The gun control debate has been a big one in America for some time now, but now it’s come to us here in Milwaukee, specifically, UW-Milwaukee. State legislators, Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), recently proposed a bill making it so UWM can’t ban guns in campus buildings, if you have a conceal and carry permit, in an attempt to make our campus safer.
Milwaukee itself is not the safest area to live. I’ve lived here for 3 years, and I’ve gotten more e-mails about armed robberies and muggings than I would have liked to, but I don’t believe this bill would help anyone in our campus buildings. We already have a fairly safe campus here at UWM. I have never felt the need to bring a gun into my French 203 class. The passing of this bill would only make us paranoid out of our minds.
Mass shootings was my first thought when I heard about the proposed bill. With the amount of campus shooting tragedies in this country throughout the years, the most recent one being in Oregon on Oct. 1, 2015, it is insane to invite more guns onto an already pretty safe campus.
One must be 21 to apply for the concealed-carry license in the state of Wiscosnin. That legally eliminates guns from the hands of most underclassmen. That being said, if only about 20 students take advantage of this bill out of over 30,000 and considering they only have two classes a day and spend their free time in the Gasthaus, like me, what are the chances one of them is going to be around to help in the off chance a mass shooting does happen?
Allowing this bill to be passed doesn’t mean that every student and faculty member is going to go around campus swinging guns in the air like it’s the Old West. It would likely only be a small percentage who would actually take advantage of this bill. However, it only takes one person to step foot on campus and wreak havoc.
The fact that I could be sitting down at the Gasthaus having some beers during Thursday night trivia right next to someone with a gun in their pocket would make me insanely uncomfortable. Making concealed weapons legal on campus would only make it harder to identify actual criminals. That goes for the police and for the students.
Any ban on allowing concealed weapons in campus buildings doesn’t stop a dangerous person from bringing one in. Although we do attend a pretty safe campus, legalizing guns in our buildings only makes it easier for a dangerous person who wants cause trouble. It’s not only students and faculty who can take advantage of this bill. This goes for anybody safe, sane, or otherwise, who is allowed to use our library, eat in our union, or roam our halls.
I trust the police with a gun far more than I trust any member of the general public on campus. Most of the general public does not have the proper training that cops have. I considered getting a gun for my home when my downstairs neighbor’s place was broken into and after I was mugged on my way home from work on a separate occasion. However, with my history of depression and zero knowledge of how to use a gun, I decided otherwise.
On the note of mental health, UWM and the Norris Health Center has done so much for mental health awareness. Nevertheless, I’ve seen enough UW- Milwaukee Confession posts on Facebook to know that there are many students here with anger issues, problems with alcohol, or with suicidal thoughts. By welcoming guns on campus, I can only see harm coming out of this in the end.
The passing of this bill would not make me feel safer. During the day, I feel safe enough on campus, and at night B.O.S.S. will safely take me where I need to go. A gun is not the tool to keep us safe. It is a weapon designed to put holes in people, and does not stop at the first target. Simply put, a gun’s purpose is to kill, and we don’t need that on our campus.