, after several school shootings in the last few years, that gun-free school zones cannot physically or realistically keep students from carrying weapons. It’s nice to pretend that if a University says students can’t have guns, nobody has one, but it isn’t reality. Universities have harsh policies against drug and alcohol possession, but students trample all over these rules on a regular basis.
Getting back to gun-free areas, this just doesn’t make sense. In the past, I have gone into numerous so-called “gun-free” zones with my concealed carry permit and no one ever knew. I didn’t commit any crimes and never once, thankfully, had to use it. But, had something happened in one of those locations, I would have been the only one present to do anything about it. Not because I’m a criminal, but because I refuse to become a victim regardless of where I am. Harris concludes his brilliant and simple piece this way:
The more important conclusion is that simply banning weapons on a campus doesn’t work. There have been enough school shootings to show that no matter how firm a university’s rules are about weapons, no matter how many signs and postings show pictures of guns with a circle around them and a line drawn through them, students still bring guns onto campus and kill other students. New solutions must be discussed. Whether this means concealed carry, more police officers, or preventative measures to help troubled students not resort to violence, something must be done to ensure a safe campus for UTD students.