By Ethan Beller || Contributing Writer
In today’s heavily contentious political climate, arguably the most divisive issue is gun control. Those on either side of the issue agree on almost nothing. Gun Control advocates accuse those on the other side of being violent radicals or idiots who cannot understand simple facts and reason. Gun Rights advocates claim that their opponents are attempting to steal their guns and are fascists who are attempting to remove guns to institute a martial law. The one area of agreement amongst these two rivals resides in the notion that something must be done regarding mass shootings.
The National Rifle Association’s President, Wayne LaPierre, has famously stated that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The NRA has taken this ideology to inform its solutions to the mass shootings issue and has proposed that armed guards be placed in all schools to keep students away from shooters. This strategy has been endorsed by the President of the United States, and some schools already had or recently have instituted armed guards.
Armed Guards should not be placed in an institution meant for learning. The idea of any educational institution is to expand the students’ minds and ideas; however, the constant fear of death by firearms does not facilitate learning. While we must be aware of the dangers of mass shootings they do not need to constantly be presented to us.
Franklin & Marshall has a vast amount of preventative measures available that allow us to be safe and protected while also not filling our place of learning with weapons that remind of us of the violence our education intends to prevent. The school has a large amount of CCTV cameras and a dedicated public safety team. Around campus are many objects that protect students from violent vehicular attacks, which have become more and more common.
As a country, as a state, and as a community we need to work to institute more gun laws that prevent what the National Rifle Association would refer to as “bad guys with guns” from getting guns in the first place. This does not mean removing guns from the hands of honest law-abiding citizens, but it does mean that we should institute stronger restrictions on those who can initially obtain weapons. Things such as universal background checks, the boyfriend loophole, and the gun show loophole allow guns to get into the hands of dangerous individuals with histories of violence.
The possibility for armed guards at school would only encourage or even increase the presence of firearms in educational institutions, which ultimately does not contribute to a more secure society.
First-year Ethan Beller is a Contributing Writer. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org