In the midst of calling for stronger gun control laws, advocates for reform have been given a morsel of what they are asking for — but frankly it still is not enough.
Since the Parkland, Fla., school shooting on Feb. 14 — and the long list of those before — we’ve seen lawmakers propose negligible alternatives to gun reform, such as arming teachers or placing metal detectors on campus. These options are only placeholders for actual solutions to gun violence, and also have the potential to create even larger problems.
These bipartisan changes are a distraction to the deeper and obvious issue that guns are killing people. It is like taking an over-the-counter painkiller to relieve the agony caused by a spreading cancer — in this case, the guns are the disease and lawmakers are giving us a placebo.
At Orange Coast College, there has been talk about arming Campus Safety officials. While details are still up in the air, as students, it is crucial that we view this proposal seriously.
To arm OCC Campus Safety would be to create a microcosm of the thoughtless ideas that have been proposed to the nation to serve as a diversion from fixing the problem at hand, the fact that guns are too easy to obtain and will continue to be a primary cause for the perpetual mass shootings.
While the idea of having armed officials on campus may seem comforting to some, the logistics bring to the forefront a list of concerns.
To solve gun violence, the last thing we need is more guns.
Soon after the idea of arming teachers began circulating, a 53-year-old social studies teacher at Dalton High School in Georgia was arrested after he barricaded himself in a classroom and fired a shot from his handgun out the window, a testament to the dangerous side effects that more guns could have on a campus.
This isn’t to say that OCC Campus Safety can’t be trusted, but the thought of having more guns on campus may create an even higher sense of uneasiness on campus. If an active shooter were actually to come to campus, the likelihood that our few armed officials would even be in the same vicinity to defend students is low.
Gun owners, advocates and the NRA often contend that “it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun.”
The truth is that while there are some who would run towards danger without hesitation, it has been shown time and again that when faced with an active shooter situation, police do not always run straight into the building or area in which shots are being fired.
The reason is that police officers are aware that their Beretta, Smith and Wesson, or Glock is still not an equal match to an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the recurring weapon of choice in mass shootings.
The size of OCC’s campus presents another issue. If shots are fired or danger is present on the opposite side of campus from where Campus Safety is, the realistic chances of someone getting there in time before any damage is done are slim.
The Coast Report Editorial Board believes that students, teachers, or any citizen for that matter, shouldn’t have to settle for trivial changes when it comes to gun reform and protecting ourselves and those around us. And it’s crucial that we pay close attention to the small changes being proposed for our campus in the name of safety.