Florida State lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow firearms on college campuses, but some local students expressed doubts about the idea.
Pasco Republican State Committeeman Bill Bunting, a gun-rights advocate, argued that weapons on campus “would cut down the carnage.” He thinks a perpetrator such as the shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre a few years ago might be discouraged from attacks if students and professors could shoot back.
Current Florida law makes it illegal to carry a gun into any elementary school, secondary school, and college or university facilities.
Are we out of our minds? In Florida there have been dozens of cases of wrongful shootings by people who felt “threatened” or “feared for their lives.” Recently in a tennis court in Valrico, Florida a man approached a group of skaters who were on the basketball court and told them to leave. A forty-one year old man with his eight year old daughter approached the neighbor and told him to leave the kids alone. The shooter took out his gun and shot the man in front of his child. This man who shot this father in cold blood was released with no charges on account of Florida’s stand your ground law.
This legislation being proposed is nothing more than right wing conservatives and tea party nuts forcing their agenda into the public. And what’s worse is that it will destroy what the majority of our college campuses stand for. The college classroom should be a place for open minds and where thoughts can be shared without retaliation. But with armed students in the classroom many professors feel that students will be hesitant to share their views and professors say they would feel the same too. And with many hot issues such as immigration, gay marriage, and the economy, armed students could become a tool of intimidation for parties with specific agendas and political viewpoints. Innocent students might find themselves at the end of a gun because of their race, religion, and sexual orientation. Not to mentions the stresses of college. It might take one bad day, being fired from a job, failing a final exam, or a nervous breakdown to push a student who is a gun owner over the edge. We must take all of these things into consideration. We must fight to keep our colleges a sophisticated environment and not allow it to be turned into a replica of The Wild West by Republicans and Tea Party radicals. A college should be a place where students feel safe, not threatened by poser police or cowboys with the potential to become campus and political bullies. All matters of protecting the college campus should be placed in the hands of campus security and trained professionals.