The Octogenarian: guns have no place on college campuses
I have owned and used a variety of firearms for most of my adult life. I made certain to teach my daughters the responsibility of owning and using firearms, the uses of different weapons for a variety of purposes and how to respect the seriousness of gun ownership.
I am 85 years old and in my 13th, and possibly last, semester of college life. It’s a shame because I enjoy learning from professors who have great intelligence and imagination. But I am living in a 178-pound human frame made of flesh, bone, veins and organs. I cannot afford the risk of having a hole put in any of these body parts.
Campus carry will allegedly make us feel safe by allowing students to carry handguns, as we did back in the early 1850s. It is a regressive move and one that has been instituted with the utmost stupidity.
Having been on campuses for 13 semesters, I have learned to love, respect and understand my fellow college students. But I would be an ignoramus if in all those years I had not learned the shortcomings of many of them. Without campus carry, I have seen shootings and stabbings of innocent students by other students who cracked under pressure.
According to this extensive study, Pejorative Characterizations of Gun Ownership, there is no single reason that gun ownership exists and every theory has a reputable repudiation.
I am a tough man. In my lifetime, I have defended my beliefs to the point where I have spilled my blood and that of others. I haven’t always won, but I have been held against my will behind the Iron Curtain. I have been shot at by enemies, and I have shot enemies. But these things are not fun, and simply make great stories for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
If I walk into a classroom and my instructor does not want to share his intellect with me because of a fear of retaliation by an idiot carrying a pistol who might take umbrage with his story, then that student has interfered with my constitutional right to the education that I am paying for. They are interfering with said education and should be removed from the classroom.
We students, thanks to a weak and narrow-minded legislature, are going to lose instructors and professors who have spent years developing their expertise of a subject so as to pass it on to us. But being intelligent should not mean willing to risk your life in order to teach.
Keep guns off of school campuses. There is no legitimate reason to have anyone other than campus police armed on a university campus.
Opinion columnist Ken Levin is a political science senior and may be reached at [email protected]