A conversation about guns

April 16 marked the one-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting, when crazed gunman Seung-Hui Cho opened fire on the campus, killing 32 people and leaving about 30 injured.Before 1999 when a shooting rampage at Columbine High School left 15 people dead, a school campus was considered one of the safest environments around. Now, many students feel like as if they should personally do something about their safety on campus.

There has been a recent movement across the country that would allow students to arm themselves on college campuses. Last year, 12 states were considering bills that would allow people with concealed-weapons permits to carry guns at public universities.

Monique Wallace, a junior mass communication major from Chicago, thinks guns should not be allowed on campus.

“I feel that school zones should be safe zones,” Wallace said. “So if an individual other than the campus and city police has a gun, then the school would not be as safe.”

Roderick Ceaser is a mass communication major from Ruston, agrees.

“There is no purpose for that,” he said. “School is supposed to be a place for higher learning. Guns on campus just puts innocent lives in danger.”

Freshman Rondarus Bradley of Monroe agreed.

“We shouldn’t have to carry guns because security should be enforced,” said Bradley. “It’s not a good idea.”

Though many students feel that guns on campus are not a good idea, some seem to feel differently. Bruna Foster from Daytona Beach, Fla., thinks it just might be a good thing.

“I feel that students should have guns, not for show, but for protection,” said Foster. “Guns are a necessity.”

Haley Young, a freshman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., agreed.

“But students shouldn’t carry guns because they want to look hard,” he said. “They should carry them strictly for protection.”

Police officers seem to think that students carrying guns on campus is a definite no-no.

Grambling State Police Sgt. Joe Stringfellow said, “I don’t think so. Firearms could be very dangerous. You have to be trained with firearms.

“It’s for safety, yeah, but on campus, no,” he said. “Students could be harmed.”

GSUPD Chief Jefferson Walker reinforced the police officer’s perspective.

“Guns on campus?” he said. “Definitely not. If it’s conveniently available, anybody could kill. That would create a real problem.

There’s a tremendous responsibility that goes along with carrying a firearm. Somebody’s life could be jeopardized.

Among the weapons confiscated on GSU’s campus since the school year began are four semi-automatic handguns, one revolver, and an AK 47.

“Guns are dangerous,” Chief Walker said.