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Guns on Campus

We’ve all seen on TV the horrific scenes from Newton Connecticut, the shopping mall in nearby Clackamas, a Regal movie theatre in Colorado…and sadly so many more incidents of guns taking lives in senseless murders. I am a student just like you. I know when I walk the dark walkways of PSU I now think of this deadly scenario. I worry that this might occur here too. I cringe at the thought and hurry along my way.

I know that I could probably obtain a concealed weapons permit from the county where I reside that is good for all of the state. I know then I might “legally” carry this gun, this piece of hardware that is created with one real purpose, to kill. But then I also ask myself, “Is this what I really want to do or do I feel threatened and worried, that my own life may be in danger and that is what is prompting me to think about actually carrying a gun?” And when I get past this question I also ask myself, “Is this who I am? Do I let fear run my life? Do I really want to kill someone?”

"Is this you?"

“Is this you?”

For me, I am not that kind of person. I have always believed in “live and let live”. I don’t want to be the kind of person that would kill another human being because I believe my own life is in danger. I believe we are an intelligent and resourceful people. I believe there are other alternatives for me, such as fleeing, calling 911 for help, not placing myself in vulnerable situations if I can, and believing that the school I attend, PSU, has taken all the precautions it can to protect me and my fellow students in our goal of receiving an education and becoming a valuable and contributing members of society.

I realize my choice is not for everyone. But having served in the military, having been in real life and death situations, I know sometime in your life you must find out who you really are? Do we give in to the TV and media hysteria? Do we allow ourselves to be manipulated into doing something we do not believe in? Do we really have to kill to live? Is that what our society, our culture, is really about?

I do not think it is.

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“Or…is this you?”
You really are the one to decide.

Note: The following is the current PSU policy on carrying a gun at our school and was adopted by the Oregon Board of Higher Education on March 2, 2012.

“…forbids students, employees, individuals with a business interest with the campus (such as vendors and contractors), event attendees, those who rent or lease University property, and campus visitors from carrying a firearm on University owned or controlled property…The prohibition is effective whether or not an individual holds a concealed handgun license.”

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. R. Rogers #

    I think you make some excellent points, especially about bringing some sort of common sense and rationality into the national discussion we’re having on guns. It seems like whenever we start to have a serious discussion on guns, it immediately sinks to a circus side show of people running around screaming about fascist government take-overs. Facts speak for themselves, in other western countries with a reduced amount of firearms in the public along with stricter gun control laws than the US -there are fewer cases of murder – pure and simple. So how do we find a way towards that goal without sacrificing our rights? We have a rational discussion and stop listening to the extremists on both sides. Organizations like the NRA who have become a huge special interest buying our congress need to stop their influence peddling when all they do is rely on hysteria and ignorance to further their cause.

    January 14, 2013
    • Mike Briggs #

      Thank you for cognizant comments Mr. Rogers. You are correct. It shall prove trying to attempt a merger of gun culture, with our 2nd Amendment, and realistic and safe handling and possession of firearms in our American culture and society. Thanks a lot for your reply.

      January 14, 2013
      • R.Rogers #

        You’re welcome Mike. I live in Camas WA and am a recent transplant here from San Francisco bay area and love it here in metro PDX. I’m looking into taking some classes at PSU soon and am very interested in learning more about the campus and people.

        January 15, 2013
  2. D Shehorn #

    Carrying a concealed weapon is a privilege, not a right. The 2nd amendment allows for a “well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” such that the privilege is extended to those members of that militia, The practical state should require registration and tracking of the militia’s firearms, background checks for its militia, along with mandatory accuracy and handling training. It is entirely within the purview of the Board Of Higher Education to restrict and forbid the carrying of firearms on its campuses.

    January 15, 2013
    • Mike Briggs #

      Very interesting comments Mr. Shehorn. Thank you for taking your time to respond. Perhaps for the PSU readership reading this blog you may care to introduce yourself a bit, where you are from, your accomplishments, etc. This may serve to educate the readers of what you say from your considered opinion?

      January 15, 2013
  3. Mike Briggs #

    Rich Rogers, PSU is a very diversified institution with something like 30,000 students making it the largest college in Oregon by student count. I have returned as an older student. I left PSU way back in 1980 but the university took every single credit I ever earned there and also at Clark College and have worked with me all the way. If you take 8 credits or less per term you can receive Oregon in-state tuition rates also. It is a wonderful university catering to many different types of students with varying goals. I can tell you first hand it is the best bang for the buck for a university in this area.

    January 16, 2013
  4. Mike Briggs #

    I wonder if anyone has any more comments about this subject since the shootings today in Houston Texas at Lone Star College? Do you think guns on campus, carried by students, would have helped or hindered this situation?

    “I thought this was a safe campus, we had police and armed security everywhere.” Amanda Vasquez – Student at Lone Star College

    January 23, 2013

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