Dear Mr./Madame President:
I was surprised to read that since the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 53 of the 122 happened at universities. Those 53 shootings represent 43% of all the mass school shootings since Sandy Hook. This is significant to me because I am applying to college this year and one of the schools to which I am applying is Florida State University. Where gun violence occurred on the 24th of November,2016. Florida in fact has the second highest number of school shootings in the United States. According to the article, 122 School Shootings Since Sandy Hook in 2012, there have been 12 school shootings in the state of Florida from Jan 1, 2013 - June 30, 2015. As a result eight states excluding Florida have passed a conceal and carry law that since August 2016 allows students to carry guns on public university campuses. These types of laws were passed for the public to try to contain the situation until law enforcement arrives. However, conceal and carry laws will cause students to overreact rather than encourage public safety. Although there has been a conceal and carry law passed in eight states, a college campus is NO Place for guns because that limits FREEDOM of SPEECH and EXPRESSION and it perpetuates fear into the student and faculty body.
Let’s look briefly at the history of these shootings. On the 1st of August 1966, there was a mass shooting on the campus of the University of Texas, Austin, This shooting cost thirteen young people their lives and injured thirty others. The shooter was stationed on the top of the bell tower, but when civilians on the ground started firing at the shooter, the bullets from the guns deflected off the concrete and ricocheted into the crowd. “The University of Texas is a liberal campus in a conservative state”. A majority of the students do not carry guns, but some people are worried about the few who choose to carry guns. They are not trained and could overreact in a dangerous situation. In fact, the majority of students and faculty are against the conceal and carry law. The president of the university is concerned about the law because he worries about the effect it will have on recruiting students and funding from the state. Presently, students are allowed to carry guns in classrooms and on the university campus, except in labs and in sporting events. For example, According to a New York Times article,Grappling with guns on Campus, “Ana Lopez, a sophomore at the University of Texas has noticed that some of her fellow students were “packing heat” in class. This has caused concerns for her because in her World Literature class, they can sometimes talk about contentious issues.”
On the other hand, the students who wish to exercise their second amendment rights are feeling unwelcome on the University of Texas main campus in Austin. They feel that they are in the minority on campus, but would be in the majority everywhere else in Texas. One student who was interviewed said he loved to shoot, and felt safer with his weapon on him.
There is no place for guns on university campuses! It is a place for students and faculty to feel free to express their intellectual thoughts without the fear of being harmed by someone who disagrees with them. The conceal and carry law encourages fear and therefore inhibits freedom of expression, which then interferes with student growth and learning.
Max Pittle, Class of 2017