I am not familiar with guns. I have never owned a gun; I have never felt comfortable around them. This is why I believe that regardless of someone’s skill behind the trigger, whether they hunt for sport or go to the shooting range on the weekend, there is no reason guns should ever be allowed on K-State’s campus.
The rise of active shooters is one reason why guns, concealed carry or not, should not be allowed on college campuses. An active shooter is “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims,” according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Active shooters are known to act quickly and sporadically, and responding to them is very difficult. Oftentimes, active shooter situations are over before law enforcement even arrives at the scene. K-State is trying to find the best response to active shooters, according to the Collegian’s article, “K-State to adopt new policy in response to active shooters.”
ALICE: alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate: this is the strategy K-State has designed to keep students safe in the case of an active shooter. A study conducted by the FBI showed that there were 160 active shooter incidents, resulting in the death of 486 people from 2000-2013. 24.3 percent of those incidents (120 casualities and 39 incidents) occurred in an educational environment.
With the number of active shooter incidents continuing to grow, it is no wonder K-State is adopting a policy to protect its students even more from an incident happening on our beloved campus.
The jury selection for the Colorado theater shooting case is currently underway, and I can’t help but think that something like that could’ve happened closer to home, if not on our very own campus. The Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 still weighs heavily on students’ minds everywhere, and the list of tragic active shooter incidents goes on and on.
Not everyone agrees that students are actually safer without guns. Lawmakers in 10 states are actually pushing bills to permit the carrying of firearms on campuses, hoping that arming females will lower the number of sexual assaults. These states include Florida, Nevada, Indiana, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, according to The New York Times.
While I can acknowledge that sexual assault is a huge problem on college campuses, I can’t help but think women and men alike stand a better chance against someone attempting assault than an active shooter taking open fire on campus. There are other, more reliable ways to remain safe on campus without holstering a gun to your backpack. Let’s reverse this trend of growing active shooters and make campuses everywhere a safer place.
Kelly Iverson is a senior in mass communications.