School shootings are a tragic part of modern society. The recent shooting at Marjory Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida is no exception. I personally have a huge disdain for school shootings. After Columbine, I was depressed for a month and even still think about the awful things that happened to this day. All of these events are uncalled for and completely unnecessary. Something needs to be done, but the perfect solution has not yet come along, and is the topic of many heated debates about what can be done to prevent more tragedies like the shooting that took place on Feb. 14 in Florida.
School violence needs to be stopped, but there is no easy way to do this. The United Kingdom has banned all guns, save for shotguns used only on farms for pest control, and the owner must pass psychological exams, fill out the proper paperwork and the gun is promised to be locked up when not in use. In the UK, there has been only been one school shooting since the outright ban of all guns in 1996 as a result of a shooting in Dunblane, UK where 16 children and their teacher were killed, according to the BBC.
Many proponents of gun control point to the stricter gun laws, and therefore lower rates of shootings in the UK, and would like to see some of the same strict laws to come to the United States. Fortunately, in the United States, our gun rights are protected by the Constitution.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This amendment to the Constitution is there to not only protect our rights for access to guns, but also an important part of American history. Without a militia during the Revolutionary War, the United States would be British owned. The Second Amendment is in place to protect the people from the tyranny of the government. So a law passed to take guns away from the people is the very thing the Second Amendment sets out to protect. I, for one, am glad that we live in a country that has such rights for us to protect, and protect them we should.
Arkansas Tech University has never had an active shooter situation; however, other shootings elsewhere have prompted all schools in the United States to have a plan in place
in the event of an active shooter situation. “Avoid the confrontation, deny access to your location, and defend yourself” is what is stated on ATU’s website in case of an active shooter.
Arkansas also just passed a new law in 2017 that allows concealed handgun carry on public campuses. “Under the law, individuals with concealed handgun permits can bring their guns on campus if they’ve completed an Arkansas State Police ‘enhanced certification-training course’ of up to eight hours,” according to Campus Safety Magazine. However, Arkansas Tech does not allow the carry of any weapon on its campus, with or without the enhanced liscense.
There are 220,000 concealed carry holders in the state of Arkansas according to public data, I also have my own concealed carry license. I feel perfectly safe while on campus. The fact that no one ever knows when and where a shooting may take place should not scare you away from attending school. If we avoided the things that scare us, we would never accomplish anything.