Here is an excerpt from an interview with Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shootings, as he talks about the dangers of guns on campus: “There have been attempts by gun enthusiasts in a number of states to pass legislation mandating that colleges and universities allow anyone with a gun permit to carry a gun on campus, including students carrying guns into classrooms. What’s your view of these proposals?”
Colin: Look, I understand the basis of where students are coming from on this issue - it’s fear. Parents’ fear for their children’s safety after tragic episodes like VT and Columbine, students’ fear of becoming a victim, the fear of getting shot - fears that I’ve known firsthand. What scares me more than that though, is the idea people have that having a gun to shoot someone first is the only way to deal with gun violence in this country. I say we can do better than that.
Americans think we’re already doing every reasonable thing we can do in order to prevent dangerous people from arming themselves. But the truth is we’re far from it. We’re far from taking all reasonable steps available to us to stop dangerous people from arming themselves in the first place.
How about we improve the poor levels of records in our background check systems? How about we stop selling guns to people without those background checks at all? How about we stop letting people who can’t fly on planes legally buy guns? How about we improve an under-funded law enforcement agency using dated technology to run our gun traces? How about we stop allowing a small number of rogue gun dealers with thousands of “missing” guns every year to keep selling guns? How about we try some of these measures first and see what happens to gun violence, not just on campuses, but around the country as a whole?