ENG 101-WC 32
Nov 22 2011
The Right to Keep and Bear Arms…at School?
The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America was written to provide all Americans with the right to keep and bear arms as a tool to protect both life and liberty. While the amendment was enacted to preserve citizens’ rights to own and use guns, it was written in a different life by a different generation, and the founding fathers could not have imagined the battle that would ensue some two hundred and fifty years after the drafting of their work. Although the premise of the right to bear arms has withstood the test of time, the idea of ...view middle of the document...
Even though Americans still preserve the right to own and carry firearms today, that right ends at the threshold of most colleges and universities across the nation, and rightly so. The Second Amendment notwithstanding, firearms have no place on a college campus, and allowing students to carry guns on campus would only lead to more violence and deaths in the forms of suicides, violent shootings, and accidents.
Gun violence on school campuses is not a new phenomenon; however, as it has become much more publicized it has fueled the movement for guns on campuses. In August 1966, Charles Whitman climbed a clock tower at the University of Texas and opened fire on the student body. The death toll was fifteen, including his own wife and mother, while injuring twenty-nine others (“Deranged” 1). In April 2007, Seung Hui Cho took his wrath into the Virginia Tech campus killing thirty-two students and faculty members, wounding seventeen others and then killing himself (Mass Shootings 66). In an even more shocking story in today’s society, gun violence is not solely at the hands of disgruntled students anymore. According to an article that appeared in the New York Times in February 2010, Amy Bishop, a scientist and professor at the University of Alabama, opened fire during a faculty meeting killing three of her colleagues and wounding three others because she was upset about the loss of her teaching tenure (Dewan, Saul, and Zezima). Students have used these examples in their quest for the right to carry concealed weapons on campus, implying that they need to feel a sense of self-protection. As long as guns are available to those who wish to cause harm to others, society will never be free of gun violence. Proponents of allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campus argue that this is precisely the reason why guns are necessary for self-protection. However, they don’t realize the fact that arming everyone presents its own set of troubles and possible carnage, including an increased risk for student deaths.
Allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campus will lead to an increase in successful student suicides. By its very nature, college is a stressful environment for any student. The stress of classes, new schedules, and for many, living away from parents and friends for the first time, can lead to depression and an increased risk for suicide. According to an article citing the American College Health Association, suicide has become the second most common cause of death among college students. According to the American College Health Association, an estimated ten thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight suicides occur at colleges every year. Even more students, approximately one in every twelve, have formulated a suicide plan, and nearly two percent have made at least one suicide attempt while enrolled in school (Burrell 1). While any suicide attempt is reason for concern and intervention, suicide attempts using guns are...