The head of the West Chester chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) wants to see the University code for on-campus gun restriction lifted. Sixteen thousand students nationwide, all members of SCCC, support the same cause. This is one popular solution to the killer-on-campus problem that has breached the security guarantee of a few colleges in the past year. The gun supporters argue that if the college cannot ensure the students’ security in the classroom, then the students should be given the opportunity to protect themselves.The benefits that come from this solution are not helping to solve the problem. The colleges actively restrict guns because they want us to be safe. Allowing more guns into the classroom for the licensed individuals who feel the need to protect us would have to permit any licensed individual to carry that gun. But how does this help those who are not licensed to have a gun feel any safer? Not all students will put their trust in those gun carriers who claim to be on the “right” side.
Putting guns in the hands of any student sitting in a classroom does not make me feel comfortable. If the university becomes a place where attacks and counter attacks, even from a select few are anticipated then it is no longer a place where I want to be. It is not a safety problem that must be settled, it is a psychological problem. Since when did students stop being concerned with reaping the benefits of college and more focused on taking each other’s lives?
It is apparent that university grounds are failing to conserve their images as safe havens. The occurrence at Northern Illinois University is just the latest validation of how the tragedy of Virginia Tech can so easily repeat itself. Carrying guns in self-defense assumes that this trend will continue. “In the light of the changing nature of the world, it’s a necessary protective measure,” says Villanova law student and SCCC supporter Peter Caltagirone.
While I admit it is a changing world, it is accordingly outdated to try to solve its problems by re-embracing guns. What I would like to offer as a solution is a challenge to the students, the faculty and the school administrators alike. Let’s work on taking steps to acclimate these students instead of pointing guns at them. After all, the University’s mission is not to create a conflict zone, but it is to construct its students into reasonable adults who can solve these sorts of challenges on their own; without a gun on their hip.
Anthony Worman is a third-year student majoring in philosophy. He can be reached at AW606200@wcupa.edu.