A campus of fear

A campus of fear

Utah, the first state in the union to accept a weapon as a state symbol, the state we live in.

As we celebrated the acceptance of the Browning M1911 as a symbol of our state, there was a vocal minority crying out about a weapon officially becoming a representative icon. The measure passed anyway, and in 2011 we became a state that is represented by a tool of death.

The Browning M1911, a 9mm handgun, protected many American soldiers overseas. Most of the weapons that John M. Browning, a Utah native, created have been popular during wartime. The soldiers used these weapons to help protect our freedom by ending the lives of those that wished to harm America or her allies.

gunsThe whole nation watched us with a sick kind of pleasure as we declared with legislative power that this gun will forever remain a part of our state history and tradition. The news even made it into The Telegraph, a British newspaper.

We live in a state that has some of most relaxed gun laws in the country. Most people can get their hands on one, and if you get it at a gun show, you don’t even have to get a background check. It can be yours as soon as you hand over the money.

The right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment. It states, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Most of us seem to have forgotten the intent of this amendment.

It’s second for a reason. After having the ability to freely express yourself, the need for a militia in every town to protect yourselves from a tyrannical government comes second. To our founders, words were far more important than actions. Words inform the people, and an informed populace is the most important thing in a free society.

Lately, it seems that the second amendment has taken the forefront. You know, the one I just spelled out for you up there. It seems like most people skim over the first part, focusing mainly on the second part.

“Guns don’t kill people,” has become the rallying cry of those that think the government is trying to make you docile so they can implement their evil socialist regime.

“I need this M4 to hunt deer,” others claim as the reasoning for owning a weapon that is used by the military to take human lives.

The simple truth is that a gun is nothing more than a tool of death. It was designed to end lives, whether they are human or otherwise.

You may say you need it for self-defense, but how do you defend yourself with a gun? You use it to kill the person you are defending yourself from.

UVU allows its students to bring weapons on campus. Though carrying weapons openly on campus is illegal, those with a concealed carry permit are allowed to bring their weapons to shcool with them. And they do, according to a concerned member of the faculty.

Students around you could be carrying weapons in their backpacks. Whether it’s just a personal choice made by the students, or if it’s because they feel unsafe while on campus, or even just because they can, weapons move around our campus every single day.

I’m sure you’re thinking that these people carrying guns around campus have had the best training, or they had to take a test to ensure they won’t misuse their firearms. You might even assume that it’s required to prove that you can fire a weapon and hit what you are aiming for.

You’d be dead wrong.

In fact, it’s relatively simple to get a concealed carry permit in the state of Utah. With a little research you can find that the permit itself only costs $46. You have to pass a state-certified class to get that permit though, which, through a simple Google search, I found costs roughly $45. This is for a three-hour class.

How easy it is to get a permit already won’t matter if HB76 passes, allowing anyone over the age of 21 to have a concealed carry without a regulated permit.

That’s all you need.

A three hour class, a little bit of money, and you, too, can carry a gun with you as you meander the halls of our institution of higher education.

Let’s take a look at the first part of our Second Amendment again, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state . . .”

Are these students forming a militia on campus to protect our freedoms? If they are, they don’t seem to be well regulated. From what I can tell, you never know who might or might not be carrying a gun. You never know how many handguns could be around you at any given moment.

Just imagine as they walk through the halls, they are planning, looking for the best position to take out an active shooter. People are walking through the halls of our college not thinking of their educations but of how to stop someone that wishes to harm students on campus.

Should we ban all weapons on campus to give students a chance to learn in an environment of peace? Or is the looming danger of someone opening fire on students too compelling to ignore?

We have police on campus to protect us from that danger, and many, if not all, of the faculty members have taken active shooter training and know how to protect us.

We should let those who have had more training than a three-hour course protect the student body.

We can make UVU a better place for learning by transforming the environment of fear to one of peace. All it takes is a little understanding and a willingness to give up your gun for a few hours a day.

We can make it work.

8 Responses to "A campus of fear"

  1. Spence Davis   February 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I went on a mini-rant on twitter about this article, but I think I should post this here as well. The author did have a point that many people that own a concealed weapon permit don’t have a lot of training in its use. This was not what upset me about the article, so much as the blatant bias and ignorance displayed by the writer.
    A few corrections to some facts: the 1911 handgun is a .45 auto, not a 9 millimeter. The cost of obtaining a concealed weapons permit is not only the cost of the class (40 to 60 dollars, usually), but also the cost of the ATF registration, which is usually around $100. Also, the only way to obtain a weapon without a background check being performed is a person to person transaction (formerly done via ksl.classifieds, etc) whereas the majority of firearm sales at gun shows are made by authorized firearms distributors, who do perform background checks on the…

    Reply
  2. JP   February 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Let’s correct some mistakes in your “opinion.” Utah law permits students to carry on campus, it’s not a decision that was made by UVU as you alluded to in your writings. Take a little time and check Utah Title 53 Chapter 5a Section 102 and you will see UVU is a public entity that is prohibited from barring the possession of firearms by those who legally are permitted to do so. Also, the state of Utah states on their “minimum training curriculum for concealed firearms courses” that the the class to receive your concealed weapons class must be at minimum 4 hours long, not 3 hours as you stated.

    You said openly carrying a firearm is illegal which is 100 percent not true. No law states openly carrying a firearm on campus is illegal. UVU police will threaten to cite you for disorderly conduct but there’s no law stating you cannot open carry on campus or on the property of a…

    Reply
  3. JP   February 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Oh, and your interpretation of the second amendment is majorly flawed. The Supreme Court has stated in regards to the 2nd amendment as recently as 2010 that an individual’s right to possess firearms is separate and unconnected from service in a militia. While you have a few points I agree with I can’t help but get past the mistakes and arbitrary assumptions you seem to base your opinion on. So what, we live in a state with relaxed gun laws. The deadliest cities in America aren’t found in Utah, they’re found in states with very strict gun laws. All mass shootings I have read about that have occurred in the US over the last 50 years have all, but one, occurred in gun-free zones. What’s to stop someone from carrying a gun on campus even if it was made a gun-free zone? A law written on paper hasn’t stopped previous shooters. Seriously, do they not teach critical thinking at UVU?

    Reply
    • Steven Petrucci   March 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

      I’m so glad that there are well informed people out there. Thanks for your comments.

      Reply
  4. Steven Petrucci   March 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Thank the Gods that well informed people exist and are allowed to print their crap in the school newspaper…

    This is the most asinine article that I have ever read. First of all conceal and carry permit holders are a deterrent to criminals on campus because it is impossible for anyone to know who is conceal and carrying. That’s the whole point.

    Saying that they should ban all guns on campus because there are police officers there to protect us is like saying they should ban all fire extinguishers on campus because there is a fire department nearby. Policemen carry weapons to protect themselves, not to protect you. I’m sorry I have nothing but respect for our law enforcement but we live in a world where the pizza delivery guy shows up before the police do.

    Turn off the television for a minute and do your homework. Responsible gun owners exist whether you want to believe it…

    Reply
  5. CRM   March 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    This opinion piece is poorly researched, presumptuous and naive on most counts. No rebuttal necessary, the well informed see this article for what it is. Stay in school, kid.

    Reply
  6. Andrew Pulley   March 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Cameron is an extremely uninformed and ignorant author.

    Previous comments have already lambasted most of these ill-informed points, but I wish to spend a little time with the second 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment came as a result of the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775 (the Shot Heard ‘Round The World), in which the British tried to take the colonists weapons and munitions…he same type of weapons the British military carried.

    While you’re focusing on the prefacing reason, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,” the truth of the matter is, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Not only is it my right to keep arms, but it is also my right to bear (or carry) arms, period. It’s your right to say you don’t like it, but it’s not your right to destroy my rights.

    Reply
  7. No my little g!   March 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Fortunately, you managed to pack in enough bias and mis-information into this article that most people will take it for what it is.

    I just wonder where the fear from this author comes from? What events have happened that has frightened you so much. Where are these concealed carry holders that are harming the public? And most of all: how did you become such an expert on the phycology of the concealed permit holder?

    Most people who carry realize the limitations that a compact carry gun has. They are not plotting or hoping to be able to take out an active shooter. After all, the purpose of a concealed weapon is not to be some sort of hero–it is to allow yourself a better opportunity to escape a life threatening situation.

    If you are so concerned about the distraction concealed carry weapons impose on our education, let’s at least be consistent and ban pretty girls too.

    Reply

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