UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | May 26, 2024

Pro: Open carry on campus exercises Constitutional rights, helps students feel safe

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Gun control has become a hot-button issue due to recent school and public shootings in 2018. Open carry for faculty on college campuses is at the top of  a list of growing gun concerns. However, I feel open carry can be a solution to increasing safety concerns.

There are a lot of arguments against people carrying guns on campuses or in public. However, there are plenty of pros to consider as well.

The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

In other words, citizens of the United States have a fundamental right to carry guns for the protection of their freedoms and to ensure that those freedoms are not taken away by a corrupt or tyrannical government.

It is important to point out that because of the Second Amendment, all citizens in every state are allowed to own and keep a gun. The only power the government has in regulating this is at the state-level, where it is decided if residents of a state can open carry or conceal carry and if that requires a permit or not. Currently, 31 states allow open carry without a permit, 16 require a permit and 6 prohibit open carry. This list can be found at Aliengearholsters.com where they go into more detail concerning states with specific restrictions.

That said, the amendment does state the right to bear arms “shall not be infringed.” The fact that there are those who wish for gun laws to be changed, or for guns to be banned altogether is to me, an infringement because the right to bear arms isn’t an “everyone gets a gun” sort of law. It’s a law that provides us with the freedom to choose. You can own a gun or not and it’s a choice that should not be taken away or overly restricted.

Defense of self and others is a part of protecting our freedoms and an important aspect of having the ability to carry fire arms. In the instance a person enters your home with the intent to do harm to you or your family, a gun can be the difference between life or death.

Similarly, in the case of the bar shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, if the bouncers, bartender or even a few of the patrons were armed and fired back at the gunman, he would have been held at bay long enough for more people to get to safety, if not stopped entirely. There is an argument that more guns will increase the amount of harm that can be done, but in a situation with a lone gunman versus three, four, or ten people with guns firing back—that gunman’s chances of succeeding in taking lives will be considerably lower.

On the issue of crime, open carry has proven to be an effective deterrent of violent crimes as indicated in a U.S. News article that said in a survey of incarcerated felons, 57 percent of them agreed that criminals are more concerned about meeting an armed victim than the police.

Because of school shootings, there is talk of allowing teachers to carry guns on campusand in some cases, allowing university students with open carry or concealed carry permits­­ – in states requiring permits – to bring them on school grounds. A Dixie Sun News article about a professor who carries a gun said he trains his students on what to do if there is an active shooter on campus.

An article on insidehighered.com said the intention isn’t to prevent school shootings, but to provide a sense of security for the individual. A person who carries a gun hopefully will not need to use the weapon, though having a means to protect oneself can help one feel safe.

I would feel safer were there people on campus at Dixie State University with guns, whether they be campus police, or a combination of police, faculty members and students. The likelihood of a violent crime being committed on campus will be lowered and all can feel more secure when on the premises.

For those concerned about accidents or the fatality of guns, there are non-lethal alternatives, such as rubber bullets and bean bags. Also, we must remember that a gun is a tool meant to be used for self-defense, and proper training should be taken by any who wish to own a gun.