guns_mt_March 6, 2018

Illustration by Makenna Timoteo | Staff Illustrator

The mass shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla, has forced us to take a hard look at how to deal the issue of gun violence in the United States. According to CNN, there are roughly 320 million civilian owned guns in the United States. This number means there is no realistic way to strip people of their firearms without causing more problems. There must be a better solution.

There are evil people in this world who wish to inflict death upon others and there are those who are so bullied they feel revenge is the only solace available. Additionally, there are those who wish to be infamous and have their names and faces all over the news. These people will always find ways to commit mass death. People need to be able to defend themselves and fight back because these kinds of people will always exist and the government cannot realistically take away all of the guns in this country.

Texas lawmakers passed a bill in 2016 that allowed anyone over the age of 21 to conceal carry on a college campus. More students and staff should take advantage of this policy to protect themselves. The Parkland shooting demonstrated police are not always reliable which is not always their fault. Police are limited and cannot be everywhere at once meaning response times can vary. Where government fails, the individual should be willing to take the responsibility to defend themselves. Being armed would help with that in two ways. First, an armed campus would act as a deterrent for criminals and second, being armed means people have a better chance of not being a victim.

Deterrence is a proven effective method for limiting violence. There is a recent example of guns responding to guns in the church shooting of Sutherland Springs, Texas. In this instance, a shooter at large was shot by a citizen near the church who heard the gunfire and rushed to the building with his own gun. In this case the carnage in Sutherland Springs was minimized by another gun owner. This shows that shooting in an armed society is much more difficult to escape unscathed.

In the extremely rare cases where deterrence does not work, being armed can be the only thing standing between an individual and death. The Parkland shooting illustrated there is no shortage of brave teachers who will willingly run towards the gunfire. It is of the utmost credit to individuals like Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel and Chris Hixon that they not only did this, but laid down their lives shielding students from gunfire. Unfortunately, this was their only option to save lives. Had anyone been a licensed concealed carry holder the outcome might have been different. At the very least, there would have been more options to confront the threat.

No one is advocating for staff and students to hunt down an active shooter. This would cause major problems for law enforcement, but if trapped in a classroom or in a situation in which running is not an option, being armed will save lives. It is up to individuals not to be victims and having more than a few desperate options can ensure a safer environment for everyone. There is no easy way to address this issue, but society cannot keep creating situations in which shooters can fire unimpeded for minutes at a time before being confronted. It is time for students and staff of Texas State to utilize their second amendment rights and protect themselves.

– Jordan Drake is a communications junior

This column is apart of a Talk It Out series. The opposing argument to this article can be found here.

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