Stricter gun policies could make us feel safer

Debate over Second Amendment continues after another mass shooting

Four of the deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the last 10 years, according to a CNN Library report.

Most recently, at least 58 people were killed and almost 500 were injured in a shooting during a country music festival on the Las Vegas strip Oct. 1.

When a shooting breaks the news, the debate over gun control is reignited.

When people hear the phrase “gun control,” they tend to think of banning guns entirely or eradicating the Second Amendment. But gun control can take many forms.

“I don’t think there should be a limit on how many guns you can have because you can do a lot of damage with one gun or you can do a lot of damage with multiple guns, and it really doesn’t make a difference,” said junior Austen Byrer, a gun owner. “It can be an effective way to cause damage either way you look at it.”

Since the Las Vegas shooting, no federal action has been taken.

Campus policy states that rearms are strictly prohibited with the one exception of on-duty police officers.

The Franklin reported on an incident in the Sept. 15 issue where a man was followed by police onto the Franklin College campus. Had this man been armed, Byrer said the incident could have ended much differently.

“I would definitely feel safer if I could conceal carry on campus because when I’m at home I can,” Byrer said. “If he had had a gun, then he could’ve caused a lot of damage in a short amount of time.”

Director of Security Steve Leonard said he understands a student would want to feel protected, but he agrees with the college’s policy and doesn’t believe that it is necessary for students or faculty to carry a gun on campus.

“I know that in the 20 years that I’ve been employed here working nights and weekends and challenging situations, I’ve never felt unsafe,” Leonard said. “I have never felt like my life would be safer if I was carrying a gun right now. So for us to have a hundred students concealed carrying a gun concerns me.”

Photo by Nicole Hernandez.

The Second Amendment guarantees individuals the right to lawfully own a firearm. But that doesn’t guarantee an individual to lawfully carry a firearm with them wherever they go. The Second Amendment acts for the purpose of self-defense specifically in the home.

Even if Indiana state law allowed students to carry on college campuses, it would still be prohibited to carry a gun on Franklin College’s campus because it is a privately-owned property.

Would the outcome had been different if concert goers at the Las Vegas shooting were allowed to carry their guns into the festival, assuming they were not allowed to because of security checks that take place at concerts?

Naturally, in a crisis situation, our first response should be to run or hide in order to exit ourselves from the situation. The college’s preparedness plan also follows this procedure of run and hide first, then fight if there’s no other option.

Concealed carry or using a gun for the purpose of self-defense means that your rearm should only come out when it is absolutely necessary.

Gun control is a heated subject, and there is obviously no clear-cut answer.

Individuals are prohibited from carrying guns on college campuses and concerts for good reason. It would benefit everyone for officials to take a better look at who has access to guns.

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About Nicole Hernandez 8 Articles
Nicole Hernandez is the social media and web editor for The Franklin. She is majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in visual communications. Anyone who knows her, knows that she loves photography because she is or has been involved in various positions such as photographer and assistant photo editor for The Franklin and photographer for the college's communications office, TheStatehouseFile.com and WISH-TV as a summer intern. She also takes her Instagram account way too seriously. When she's not taking photos she's working at Starbucks (even though she doesn't drink coffee) or spending too much time shopping. This is Nicole's second year in a leadership role and her third year on The Franklin staff. She previously held positions as staff photographer and assistant photo editor.

2 Comments on Stricter gun policies could make us feel safer

  1. My bad. I thought your report was worldwide and immediately thought of these:

    Garissa University Kenya 147 (4/2/2015)
    Pakistan Military school 142 (12/15/14)
    Paris France 128 (11/14/15)
    Norway attacks 77 (7/22/2011)
    Westgate Mall, Nairobi Kenya 67 (9/21/2013)

    Never mind.

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