C. Robert Gonzalez
The earliest recorded school massacre occurred on July 26, 1764, in a small colonized town in Pennsylvania. Records of the massacre, which are a little sketchy at best, show that three men entered the small town’s schoolhouse and murdered nine children and the school’s principal. Nearly 250 years later schools across the nation have seen no relief when it comes to school violence. The latest occurrence here in Texas happened on Aug. 13, 2012, at Texas A&M University in College Station. A gunman on campus shot and murdered two people including a police officer. The gunman was later killed by police after 30 minutes of exchanging gunfire.
As a result of all the on campus and school shootings that have been occurring on what seems to be a regular basis throughout the country, Texas now wants to afford concealed handgun permit carriers the opportunity to carry their weapons on campus. Good idea? I say no for several reasons. I have approximately 15 years of training, firing and carrying a weapon in and out of a professional work setting and have even witnessed adults make mistakes in a controlled environment such as a gun range. Some of the things I’ve seen go wrong are:
The accidental discharge — You need to be competent enough to know whether your gun is loaded, but as the rule of thumb goes, you’re supposed to treat all weapons as if they are loaded.
You think you’re ready to fire your gun at its intended target, but nothing happens when you pull the trigger. Why? Because the shooter loaded the bullets into the magazine the wrong way.
You finished shooting and are at the cleaning station and begin taking your gun apart, only to find out you didn’t shoot all your rounds. You need to be accountable for every round you fire through your gun.
You’re standing next to someone who has no concept of their surroundings, meaning muzzle discipline. Don’t go waving your gun around and pointing it at other people.
These are just a few of the many mistakes I’ve witnessed adults older than 21 make. Now let’s imagine if we put these same guns into the hands of students. I’m not one to say that students who are attending college are not competent or capable of handling their weapon in a professional manner while at school, but what if one of these students who is sitting next to you or me has just had the love of their life leave them for someone else? What do you do when an overworked, stressed student has an issue with that bad grade they received? People have also killed over something as simple as a parking space and we all know parking is limited at Del Mar. I just don’t want to be the one who takes a bullet because I parked in someone else’s space. I don’t want to take a bullet because someone just got a new gun and they want to show it off to their friends. If there ever is an active shooter on campus, I don’t want to be listed as a fatality because someone tried to be a hero.
The bottom line here is it would just be unwise to allow students to freely carry guns on campus. If adults who are professionals make mistakes when it comes to firearms is it really such a good idea to put these guns into the hands of students? Again, I say no.