With 48 mass shootings in the past 51 days, it is evident the second amendment needs to be reevaluated as we consider the topic of campus-wide concealed carry as a precaution to more inevitable mass shootings.
When Republican lawmakers proposed a campus carry bill last fall, opposition on the University of Wisconsin campus ranged from a circulated petition to a small group of students choosing to protest the proposed legislation in the spring semester by carrying sex toys around campus. These immature protests have diminished the importance of their stance.
By making others feel uncomfortable with the presence of a visible sex toy, protesters made light of an extremely important issue that has the potential to save countless lives and reduce the risk of mass shootings on our campus and around the country.
Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, stated, “You’re disarming these adults who are responsible concealed carry members who are not able to protect themselves, and at the same time you’re letting the criminal element know around these campuses, hey, there’s no one that’s armed.”
People who are eligible to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Wisconsin must be at least 21, have passed a background check and completed a course on gun safety, among other things. This dismantles the argument people with guns on college campuses would be reckless and threaten campus safety.
Typically, individuals with intent to commit gun violence don’t jump through these hoops and, instead, access guns in alternative ways, therefore posing a threat without a concealed carry license. The lack of guns for protection within classrooms places a target on the backs of students who have the privilege of attending a university such as ours.
According to the Department of Justice, the best response times for police after a 911 call is four minutes. Assuming both the Madison and University of Wisconsin Police Departments meet this standard, the minimum amount of time for any response to a criminal interaction is a complete four minutes.
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These precious minutes count when faced with a violent shooter. Without hesitation, a legal concealed carrier can have a gun drawn within seconds. Not only does this minimize the immediate risk while waiting for police to respond but also the risk of having a shooter situation in the first place. The target placed on classrooms is instantly removed when a violent shooter has to contemplate how well prepared a crowd is for their attack.
While some students may feel uncomfortable with the possibility of having a gun in the classroom, I personally am uncomfortable with my lack of ability to defend myself in such situations.
Kayla Behnke ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in community and nonprofit leadership.