Thursday, March 10, 2011

Say "No" to Guns on U.S. college and university campuses

By Gail Collins, New York Times, March 9, 2011
(I)n the states, legislation to get more guns in more places (public libraries, college campuses) is getting a more enthusiastic reception.

The nation’s state legislators seem to be troubled by a shortage of things they can do to make the National Rifle Association happy. Once you’ve voted to allow people to carry guns into bars (Georgia), eliminated the need for getting a permit to carry a concealed weapon (Arizona) and designated your own official state gun (Utah — awaiting the governor’s signature), it gets hard to come up with new ideas.
This may be why so many states are now considering laws that would prohibit colleges and universities from barring guns on campus.
“It’s about people having the right to personal protection,” said Daniel Crocker, the southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
Concealed Carry on Campus is a national organization of students dedicated to opening up schools to more weaponry. Every spring it holds a national Empty Holster Protest “symbolizing that disarming all law-abiding citizens creates defense-free zones, which are attractive targets for criminals.”
Whenever you are prompted to dream of American, "the home of the brave and the hope of the free," never forget, dear reader, that it is also the home of the gun-toting, gun-running, gun-addicted freedom fighters who actually believe that most crimes would not happen if everyone, and they mean everyone, carried his/her own personal Glock.
And whenever you think that you might want to study in America, or move to America, please analyse carefully the side of the ledger that points out what you might give up in such a move.
Advoates for guns in every pocket, or purse, or holster, in every bed-side table, in every office desk, and in every vest pocket are springing up around the country almost, it seems, in part to make a strong statement against everything, including Obamacare, that the President and his party stand for.
It is only nine weeks since the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords in Arizona, where they have recently announced that their state emblem will be, you guessed it, a gun! The only piece of legislation that emerged in Congress in a responsible attempt to thwart another such shooting, is a bill to restrict the sale of "clips" that would carry several rounds of ammunition, making many shots in rapid succession possible, in the hands of a potential shooter of another member of Congress. The bill languishes in Congress, and will likely die given the Republican disdain for such legislation, and their current control of the House of Representatives.
I have lived in the U.S., for four years in a western town where the half-ton trucks carried both a rack of rifles in their rear window and signs on their rear bumper that read, "This vehicle insured by Smith and Wesson" in a proud display of "gun-power" as a way of saying to anyone from out-of-state, or out-of -country, "BEWARE! We don't tolerate the wimps from anywhere!"
It is both sad and frightening that the most admired, in some quarters, country on earth is so weak that it relies on the toting of a gun to demonstrate its "power" a sure sign that it is extremely uncomfortable with its vulnerability, yet deep in denial of it at the same time.

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