I was luckily away from my campus, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, when I received a text alert from the school, timestamped 2:10AM: “[Shots] fired in Stadium Drive area, no injuries and no property damage. Suspect in [custody].” This text alert was followed by an update received via email this morning at 9:50AM:

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 3.43.38 PM

The irony certainly didn’t escape me, and this incident highlighted the hypocrisy surrounding student safety and gun control.

As a student, I’m put in a gun-free zone when I attend class or any event on or near campus. The obstruction of my right to carry a firearm puts me in a dangerous environment: I, a law-abiding citizen, am left to the mercy of the rest of society to also follow the law and not carry a firearm.

None of the suspects in this incident were associated with William & Mary, and yet, they were on campus property, illegally carrying a gun. Who knows if they even legally owned the gun. (My money is on it being an illegally owned gun.) The area in which the incident occurred is a heavily traversed area of campus; it’s right by our football stadium, and the walking route of many students as they travel across campus, oftentimes late at night, too. In fact, many students have to walk in this very area to make it to their on-campus residence hall, One Tribe Place, which I did many times after midnight during my junior year when I lived there.

What’s hysterical is that these suspects have now been banned from William & Mary property. NEWS FLASH: the law also dictated that they weren’t supposed to have a gun on campus, and yet they did anyways. And they fired that gun. The cherry on top was the closing note of the email: Stay safe.

William & Mary, if you want me to stay safe, allow me to carry a firearm, which the Constitution of the United States demands. If I recall correctly, the 2nd Amendment asserts the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Is a college student not a person? If I’m a person, why is my right to keep and bear arms obstructed?

I’m also tired of the notion that students shouldn’t be able to carry because of the presence of alcohol. Most states prohibit individuals who are carrying a concealed weapon from drinking. Again, as a law-abiding citizen, I would be damn sure to not drink alcohol if I were carrying. Oftentimes, I’m either walking or driving my friends who want to drink to the bars, so I’m already the sober friend, anyways.

The reality is, a gun-free zone is the most dangerous place you can be: it’s where law-abiding citizens are put at the mercy of folks who don’t give a rat’s ass about the law or your safety.