Guns and Campuses

You know, I wasn’t going to write about this.

I’m quite sure the world doesn’t need more words that do nothing to stop the killings. But I spent some time this weekend reading the detailed report on the latest mass murders, and I spent a little more time reading about the usual reactions.

And that’s probably what made me think I need to at least write something.

Hearing and reading some of the the leading contenders for the 2016 Presidential race make statements about how this latest horrific incident in Oregon is just one of those things that is going to happen–like it is a natural and inevitable event–was too much. (Statements such as this one).

Reading that this massacre took place in a public speaking class, the type of class I have taught so many times I can’t really keep track anymore–that made me pause.

Seeing the pictures and reading the stories of the people killed–people just starting out in life, people trying to restart their lives, and people trying to bring structure and order to their lives–I had to write.

In this writing space, I’ve tried to keep the focus clearly on educational issues, and, also, tried to avoid saying much that will polarize any audience that reads this. But what just happened in Oregon, and what has happened far too many times to far too many people, is too much to ignore.

Guns have no place on a college or university campus.

I’m not all that happy that we have armed police on campus, but you know what–they are trained and monitored and if the time comes that it is determined that they cannot physically or psychologically use that gun, that responsibility is taken away.

But we don’t do that for ordinary citizens.

If you want, we can argue the 2nd Amendment and what it means. I know what the most recent SC decision said, so I know the current law of the land. I don’t agree with this interpretation of the 2nd amendment, and I don’t believe it will stand–but for now it is the law of the land.

But still–guns have no place on a college or university campus.

So we can mourn and we can wring our hands and then we can wait for the next massacre–or as educators and the educated, we can keep trying to do something to make it a little more difficult for the next person to amass all the killing tools they need.

I do hope that as a start, we can, maybe, at least agree that guns have no place on a college or university campus.

I can hope.