By Tabitha Carranza
Imagine this: It’s a beautiful, sunny day at Cal Poly Pomona.
You’re walking across the University Quad on your way to class when suddenly a loud alarm booms through the speakers across the campus.
It’s the telltale alarm for an active shooter on the grounds.
As mass shootings become more frequent in the U.S., this scenario has probably crossed the minds of every student.
More than likely, they have asked themselves what they would do in that situation.
Some believe a solution to this would be to allow students to carry their own guns on campuses.
Last summer, a Texas state law went into effect that would allow students with concealed carry licenses to bring their firearms on most college campuses.
Here at Cal Poly, no one is allowed to carry any kind of firearm or weapon on campus, and there is currently no plan to change that rule.
Every university should have this policy.
According to everytownresearch.org, there have been over 200 school shootings in the U.S. alone since 2013.
That averages out to at least one school shooting per week.
There have been nine in California since the same year.
California is known as a blue state with some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
Just last October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill forbidding anyone to carry a gun on school campuses.
This bill overturned last year’s legislation which allowed local school superintendents to permit employees to carry firearms in certain cases.
Although this bill went into effect January 1, CPP has been a gun-free zone since it opened.
Some people wonder how people at colleges can defend themselves from an active shooter if they’re not armed themselves.
This is known as the good Samaritan with a gun theory, which is when an armed man or woman who happens to be in the middle of a shootout will intercede and stop the bad guy.
This theory is problematic in its wishful thinking.
First, it’s relying on the off-chance someone might have a gun and use it during a school shooting.
And second, we’re opening ourselves to more danger than good by allowing both faculty and students to carry firearms.
In heated situations, there is no telling that someone with an open-carry license will use their weapon responsibly.
There is a viable possibility that a faculty member or student will turn their guns against others on campus.
Some people believe that having an open-carry campus can bring a sense of security to students, but there is nothing secure about having a loaded weapon hiding in someone’s bag or in their desk.
Even if a firearm happens to be in trustworthy hands, there’s no way to ensure that someone else can’t get to it.
According to CPP’s Campus Safety Plan 2017, theft is the largest crime committed on campus.
That would only become more dangerous if guns are involved.
An argument made from a woman’s perspective is that female students need to protect themselves against attackers while walking around campus, especially at night.
It is understandable that women want to be able to defend themselves against assault, but having guns on campus is not the answer.
If students and faculty can carry firearms on campus, the threat for women would only become larger.
Sure, women would be able to carry a gun, but so could potential attackers.
Instead, CPP has options for both women and men in order to feel safer on campus.
The Safety Escort Service is available to take students from their class to a safe destination on campus, including to their vehicle parked in any of the school’s parking lots or structures.
School and mass shootings in the U.S. are becoming something worse than a problem; they are becoming normal.
It seems as though no one is really surprised when a shooting is reported on the news, and that is the scariest result of America’s gun culture.
Bringing firearms onto campuses only reinforces this issue, so when anyone says students and faculty should be able to carry guns at school, I say this: Not on my campus. Not ever.
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