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Editorial

New gun law proposal heads in the wrong direction

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October 15, 2015

About one year ago, on Thursday, Oct. 15, a large amount of UW-River Falls students decided not to go to their regular scheduled classes and stayed in their dorms or in their homes off-campus.

Feeling as though students wouldn’t show up anyway, many professors and instructors decided to cancel class that day altogether. Police officers roamed the campus. UWRF looked like a ghost town, and from someone looking from the outside in, it was just another day. A year ago from Thursday was what students will remember as the Ides of October, the day someone, still unknown, threatened the campus with a cryptic message that ended with “and bullets will fly.”

Thankfully nothing happened that day, and the next day students and educators returned to their daily routines, ready to put the past behind them. And although everyone had a little scare that day, UWRF remains relatively safe. However, many universities across the country aren’t as safe as our small Midwestern campus, and some wounds don’t heal as quickly. On Oct. 1, a shooting at Umpqua Community College killed nine. The nation once again felt the weight of an all-too-common college shooting.

Every time this happens, debate of gun control takes center stage in the political world. Democrats demand stricter gun control while Republicans begin to preach about their second amendment rights. Nobody really seems to know what to do to stop the shootings.

On Monday, Oct. 12, two legislators introduced a bill that would allow people with concealed weapon licenses to carry gun inside Wisconsin’s public university buildings and classrooms. The argument for this being that allowing students to carry weapons would deter crime on campus.

After all of the shootings that have happened at universities around the country, the idea of anybody being able to carry a deadly weapon into classrooms and university buildings is not very appealing. A university should be a safe place for learning, not a place where students feel uneasy, wondering if the person sitting next to them has a gun, and wondering whether or not that person will use that gun to hurt people.

If this legislation were to be passed, it can only be imagined how many students the UW-System universities would lose. The idea that students and other people should have guns in order to protect themselves from other people that have guns is reckless and extreme. Something needs to be done to change the shooting culture that American universities finds itself in, but the quick and not well thought out idea of more guns isn’t the solution.