In last week’s issue, one of your writers formulated an article on gun violence–more specifically, gun use on and around Temple’s campus. Not only did he or she suggest that we should not exercise our Second Amendment right to bear arms, but also that there is a more “holistic” approach to self-defense that students should be exercising. While I am certain that both political sides desire less gun violence, one cannot argue that it is a realistic expectation for a student in North Philadelphia to try to give an offender a peace sign when they are looking down the barrel of another firearm.
Students should also be able to exercise their right to bear arms on campus–especially those students who live off-campus in some of the more dangerous areas of town. The “holistic” approaches are no match for the technology and potential danger presented by the modern firearm. The average handgun fires a bullet at about 1,500 feet per second. Nothing other than another handgun can compete with that kind of a threat and all citizens have the right to use one.
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution specifically states that every citizen has “the right to keep and bear arms.” In Pennsylvania, any individual over the age of 21 can apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon and will be approved if they are found to have no criminal record. Most firearm vendors also require buyers to take a course designed to teach them how to safely and responsibly handle the weapon.
The reporter’s comment that “gun violence is only worsened by the number of people carrying firearms–legally or illegally” is simply untrue. Gun violence is worsened by the motives of the individual behind the use of the weapon, not the weapon. Two people can each own firearms, one with the intention of robbing a store and one with the intention of keeping it in his bedside table in case of a home invasion for self-defense. The individual with the firearm in his bedside table is not perpetuating gun violence: he is legally exercising his Second Amendment right. To insinuate that all gun owners contribute to gun violence is a severe misrepresentation of the population.
It is not only disappointing that the reporter of the “Collegiate Carrying” article would suggest that Temple students not exercise their right to bear arms and defend themselves against threats to their lives and liberty, but also that he or she would write an article falsely implicating that all gun owners are dangerous and the cause of gun violence. A respectable news source would educate its audience about, and advocate for, responsible, safe, and legal use of firearms for self-defense, especially when it pertains to the livelihood of the very students they aim to reach with their message.
Abby E. Snook
Senior Philosophy Major with Pre-Law Emphasis
Criminal Justice Minor
[Editor’s note: It is against the policy of Temple University to carry guns on Main Campus. The Temple News does not encourage violating this policy.]