A False Sense of Security

Posted on: February 21, 2008

As I walked out of my geology class, musing about the test I had just taken (that I am sure I miserably failed), I absently noted an unusual amount of noise as I opened the door to the stairwell. I didn’t think much of it, but as I turned the corner to proceed down the third flight of stairs, I encountered something rather disconcerting: a girl, in camouflage, with a rifle pointed in my immediate direction. She instantly lowered it, and as I continued descending the staircase, I saw others outfitted similarly. I mentally exhaled a sigh of relief, concluding that it must be some sort of ROTC exercise.

Normally, I would just dismiss this sort of thing and forget about it. And I’m not sure what exactly it was that prompted me to keep on thinking about it, but as I stepped out into the cold a few minutes later, my mind drifted back to it, and I started thinking about it more seriously. What if it had been a different situation? What if it hadn’t been a ROTC exercise? Maybe I am being irrational, but is it not entirely possible that it could have been a gunman with malicious intents? My life could have ended abruptly and instantaneously, and I would have been powerless to do anything about it (not that we really ever have much say in how we die). I know it sounds unlikely and drastic, but that is exactly part of the problem. Believe me, there is nothing more that I would like to do than preserve an idealistic view of the world and hold the view that something of that sort could never happen to me, but in light of the NIU shooting that took place a week ago, and the upcoming one-year anniversary of the VT shooting that took on an unprecedented scale, we need to be cognizant of these issues and address them. Doing otherwise would be foolish and naive.

There is proposed legislation that would allow students and professors to carry concealed weapons on campus, in an attempt to deter the occurrence of school shootings. On the surface, this may seem like a viable solution, but I know that I would not feel safer if this legislation were passed. In fact, I think I would probably feel more at risk. There are too many things that could go wrong in such a situation. Someone could snatch a gun from an unsuspecting or careless student. Or, a professor might overreact to a perceived threat. Not to mention the possibility of innocent bystanders getting caught in crossfire. These are just a few of the numerous possible scenarios that could play out if this legislation is passed. It is my belief that, contrary to allowing more widespread access to guns, we need more gun control.

I’m definitely open to comments, critiques, thoughts, and discussion on this issue. Apathy is dangerous, and this is a critical issue.


1 Response to "A False Sense of Security"

Justine I would have been terrified. You know sometimes I wonder, it seems like school doesn’t seem as safe as it once was. When I heard about NIU shooting I froze because I couldn’t believe it was happening all over again. Wasn’t tech enough? I wonder why our generation, is shooting people. Healthly people do not go around shooting people. I see in my poetry class that people write about terrible things and I wonder what are they reacting to? We need to be healthier people, we need to encourage our friends or people we know are drowning their troubles, pushing them down that they need to seek help. While we can pass laws either to create stricter gun control laws or allow more freedom with right to carry laws, neither will solve the problem. They are merely defensive tactics against the real “problem” and the real problem is that we are hurting, and if do not seek help then we run the risk of not only hurting ourselves but others. But look at the media, while celebrities seem to go to rehab like I go to starbucks, thier is almost a cynical smile, “well I don’t need rehab like them!” And while I love Amy Winehouse, her song Rehab, is not the message our generation needs. We need to know that thier nothing shameful in getting help. We need to know that we can talk to people, we do not need to pick up guns. I to have wondered what if? What if it happened to me? What would I do? And sometimes I find myself stopping for a moment, as if the idea of going to class is no longer simply going to class…it is telling yourself everything will be ok. I guess I have been rambling here but my point is that we need to be a healthly generation…there is no shame in getting help. There is shame in pretending that we do not have a problem and that more guns or less guns will solve this. We need to be on the offensive not the defensive.
Justine I love your post!!! Thank you this is so true and you are right this something we need to address~barbaraanne

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February 2008
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