Column: Texas students don't want guns on campus
Texas’ new gun law allows firearms inside the campus buildings of the state’s public colleges and universities. This law is not only extremely terrifying on a personal level, but more importantly, a national level. College students shouldn’t fear the actions of their administration much less their fellow students or anyone that sets foot on campus.
Guns should not be glorified, period. With a gun-violence story highlighted in the media every week, you would think that federal measures would be put in place to finally end the issue. For some ridiculous reason, it is up to the states to handle these extreme issues. It doesn’t surprise me that Texas would pass such a conservative act, but what surprises me is the overwhelming response college students have towards this law.
According to The Huffington Post, students at the University of Texas at Austin are planning a protest of “cocks, not glocks” in which they will carry around gigantic dildos on campus. Disturbingly, it’s against Texas penal code to being a phallic sex toy to a lecture hall, but it’s completely dandy to bring a loaded gun to class.
Though somewhat humorous, the students of UT Austin reveal something much graver: fear. They fear that their free speech on campus will be hindered because they don’t want to get shot for something they said in discussion or for disagreeing with someone’s opinion in class. This is a fear that no person should ever feel in an institution that they are supposed to trust and believe in.
Imagine Texas’ implications on law reform in the U.S., specifically here in Arizona. Like Texas, Arizona is also an overwhelmingly conservative state. Our state could very well be influenced by Texas’ decisions, and this is something the students of Arizona would hate to live with, considering the recent tragedy of the shooting at Nothern Arizona University.
“I do know for a fact that the vast majority of mass shootings in America over the past few decades have been in areas where the possession of firearms was not allowed,” said Luke Wohlford, a math and pre-physiology sophomore. “I think that there is a reason for that and that there is a possibility that Texas’ law could be successful in deterring possible school shooters.
“However, even if the law did create a safer environment in the public places, the knowledge that guns are around would make many people upset and uncomfortable. Allowing people who already own guns to protect themselves in universities might make campuses safer from would-be mass shooters, but it could add a dangerous edge to the learning environment,” Wohlford said, “I personally would be a little uncomfortable if a law like the one in Texas were to be passed for the UofA, because I have faith in the UAPD to protect us, but I am definitely curious to see if the law in Texas actually decreases the amount of gun violence.”
With anybody being allowed to carry a firearm on campus, any rando could walk onto campus and cause a problem and historically the presence of armed responders hasn’t prevented anything. Let’s only hope that radical Texas keeps its laws to itself.
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