In the upcoming election, Louisiana residents have an opportunity to vote on an amendment that could expand gun rights in the state. Amendment 2 leaves Louisiana one court decision away from allowing firearms on college campuses.
As a student at LSU, I feel that campus is a safe place, dedicated to the pursuit of higher learning. Allowing firearms on campus decreases the sense of safety and could prove detrimental to a healthy learning environment.
During my military service, I was highly trained in weapons and tactical shooting, but even I doubt my own abilities to neutralize a threat in a classroom of hundreds of students; therefore, I highly doubt the ability of novice shooters to do the same. No amount of hunting, and practice at the range will prepare a student to make the life or death decisions necessary in a tactical shooting scenario. We cannot expect them to neutralize a misguided student shooter as hundreds of panicked students flee, nor can we expect a student to process who is the real threat when more than one student in the same room has a gun in an active shooter situation.
Every bullet fired in a room endangers students, no matter the intentions of the shooters. The students that are intent on protecting others may very well harm or kill those they intend to protect. How can we expect the novice gun owner to process whether the situation involves one active shooter, as at Virginia Tech, or multiple shooters, as at Columbine? The wrong determination could result in unnecessary deaths.
We have a campus police force that trains for active shooter scenarios, but these scenarios become far more complicated when several students are brandishing weapons. When campus security arrives at the scene, it will be very difficult to determine the intent of every student with a gun and could result in the deaths of students that were just trying to protect themselves and others.
This amendment would also allow for non-students to carry firearms on campus while tailgating. When guns, alcohol, and rivalries are combined, a situation just as dangerous as an active shooter can arise.
Do Tiger fans really want to put the safety of their children at the hands of a person with a loaded firearm, and who has just polished off a 12-pack?
If that thought makes you nervous, then please refrain from voting in favor of this amendment. I am a gun enthusiast and owner, and I believe this is a constitutionally protected right, and that is why I will be voting against this amendment. If it fails, our 2nd Amendment rights will remain intact; if it passes, it may infringe upon our right to life.
student at LSU