Many universities are considering allowing students and staff to carry guns on campus, but no one is sure what the impact will be if this is put into practice.
Classrooms have never been the place for guns, nor should they ever be. One of the most dramatic solutions conceived to make campuses safer has been allowing students to carry concealed hand guns. This choice will have a huge impact, as students would now have the authority to protect themselves using deadly force.
According to CBSNews.com, lawmakers in 13 states are considering “campus-carry” bills, with Texas among the states that would allow the open carrying of handguns and concealed carrying of guns on college campuses.
According to NCLS, several states already allow hand guns on campus, including Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin.
“We should be arming our children with a 21st century education, not arming them with handguns,” said state senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston). “As the cost of higher education continues to grow, it doesn’t make sense to push more unfunded mandates onto the backs of students and their families.”
The cons of allowing guns on campus outweigh the pros in this particular situation. One of the major cons is that universities would have to put out millions of dollars to accommodate those who chose to carry concealed hand guns on campus.
Between University of Texas and UH systems, the combined cost for carrying hand guns could cost almost $47 million to update their campus security, create places to store guns and add officers to campus police, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle.
Universities would have to cut cost for research and for campus departments in order to fund the carrying of hand guns on campus.
The cost of this decision has a huge impact on the budgets universities. Campuses will have to make room and cut off funding for vital research and projects in order to properly fund students and staff being allowed to carry guns.
Biology sophomore Alexis Woods said she believes it would be “kind of dangerous” to allow concealed carry on college campuses.
“There has been mass shootings on campuses, and to think that would be allowed now is kind of crazy,” Woods said.
“I definitely think they should think long and hard before passing anything like this. This situation is dealing with life or death; you could get shot and die while walking to class. Who’s to say people would know how to handle having guns campus?”
Students should have enough security in place to make sure they never feel like they have to protect themselves. Security guards and officers are on campus to ensure the protection of students, and they would no longer have purpose if students were to have the same power they do.
Colleges already have problems with security. Lawmakers should think of alternative plans besides students and staff having concealed hand guns.
Many of the people who make decisions for students don’t attend college and probably haven’t in decades. It’s unfair for legislatures to have so much control over this situation.
The people who attend and work at the universities should make the decision for gun carrying because we are the ones who will be impacted the most.
There is a time and place for everything; hallways and classrooms are not the place for guns. Allowing guns on campus will be costly, distracting and dangerous.
Opinion columnist Faith Alford is a journalism sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].