Firearms on campus would fail to address root of problems

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Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of legislation circulating about allowing gun permit owners to carry firearms on to colleges and universities. State legislators have filed over 10 bills surrounding the various facets of open carry all of which are ready to be debated during its 84th legislative session.

College campuses are rife with engaging dialogue, challenging classes and social environments. They are also rife with alcohol, drugs and depression. Throwing guns into that mix is going to create a dangerous environment.

There is dialogue that says having guns on campuses could prove to be a powerful tool for women. The argument is that guns would reduce the amount of sexual assault on campuses.

Sure, but what happens when guns are used as a means to perpetrate these sexual assault crimes?

We can chalk this up to being a transparent attempt by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to exploit current dialogue surrounding sexual assault on college campuses. It is no big surprise that being able to expand their market to women and younger people would be a giant win for NRA and lawmakers.

College campuses across the board have a lower rate of homicides than suicides.

“From 2005 to 2007, more than 100 murders, 16,000 assaults and 10,000 forcible sexual assaults were reported on college campuses — amounting to an average of more than nine sexual assaults a day,” according to the Department of Postsecondary Education. Adding weapons is asking for more crime.

Suicides are one of the leading causes of death for students, with 1,000 college students committing suicide each year.

One in 12 college students makes a plan to commit suicide, according to College Degree Research.

One could argue that this should not prevent guns from being on campus because, at the end of the day, if a student is sure they want to end their own life, they will find some means of doing so. This makes sense, but in terms of the various ways to end one’s life, a gun would be one of the more effective approaches.

Private universities would have the opportunity to opt out, but public universities do not seem to have any choice in the matter – that is wrong.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott and Speaker Joe Straus do not attend any of these universities. They are sitting in their cozy pink dome of rocks and attempting to enact legislation.

Instead, they should listen to the warnings being made by campus professors and campus police chiefs — you know, the people that would have to deal with the consequences.

There is also the issue of where guns would be stored, and potential weapon theft. Universities would create some type of gun storage facility, and would have to fund that as well as lockers.

Students might feel uncomfortable going to lunch or to the gym right next to a gun closet. It could be triggering for some students.

Campus police would have to undergo some training given that the amount of guns would increase.

St. Edward’s would more than likely have to increase its gun force as a result of the increase of guns on campus.

The amount of guns accessible to the public for protection will never equal the amount used to cause harm.

Legislators should be pushing for legislation that will protect students.

Instead, they are advocating for legislation that arms assailants and individuals who may harm themselves.