Responsible society has boundaries on guns

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 25, 2007

When it comes to red-button issues in America, there’s no questioning that gun control is close to the top of the list.

Debates about the 2nd Amendment are fierce and the issue of concealed-carry laws has now made its way to college campuses.

Pro-gun students across the country are wearing empty holsters this week as a sign of protest for not being able to carry weapons on campus. Students at Ohio State, Miami University and the University of Cincinnati have participated in Ohio and about 5,000 students are expected to take part nationally.

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Proponents of allowing guns on campus point to the shootings at Virginia Tech earlier this year when a student — Seung-Hui Cho — killed 32 people and wounded many others before turning the gun on himself. It was the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history and some believe the carnage would have been reduced or prevented altogether had students been allowed to carry guns.

That is speculative, but even if that was true it certainly wouldn’t be enough to justify allowing students across the country to starting bringing guns to class. The legitimate question has to be whether the number of shooting incidents would go up if more students had guns on campus.

In an environment where spirited debate is encouraged and youthful enthusiasm flourishes, it’s not hard to believe that such a change would alter the entire college experience. It’s little wonder universities are opposed to the idea considering the prospect professors could teach a class to several students carrying guns. And let’s face it, some young people really have no business carrying a gun, legally registered or not.

The old adage “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” isn’t really a relevant argument these days. The debate has shifted and the bottom line is lawmakers are trying to do what is necessary to ensure people don’t get killed at all.

Proponents take the position that more guns would create a safer environment, but common sense tells us otherwise. The right to bear arms should be respected and fiercely defended, but there must be restrictions in a responsible society.

And one of those restrictions should be on college campuses.

Rick Greene is the managing editor of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1441 or