Letter to the Editor: Shooting Holes in a Pro-Gun Argument

By Daniel J Gorrell, Senior, Psychology


I’d like to respond to Wilson Fatongia’s Jan. 22 letter to the editor, “Weapons at U Detrimental to Focus” in which he argues against the logic of permitting guns on campus.

Far be it from me to poke fun at a well thought-out or cohesively delivered argument. However, I found such qualities to be desperately lacking in Wilson’s letter.

He begins by stating that permitting guns on campus “is like signing the school’s death wish” as though a ban were the only thing holding back the hordes of angry, gun-toting, anti-educates whose sole purpose is the destruction of the university.

“How dumb can you be,” he posits. Further analysis of Wilson’s letter leads one to conclude that the answer to his question is most definitely, “very.” Wilson goes on to explain that the possibility of firearms on campus necessarily means that students, such as himself, will be unable to focus on class materials and will instead be continually wondering whether the person next to them is going to open fire.

My response to Wilson is, why wait to worry? The current ban on firearms does, by no means, insure a gun-free environment. If an individual lacks the moral resolve to abstain from shooting helpless college students what remains, may I ask, to dissuade him from bringing a gun to school in the first place? Certainly not the trivial question of legality!

There is no doubt that the issue of gun rights is an emotional one, with good arguments existing on both sides. However, a good argument requires logical argumentation, not just name calling and juvenile appeals to emotion. I suggest that as Wilson works to upgrade his pre-communication major to a full one, he should spend some time learning to communicate effectively.

Daniel J Gorrell, Senior, Psychology