By Elly Spencer
“… the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America clearly states its stance on the right for its subjects to defend and protect themselves concerning firearms.
This amendment, however, has been constantly tested, blurred and rearranged throughout the country’s history. The latest trend in this obscure line of justice is whether or not students, faculty and the general public should be allowed to put their Concealed Handgun Licenses into effect on college campuses.
Baylor has joined the masses of campuses in an uproar over the right for its “nation” to carry guns.
Last Thursday, the Baylor Student Senate approved a resolution recommending students, faculty and guests with a Concealed Handgun License to carry weapons on campus. The Senate passed this resolution in the hopes that administration will push the measure through.
Frankly, this is an outrage.
The Senate’s main argument is that Baylor wants its students to be able to protect and defend themselves against possible attackers. But doesn’t this bill also make attacks much more plausible and accessible?
The Huffington Post reported 27 shootings on college campuses in 2013 alone. However, this report included shootings in areas close or nearby campus property. The only two reported active shooter incidents were the infamous Santa Monica College shootings last June, and one at New River Community College in Virginia.
Currently, schools in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin have the right to decide if they will allow firearms on their campuses for CHL holders.
Having a handgun in a learning environment is nothing short of a fatal attraction and ultimate distraction as well. Putting the student body and faculty at ease and making campus more comfortable would not include having a loaded gun at the hip in the desk next to me.
According to a study conducted by Marist College, the human brain does not fully mature until the age of 25.
Allowing the average student on Baylor’s campus eligible to have a CHL would be in violation to the laws of developed nature. Impulse control and decision-making skills are not 100 percent controlled at the ages of 21 and 22.
When did the classroom become a battleground? Did it start with Columbine? Did it start with the horrendous Virginia Tech shootings?
The panic and PTSD that comes with campus and mass shootings is undeniable and tragic. However, encouraging students to be in an environment with loaded weapons is also tragic.
An alternative to the proposition of students and faculty carrying firearms to their afternoon English class would be to install metal detectors or heighten security on the premises.
That being said, both of these methods seem moot in light of Baylor’s track record for being a calm campus in the eyes of violence. Baylor also has a 24-hour police force, by foot, bike and patrol car, and many yellow emergency response poles situated throughout campus.
There is no need for a Baylor “militia” to carry arms throughout our campus as well.
Elly Spencer is a senior journalism major from Temple. She is a reporter for the Lariat.