When I was three years old, I sat in the floor of my dad’s office while my mom put up wallpaper. I remember the continuous stream of ambulances and police sirens that tore through our small town, not knowing or understanding how that day would impact our community. I remember the panic that ensued when my father’s receptionist answered the phone, only to learn that our office manager’s daughter had been shot and killed at the local middle school.
That was the day of the Westside Shooting.
As I got older, little was said about this incident, except in the years that passed when other mass shootings would occur. First Columbine, then Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook, among countless others…the list goes on.
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, 92 percent of mass shootings happen in gun free zones.
For those of you who still aren’t with me, that means that only 8 percent of mass shootings happen where citizens are legally allowed to defend themselves.
Now a college student myself, I am acutely aware of the danger I face every day by merely walking onto a college campus. It is extremely frustrating to know that my right to protect myself only extends to the areas the government deems suitable for the carrying of concealed firearms, even with a permit.
That means that as a law abiding citizen, I have no right to protect myself from those who don’t follow the law. The problem with rigid gun-control legislation, especially as it pertains to college campuses and the ability to carry concealed weapons there, is that the results don’t match the goal. If the ambition of “gun free zones” as designed by the rule of law is to stop violent crimes, then these laws fail ninety-two percent of the time. Anything else that failed with that level of consistency would be thrown out immediately.
As a citizen of a country borne of rebellion and chaos, it is darkly humorous to me that there are those in society who believe that the root of the issue does not lie with the mental instability or poor decisions of an individual or individuals. To those who argue that guns, not people, are the issue, I say this: If this statement were true, countries like China and Australia with extremely strict gun laws would have no mass-casualty crimes. Yet they do. Legislation may change the weapon of choice, but it will not change the result.
The Bottom Line: mass-shootings in gun-free zones are not going to stop by continuing to disarm the public. Is it really reasonable to force students to walk around with a target on their backs, just to get an education?