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The New College Classroom

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Submitted By golferdude
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The New College Classroom – 25 Students, 12 Handguns
Campus life as we know it is about to change and joining the debate team may hit an all-time low. In Texas, the change is coming on August 1, 2017, with a new law allowing students to carry concealed handguns on public University campuses. I assure you that I would feel very uncomfortable sitting in a classroom knowing that there were one, two, five or possibly ten guns in the room with me. And what if a student dropped his backpack and his gun inside accidently discharged? While this may be highly unlikely, I know that each time I saw a backpack fall to the floor, I would react a little differently than before.
We have all seen the horror when a troubled person at school is wanting to make a statement by causing as much carnage as possible. Whenever a tragedy happens in this country, we want answers. If a tragedy involves young people within a school, it hits us all even harder and we demand immediate solutions. Supporters of this law state that bad guys will think twice about coming onto a campus knowing their planned attack may be cut short by students packing heat. The National Rifle Association's Executive Vice President and CEO, Wayne LaPierre, says "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." While in theory that could be true, I don't buy it. We have seen shootings at police stations, courthouses, Embassy's and many other places where everybody is aware guns are present. If there is someone out there with the intent to hurt others, a math teacher, coed or classmate won't prevent him from his mission as common sense rarely plays a large part of their plan.
None of that matters as the law has passed and is coming soon to a campus near you. The effect I see from this law will be reflected more in the college culture and the psychology of the student body. A college campus should be a place where young people can learn new concepts, gain independence, explore different cultures, express opinions, all in an open and safe environment. By adding guns to this mix, students may think twice about sharing an opinion or joining a controversial discussion, simply out of fear.
Some argue that even with on campus law enforcement, the police cannot be everywhere and respond timely to any given location. With over 17 million students in college a year and less than fifty students killed in campus shootings over the last 20 years, it seems extreme to jump so far, so fast. Cooler heads must prevail and even with Texas lawmakers giving the go ahead to carry handguns, we must not turn Texas Tech into Tombstone or the O.K. Corral. Boundaries such as keeping guns out of student and faculty housing, fraternities and medical facilities seem like common sense but with so much unknown, lawmakers must remain proactive to fine-tune and amend as needed.
College campuses in the 1960's birthed the American counterculture, where young people celebrated their freedoms and protested against injustice throughout the world. The war and civil rights were issues debated by students across the country, with only one mass killing at Kent State when the Ohio National Guard came in, killed four students and injured nine others. Before and after that, the college environment has given countless young men and women the ideals necessary create change and move society forward, without feeling the need to carry a weapon.
Guns do not belong with someone with evil intent nor do they belong in the backpacks of my Intro to Ethics classmates. Sadly the legislators in Texas have defaulted back to their roots in the Wild West and have decided we all need a pair of six-shooters at the ready. This means that on August 1, 2017, the traditional classroom at Collin College will be noticeably different. It goes without saying that none of us wish to see another senseless school shooting. But laws like this will do its fair share of damage to university students as well. Fear impedes learning, worrying about repercussions from class discussions, sizing up fellow students with who is armed and who isn't, should not be part of any college’s curriculum. All significantly take away from what college is supposed to be, a true and free atmosphere for learning.

"NRA: 'Only Thing That Stops a Bad Guy With a Gun Is a Good Guy With a Gun'" CNS News. N.p., 21 Dec. 2012. Web. 19 Mar. 2016.
"Statistic Brain." Statistic Brain. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2016.…...

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