Editorial: Conceal and Carry on Campus

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A bill that would allow students and teachers to carry firearms on campus has passed Missouri’s house vote 98-52 and is now up for a senate vote.

While the house vote showed a significant favoring of one side, the legislation seems to be much more controversial on college campuses. Essentially, this is a continuation of every Second Amendment debate that has come before. One side emphasizes that their safety is at risk and the other argues that firearms protect and that there should be no limiting their constitutional rights. The newsroom is no exception to this split of opinions.

To start out on common ground, the newsroom believes that gun laws should be changed to make colleges safer. However, there are different opinions on whether those changes should restrict or encourage gun use.

Many people feel deeply that this legislation will do more harm than good. This view assumes that teachers and students should not be permitted to carry on campus. One of the biggest arguments for this side is that it would become very difficult for law enforcement officers to detect threats. By the time it would be clear that the assailant meant harm with their firearm, it would likely be too late for someone to receive the help they needed. Another strong argument is that accidents occur with guns no matter what good intentions are held by the carrier. While firearms can be dealt with responsibly, one slip up could mean death for a beloved student or faculty. By increasing the number of guns on campus, the chances of gun-related accidents increase as well.

On the other side of the argument, the current conceal and carry restrictions are unconstitutional as the Second Amendment states “…the right of people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Beyond the new legislation abiding by the constitution, many feel that it will help make campuses safer. The thought here is that an assailant could currently come to a college campus and have little stopping them from enacting mass harm as long as they kept the gun hidden until they opened fire away from campus officers. If this bill was passed, there would be more individuals ready to respond to an attacker which would not only help in the moment, but it might also deter potential aggressors from attempting such a heinous act. The last prominent point that this side holds is that it could help deter sexual assault if people were given a more deadly way of defending themselves.

In the end, both sides have concerns and possible benefits. That is why we believe you should be informed on this issue. Research both sides and form an opinion because these laws affect you. In turn, take hold of your opportunity to affect these laws!