The College Republicans are hosting fundraisers Oct. 7-8 in which club members and guests will pay to be guided through the process of gaining a concealed weapons permit. Trainers certified by the NRA will take those who sign up through the entire process, save only licking the stamp and mailing off the papers.
The UVU Review editorial board wishes to question this fundraiser and address what we consider to be some serious issues with its taking place on this campus.
First, any attempt to put more weapons into people’s hands can only make the risk of violent crime worse. Our school is no safer for having 30 more concealed weapons on it at any given time. Precisely the opposite is true.
The more guns, the more opportunity for accidents, for misuse, for intentional crime in our halls and for the unimaginable catastrophes which have unfortunately befallen too many schools in the recent past.
Further, the College Republicans are raising money by putting more guns into this school. Given the problems, are you comfortable with this? We certainly are not.
While we cannot deny the legal right to those who wish to get concealed carry permits, we can question using the resources of the university to do so. There is something perverse in using our own campus’ resources, for which all students pay, to put those same students at risk. Regardless of the legality of concealed carry permits, there is an ethical contradiction here and another venue should have been found.
We must acknowledge that those who will attend this fundraiser are likely to be those who are responsible in the use of firearms, as they are clearly seeking to obtain permits through the appropriate legal means and with the right training. However, we do not feel this diminishes the problems we point out.
Here are some Center for Disease Control statistics on gun deaths from the year 2001:
- Suicide 16,869
- Homicide 11,348
- Accident 802
- Legal Intervention 323
- Undetermined 231
- Total 29,573
Guns, far more than making us safer, make it easier to kill either ourselves or kill others.
We also wish to ask this question: For what reason would someone wish to carry a firearm? Of course, it is only too obvious to respond, “Because it is my right.” That is entirely true, but it is at best a partial answer.
We feel that beyond the simple right to bear arms, there exists a tendency toward mistrust and fear in their use and ownership – the use of firearms to create a sense of safety based not on their capacity to protect, but rather the capacity to cause terror in others. If others are afraid, perhaps they will leave you alone.
This is simply too easy, and does nothing to engage other people in the real forum where safety is created – civil society and community. Provo and Orem are not safe because there are more guns, they are safe because by and large we understand, relate, and communicate with each other better than other places do. Getting to know your neighbors does more than any weapon will ever do to prevent the need for having to brandish a weapon.
Given all of the above, we can only condemn this fundraiser taking place on our campus.