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Guns on campus could be scary, but so is not being protected during an attack on campus.
The “campus carry” bill has been passed for public colleges in Texas. This bill, also known as Senate Bill 11, allows students with concealed handgun licenses to carry guns on campus starting Aug. 1, 2016, according to an article in The Texas Tribune.
Private schools, like Texas Wesleyan University, will have the opportunity to opt out of the bill.
The decision whether or not to have guns at Texas Wesleyan should be examined in light of the lack of campus safety. Wesleyan is located in a dangerous area, and while the campus has made security improvements over the last few years, more should be done.
Guns should be allowed on campus if Wesleyan does not provide safety measures, such as armed campus police and panic buttons.
But with the deadline for private schools to opt out of the bill quickly approaching, Wesleyan has limited time to make a decision. Wesleyan should allow students to have a voice about the decision because students are the ones who are more active on campus and are easier targets for violence than the faculty or staff.
If Wesleyan did allow guns on campus, there should be an extra process that faculty, staff and students with a CHL should go through. This would include registering yourself through the school to allow anyone on the Wesleyan campus to know who is carrying a gun.
However, if Wesleyan opts out of SB11, we believe that campus security should increase. If there was a shooting on this campus, we would have to wait until the Fort Worth police arrived. This could take several minutes and a catastrophe could have already occurred.
In addition, anyone being attacked would not be able to quickly call for help. A student running for his or her life would not have the time to pull out a cell phone and call campus security, or even the police. Having panic buttons, such as the ones at Texas Christian University, placed around campus could help students call for help a lot easier in dangerous situations.
Or if guns were allowed on campus, a student could pull out a gun and provide a threat to the attacker quicker than he or she dialing for help.
Because this campus is not safe, especially at night, Wesleyan should either allow guns or provide armed campus police and panic buttons. Student safety should be the number one focus for Wesleyan.