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?”
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.
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.”