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Monday, September 28, 2020

Con: Guns on campus

The very notion of allowing students to bring weapons into a community college campus sends chills down the spine.

The argument that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is asinine. That is exactly why we have a sheriff’s station on campus. And with the exception of a few minor altercations and false alarms, there hasn’t been any indication that there is a threat serious enough to warrant turning the student body at large into an untrained, hormonal militia.

Furthermore, based on the disparate age range and economic backgrounds of Pierce students, it’s not as if allowing guns would suddenly even some perceived playing field.

Both younger and less wealthy students would be unable to obtain the same expensive or age-restricted, high-end firearms that older or more affluent students would have access to.

Aside from all of the logistical roadblocks, there’s the simple fact that young adults statistically do not tend to make the wisest decisions. For example, just this month a fight broke out at Pierce between two students over a parking space.

That fight resulted in deputies responding to reports of battery, but could have easily turned deadly if the combatants were armed with guns or any other deadly weapon.

In a study by The Urban Institute, a think tank focused on economic and social policy research and found that in Washington D.C., adults aged 18-24 are the most likely to be arrested for violent crimes. And according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, young adults in that same age range represent about 10 percent of the population, but make up more than 29 percent of violent crimes arrests.

Pierce College Director of Health Services Beth Benne said that among people who suffer from mental health issues, most “have their psychotic breaks in their early twenties.”

One need only look at Pierce’s demographics to see how this data ties together. According to the Pierce College Office of Institutional Research, 69 percent of students at Pierce are aged 24 or younger. Statistically, it all adds up to the perfect storm for a gun violence disaster.

Responsible adults still maintain their second amendment right to bear arms, but there is a time and place for everything.

Keep the guns at home, where you can protect yourself and your family in the event of a threat to your lives. But when you’re on campus, leave that to the professionals – the sheriff’s deputies who are trained and ready to do their jobs.

Scott Prewitt
News Editor - Fall, 2015

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