David Guth, a KU journalism professor, recently tweeted “#NavyYardShooting The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you.” Dr. Guth seemed to enjoy his First Amendment right while wanting to restrict the Second Amendment rights of others.
Gun control advocates seem to offer endless illogical arguments for disarming the nation. For some absurd reason, they think a sign that says “gun-free zone” will make a criminal turn around and put their gun away. While background checks may prevent criminals from obtaining guns legally, criminals don’t follow laws.
I recently went to a high school football game and was intrigued to see signs stating that armed guards protected the school. These “armed guards” are actually teachers. Since it took police 20 minutes to show up to Sandy Hook Elementary in response to the shooting there on Dec. 14, 2012, I was pleased to see a school taking a proactive approach. While this was not a Kansas high school, it got me thinking about Kansas gun laws.
Our state legislators, fortunately, are not gun control advocates. Just this past year, the legislature passed two major gun rights advocate laws, one of which is Senate Substitute for House Bill No. 2052. This bill made changes to the Kansas Personal and Family Protection Act, and will soon have an impact on K-State. You may have seen new signs up around campus with a gun in a red circle and slash. These replaced similar signs prohibiting guns after the passage of H.B. 2052.
This new legislation enables people who have a Concealed Carry Handgun license to carry concealed guns into state and municipal buildings. K-State is one among other Kansas Board of Regents schools that requested a four-year exemption from allowing the concealed carry of weapons on campus. At the end of the exemption, K-State must either have adequate security measures or allow CCH license holders to carry weapons on its premises. Personally, I hope K-State chooses the latter and embraces the Second Amendment.
Many mass shootings happen in gun-free zones like K-State. The D.C. Navy Yard, Fort Hood, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Aurora movie theater and the Omaha Mall all had anti-gun rules, but the people who committed massacres in these places did not obey those rules.
Many of the victims of these massacres might still be alive if they’d been allowed to protect themselves. Just ask Allie Young, freshman in open option and one of the first people shot in the Aurora massacre.
“I got my concealed license a month after everything happened to me,” Young said. “I’m very strongly convinced that people kill people, not guns.”
One of our constitutional rights is to “keep and bear arms.” It’s a right that’s been recently confirmed by the Supreme Court. Kansas is not breaking any laws; it’s safeguarding our individual rights.
Why is our university preventing those who have undergone a background check by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and taken an eight hour gun safety course, from protecting themselves and others? I personally would feel much safer if K-State would take these signs down and allow CCH license holders to carry their guns on campus.
Samantha Poetter is a senior in political science. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.