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article imageOp-Ed: Idaho’s proposed campus gun law is outrageous

By Nicole Weddington     Feb 28, 2014 in Politics
Boise - A bill before lawmakers in Idaho to allow concealed guns on college campuses is completely misguided and will end up doing the opposite of what it was meant to achieve.
School used to be a place where you could learn, explore and discover what you otherwise may not have. School was supposed to educate the masses in a safe environment, where students could focus on subjects at hand and not on whether or not they would be in the line of fire. All of that, of course, may be true in some utopian world.
We have seen violence as part of our school systems for many years. Bullying has existed since the beginning of time, then came stabbings, and later shootings. As students get their hands on more sophisticated modes of operandi, their rampages become more devastating.
With the more recent barrage of attacks spawned by machines that spew ammunition at a rate worthy of warfare, violence in schools has torn the nation and families apart, with many fighting to defend themselves.
The latest debate to hit the streets comes from Boise State, centered around a bill recently introduced by Sen. Curt McKenzie, Rep-Nampa, and passed in the Senate. Boise State President Bob Kustra, one of eight Idaho academic presidents opposes the bill, saying he does not see the need to pass a bill to solve a problem that does not exist.
He says, “I’m puzzled for the simple fact that our campuses in Idaho are safe now. We’ve had no incidents that require average citizens to be armed on our campuses. The bill really seems to be a solution in search of a problem that has not occurred on our campuses - in Idaho anyway.”
Which is a shame considering how beautiful parts of Idaho are. Just check out sandpoint real estate and you'll see what I mean.
Proponents of the bill say violence in schools due to guns makes it necessary to be armed before any damage is done. They cite that people have a Constitutional right to bear arms, and that includes when on campus. With the frequency of random attacks seen over the past three years, many feel that shootings are on the rise; but, research shows that gun violence has actually been around for much longer.
But, does that make having a gun on hand in school a necessity? Do people really feel threatened enough that they think carrying a gun will wipe away the fear?
Yes, we have had many shooting incidents in just the past year – all tragic, no matter the number of casualties. Yet, to think that carrying a gun and being able to defend yourself will help in those matters seems to be a drastic measure to take. It seems that with more people walking around with guns, more violence will follow.
President Kustra is deeply concerned that putting firepower into students’ hands will only lead to more tragedy. Simple arguments to temptations of suicide may become much more viable when instruments to execute are so readily available.
Campus security is the responsibility of trained officers, not the general public. We cannot have a situation like the Wild West, when everyone carried guns and the law offered scant protection. A Constitutional right to protect lives may, in this case, result in the opposite.
Haven’t we all seen too many deaths in school already? Allowing guns in school, whether at the elementary or university level, simply does not make sense. What’s needed is an understanding behind why the violence has erupted in the first place.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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