According to the United States Constitution, the Second Amendment states that, “a well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.' This specific amendment protects the right of citizens of the United States the right to bear arms. However, this Amendment granted individuals rights to possess firearms independent from serving in a militia. Thus meaning, the Second Amendment explores the aspect of gun ownership with regards to one’s liberty by granting a sense of security, rather than vulnerability. When concerning the right to possess firearms on a college campus, legislation varies from state to state granting individuals the ability to step foot on a college campus with a concealed weapons permit.
Sixteen states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus include California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming (Villalobos, 2018). The problematic issue is that college students do not have the necessary training required to respond to an active shooter situation if present on campus. By arming students, there is no effective guarantee that inexperienced students trying to take down an active shooter will succeed by neutralizing the shooter. In fact, students with a concealed weapons permit and firearm on standby will then make themselves known and become a target by the active shooter. The lack of training to effectively combat active shooters is immensely different opposed to the unmatched skills law enforcement personnel obtain when responding to dangerous situations, such as the presence of an active shooter being on campus. This is exactly why campus police are always making a presence throughout the campus by either walking around, driving squad cars in and out of lots, and engaging with students on campus.
Law enforcement officers’ profession outlines the ability to serve and protect the community and to mediate any given situation with no casualties. However, gun violence is a serious problem across the nation and poses as a critical threat to not only citizens, but faculty that teach various levels of higher education. The sense of security has been violated on numerous levels after incidents involving shootings on college campuses such as, the University of Texas massacre, the University of Virginia Tech massacre, Northern Illinois University shooting, and the Santa Monika shooting that left numerous casualties. It is apparent that these shootings have influenced legislatures to arm faculty, which can help save lives in a positive matter by helping to neutralize a threat before police arrive. For instance, in 2017, two states passed legislation to allow students and faculty to carry guns on college campuses, Arkansas and Georgia (Villalobos, 2018). Dependent on the state one may live in, the concealed weapon carry can either be promoted or prohibited on college campuses.
The rigorous rules and regulations made by legislatures decide whether this idea can be adopted on campuses as certain universities may fail to have a suitable police department that can exclusively respond to any given scenario involving crime, let alone an active shooter. This is specifically why Tennessee allows faculty members with licenses to carry weapons on campus, but the law does not extend to students or the general public (Villalobos, 2018). Therefore, this trend of allowing some form of concealed weapon carry can vary from state to state as the discretion is made souly upon universities if given the clearance at a state level first. The Columbine Colorado shooting that happened on April 20th, 1999, was a turning point for gun control and safety as many lives were taken by both Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Their terrible acts of violence left twelve students dead as well as a teacher , while wounding close to twenty other individuals when their plan to place a self-detonating bomb in the cafeteria failed. After realizing that their plan did not go as planned after the timed explosion never took place, the perpetraitors then walked into Columbine high School and began firing rounds relentlessly at anyone in their path. Specifically, Harris and Klebold targeted athletes, minorities, and Christians as a form of selfish retaliation for being bullied. Once the massacre was deemed successful, both individuals committed suicide. It is evident that both Harris and Klebold had the criminal intent as well as the criminal act to cause this horrific damage.
The charge that would have been selected equally for these criminals would have been capital punishment because they both intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly harmed individuals. In a failure to detonate a bomb, which is considered both property damage and physical harm to others, this is classified as a crime against persons. In Colorado, this is classified as a Class I Felony with life imprisonment. This is applicable as these individuals committed serious crimes and killed innocent people who weren’t armed. Both possessed firearms unlawfully, which makes the matter worst. As well as, tried to purposely detonate a makeshift bomb. The totality of the circumstances promotes that they should serve two life sentences, if not seek the death penalty as a result of their actions. Mental insanity should not be deemed necessary as they premeditated their sophisticated plan. I believe that they knew the security system in the school was not safe and that they could kill the most people necessary in the least amount of time they had. They wanted to seek retaliation, which is why it is relevant that they wanted to show their figure of authority even though they were bullied throughout their high school career. They wanted to instill fear in the most violent way and demonstrate their figure of being an anarchist. When in fact they were murderers and didn’t care if they took anyone’s lives no matter what the cost was.
I though it was ridiculous that it took close to forty-five minutes for law enforcement and swat units to show up and mediate the situation after the fact, when everyone was already a casualty. This situation proves that school security is a top priority in not only college campuses, but schools across the nation. There should be two to four armed personnel stationary in every school depending on the school size to deflect any situation like Columbine. These individuals can range from retired law enforcement officers to retired military with extensive training in firearms. If police departments do not have the extra manpower to place their officers within a school, this is the best way to solve the issue at state. This will not only further overtime but help neutralize any potential threat. Overall, the Columbine massacre has helped reconstruct safe security measures while promoting safer school policy in a positive manner.
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