Guest Opinion: Leigh A. Needleman and Andrew Freshman

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Guest Opinion: Leigh A. Needleman and Andrew Freshman

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<b>Advocating presence of more guns will not prevent another Virginia Tech</b>
By: Leigh A. Needleman and Andrew Freshman
Posted: 4/24/07

Like so many of the other members of the Davis community, since I first heard about the shootings at Virginia Tech on Monday morning, I have been seeking answers. However, the more that I scour the Web and listen to the news, the more questions I have: Why? What was the motivation? How could this have been prevented? How can this be prevented from happening ever again? How could this be prevented here?

On Tuesday, Apr. 17, I read the article "UC Davis responds to Virginia Tech shootings." I wanted to share my fellow Aggies&#39; reaction to the news. To my horror, I read sophomore McKenzie Bryan&#39;s quote: "I really believe that if we did not have &#39;gun-free zones&#39; or really strict gun control, there could have been people on that campus that could have stopped the shooter right after he got started, way before the SWAT teams got there." I had to reread this quote several times.

Bryan seems to be advocating that members of university communities carry around guns, prepared for armed assault at any time. This very idea causes me to feel profoundly physically ill. (Leaving aside for a moment the idea of the typical college drinking party with the incendiary addition of guns....)

I try to imagine how events might have transpired at Virginia Tech on Monday if members of the community had been armed: One day students are in class when a gunman suddenly enters and begins indiscriminately shooting. Some of the students in the class pull out their guns and fire back. Panic and confusion ensues - who is shooting whom and for what reason? Faculty and staff as well as students are drawn by the noise and join the skirmish. Innocent bystanders are caught in the crossfire. Half an hour later, the SWAT team enters. Several students have their weapons drawn and are shooting. The SWAT team, unable to determine deranged psychopath from righteous Samaritan, makes the logical decision to "take out" all individuals with a gun. How is this a better outcome than the one in Virginia?

Being an open-minded person, I have wracked my brain to try to understand the suggestion that more guns on campus would lead to a safer community. The declaration of a "gun-free zone" has little to no bearing on whether people are actually able to carry weapons. I am furthermore unaware of any colleges or universities that have implemented any sort of metal detectors or other devices to actively detect and deprive university community members from carrying guns. It therefore seems irrelevant to raise this point in relation to this situation.

I would advocate for the complete opposite of Bryan. Suppose that easily concealed semiautomatic pistols and ammunition could not be easily obtained by the general public? The likelihood of a delusional and depressed student with homicidal tendencies being able to successfully carry out a massacre on the scale of the incident at Virginia Tech without such weapons would be greatly reduced.

Unfortunately, Bryan and other un-pragmatic gun extremists such as the National Rifle Association continue to advocate for the easy availability of guns that indirectly create the possibility for similar incidents. What is the benefit to society of the proliferation of these weapons in the community?

Our hearts and minds go out to all who have been affected by this senseless, nightmarish and terrible act. The last thing that they (or any of the rest of us) need to read at a time like this is someone advocating the presence of more guns on college campuses.

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Original Source:<a href=http://media.www.californiaaggie.com/media/storage/paper981/news/2007/04/24/Opinion/Guest.Opinion.Leigh.A.Needleman.And.Andrew.Freshman-2876662.shtml>The California Aggie - April 24, 2007</a>


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Leigh A. Needleman and Andrew Freshman

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The California Aggie

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2007-08-23

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Sara Hood

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Eddie Lee <editor@californiaaggie.com>

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eng

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Leigh A. Needleman and Andrew Freshman, "Guest Opinion: Leigh A. Needleman and Andrew Freshman," in The April 16 Archive, Item #1201, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/1201 (accessed September 16, 2014).