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Gun Violence on School Campuses

Ring! Ring! Ring! There is a phone ringing with unbearable news on the other end. You answer the phone and receive the message that a loved one who attends the university has been shot. Questions begin to form about how and why they were considered safe. College shootings are increasing globally, even with gun regulations in place. Educational institutions have become on the receiving end of the substantial gun violence and its aftermath. Smith notes that “the five deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred in the past 11 years” (Smith 2). For instance, Columbine shooting that took place in Columbine, Colorado, in 1999; the Sandy Hook Tragedy that occurred in 2012; the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007; Santa Monica College Shooting in 2013; Oikos University shooting in 2013; Northern Illinois University Shooting in 2008, Virginia Tech Massacre on the deadliest school shooting that happened in 2007, and Umpqua Community College Shooting in 2015 are examples of school shootings that resulted in many lives being taken (Smith 4). Each of these incidents claimed the lives of innocent students. Schools and college campuses should be learning havens, but since 1999, they currently risk being attacked due to the rampant gun ownership that exists today in the United States. While guns provide a sense of security, they cause multiple deaths, hinder learning since teachers fear students, and cause panic and fear among students, which is this essay’s focus.

The increasing number of gun-related deaths is indisputable evidence that handguns are lethal weapons. Allowing guns on large campuses with inadequate safety will only result in more deaths. Fry’s study observes the rising cases of shootings following the shootings that occurred in Oregon and others were observed in Texas and Florida eight days later (Fry para. 1). Another incident left 32 people dead, meaning that having more guns does not always mean safety, despite there being “300 million civilian firearms in the United States” (Fry para. 4). The number of guns available among United States civilians is extensive, alongside the numerous gun violence that extensively occurs in the nation’s states. Therefore, the preference for guns on college campuses must be vacated.

Allowing guns on campus hurts the learning environment by making teachers feel more nervous and afraid. Fry also notes that researchers from Harvard’s School of Public Health discovered that murder rates increase in areas with higher gun ownership (Fry para. 6). This demonstrates the unpredictable nature of firearms and their chilling impact on college life. The fear of violent threats associated with subpar grades in a hypothetical situation strengthens the case against allowing guns on campus. Students who are struggling academically may lash into violent ways due to the high stress and anxiety. Therefore, the possibility of armed conflict among students fosters fear and undermines the primary goal of educational establishments (Fry para. 14). Although correlation does not equal causation, to take preventive measures, it is crucial to recognize the potential connection between academic pressure and violence in school.

The presence of guns on campus undermines the feeling of safety by instilling panic and fear in students, hence disrupting the sense of safety that should accompany a learning environment. Fry notes that the reality is that allowing more guns will lead to more fear and mayhem while having a chilling effect on campus (Fry para. 14). The damage done to students’ and instructors’ psychological health following shootings is evident. Consequently, the general atmosphere of schools can be negatively impacted by gun violence. Students and teachers end up feeling uneasy and afraid to go to school, which undermines their education and the well-being of society, especially when armed students are allowed into classrooms as the new law proposes (Fry para. 9). Both a drop in student achievement and a drop in school attendance may result from this. It is evident that a culture of fear is pervasive and hinders the growth of a supportive community and the educational experience.

The proponents argue that permitting firearms on campus increases personal safety by enabling people to defend themselves (Christ 1). Although the goal of this claim is to increase personal safety, the overwhelming body of evidence points to unintended consequences, such as suicides and accidental shootings, as well as a generalized feeling of fear and panic when guns are widely available on campuses (Fry para. 12). The substantial risks connected with an increase in the number of guns in educational institutions outweigh any potential advantages.

In conclusion, the alarming frequency of school shootings and their devastating consequences necessitate a reevaluation of the presence of guns on campuses. Despite the illusion of security, guns impede learning, instill fear in students, and have been linked to numerous fatalities. Therefore, stricter regulations and prohibition of guns on campus are essential to safeguard the well-being of students and foster a genuinely conducive learning environment.

Works Cited

Christ, Brittney. “We Should Be Allowed to Protect Ourselves.” The State Hornet, 2015, June 25.

Fry, John A. “Allowing guns won’t make campuses safer.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. 2015, Oct 15.

Smith, Slim. “Mona Charen: No Names.” Deriv, 2018, Feb 16.


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