The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Don’t shoot the messenger, but?

By Aaron Zundel

Students have a right to defend themselves.

Wednesday morning, a man in a trench coat walked into the cafeteria at Dawson College in Montreal, pulled out a gun and proceeded to shoot the place to pieces. At least two students were killed and 13 were wounded, some critically. This comes on the heels of the news that the U will continue to fight against a ruling that allows students to carry guns on campus.

In an interview with CNN, Devansh Smri Vastava, an eyewitness to the shooting said, “We all ran upstairs. There were cops firing. It was so crazy, I was terrified. The guy was shooting at people randomly. He didn’t care; he was just shooting at everybody. I just got out.”

Another witness told CNN, “He just started shooting up the place. I ran up to the third floor, and I looked down and he was still shooting. He was hiding behind the vending machines, and he came out with a gun and started pointing and pointed at me. So I ran up the stairs. I saw a girl get shot in the leg.”

This should come as a chilling wake-up call to all those fuzzy anti-gun people who believe that there’s no reason to carry a gun on campus.

University of Utah President Michael K. Young recently sent out a statement to the student body concerning the school’s stance on carrying guns. In his anti-carry statement he said, “The university’s concern throughout this dispute has been to maintain our campus as a safe learning environment where students and faculty can do their work without a threat to their safety and well-being.”

Though well intended, this sort of thinking is misguided. Perhaps things would have been different in Montreal if some students had had the capability to defend himself or herself. Now some of those students won’t be going home tonight?or ever.

I hope that the Dawson shooting will cause some people to pull their heads out of the sand and start listening to reason. I, for one, believe that guns do not belong in a classroom, and that a campus should be a safe place for everyone. But I’m also a realist. We live in a real world-one in which people do rotten stuff.

As evidenced in Montreal, things can go south in an instant. Until the U builds a 12-foot high barbed wire fence around its property and posts metal detectors and guards at every entrance, students should not be forced to give up their own security for the pseudo-security of illogical policy.

No matter what bans are enacted, if someone decides to shoot up the U campus, there’s nothing that can prevent it. Only law-abiding students will be affected by such a ban. So instead of acting as a deterrent, all a ban does is turn the campus into a pond of sitting ducks.

Many people don’t like guns because of what they represent-as such, they don’t want to be around them or others who have them. It’s a frame of mind that’s easy to identify with. But just like primitive peoples who are afraid of lightning, people who are against guns usually don’t understand or know anything about them. Because of that, they fail to see that a gun is only as dangerous as the person wielding it.

Since North Carolina began keeping statistics 10 years ago, less than .02 percent of the 263,102 people who have been issued a concealed carry permit have had it revoked (meaning they committed a crime, not even necessarily violent or with a gun). That’s less than the crime rate among North Carolina police officers.

The truth is, if guns are illegal, only people already willing to commit a crime will carry them. As long as the U remains open to everyone, you can’t expect or ask students to not defend themselves.

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