According to the Gun Violence Archive, Texas is among the states with the highest rate of gun violence. The statistics are especially worrying with regards to public shootings – the reports claim that three out of eight deadliest gun violence incidents of 2015 happened in Texas. Yet, the state’s gun policy remains quite relaxed, and, according to the Second Amendment, people of Texas can carry concealed handguns in public, including university campuses. I oppose the legislation allowing to carry weapons on campus. However, there are many arguments for and against the ban on the free sale and possession of guns.
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The main argument against the allowance to bear firearms in public places is that it creates opportunities for public shootings. Indeed, one of the deadliest campus shootings in U.S. history happened in Austin, Texas in 1966. The University of Texas massacre was initiated by a 25-year-old student of the university, who killed 17 and injured 31 people on campus. The incident could have been avoided if the gun laws of the state were stricter and if people were not allowed to freely purchase guns and carry them in public spaces, including university campuses. Another deadly shooting occurred in 2007 in Virginia, where people are also permitted to carry handguns in public places. The shooting at Virginia Tech University caused the death of 32 students and faculty members and leftover 20 injured. It is the second deadliest mass shooting in the history of America. Both shootings occurred in the states where guns on campuses are allowed; therefore, I believe that proper legislation prohibiting the free sale and carrying of the firearms would have saved a lot of lives and could make university campuses in these states a lot safer. Prohibiting guns on university campuses could also help to decrease the incidents of student suicide, which has been rising in the past few years. According to the statistics, the vast majority of male suicide victims used a firearm to end their lives.
The advocates of free gun possession claim that weapons are needed for people to protect themselves in the case of danger. However, guns are rarely used for self-defense. Very few public shootings were stopped by civilians who had guns with them. Moreover, if the civilians in possession of weapons are shot by the criminal, he or they can obtain their weapons, which would cost more lives. Another argument against the ban on gun possession is that it gives more control to the government officials, thus aiding them in obtaining more power over the personal choices of citizens. However, this argument is rather weak; in liberal states, the protection of citizens one of the crucial functions of the government. Moreover, law enforcement officers are far more skilled in preventing and stopping crime than regular people. They are also subject to regular psychological evaluations, which ensures that they are not harmful to society if they possess guns.
Overall, I believe that the free sale and possession of guns should be prohibited not just on university campuses but in other public places, too. However, such action will require a nation-wide approach: if some of the states keep their gun laws relaxed, people can go there to obtain weapons. A ban on the bearing of firearms in public places would decrease the occurrence of public shootings, thus promoting the safety of the citizens.