Letter to the Editor: Guns on campus is a terrible idea

J. Christopher Brown, [email protected]

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Regarding the recent On the Record column “Guns on campus prevent shootings,” I think having students and faculty bring guns on campus is a terrible idea.

I have been a responsible gun owner for over fifty years. I qualified as a Sharpshooter when I was sixteen, and I hold a Louisiana concealed handgun permit, but I will never bring a gun to school.

I do believe that people have a right to protect themselves from violent criminals, but I would be terrified to have large numbers of students and faculty, without special training, carrying concealed weapons on campus.

The example cited of Switzerland is a false analogy. Mandatory military service is required of almost all able-bodied male citizens there, and on discharge veterans are required to keep their weapon at home, in good operating condition, with a supply of ammunition.

However, these weapons are not bought at the pawnshop; they are issued to properly-trained people by the government. Let me also note that Switzerland is a very homogeneous and well-regulated society.

The situation is quite different in the U.S.A.. Our country is awash with guns, and it is way too easy for untrained and unstable people to obtain weapons. I think that most criminals use stolen guns, which are plentiful because too many irresponsible gun owners leave weapons in their cars, where they are easily stolen. (I will not even discuss the irresponsible people who leave loaded guns accessible to children, with much-too-common tragic results).

I am deeply nostalgic for the days when the NRA focused on marksmanship and firearm safety, rather than wacky conspiracy theories about Obama plotting to take everyone’s guns away.

In addition to the lack of gun safety training in the U.S., citizens who are mentally ill have easy access to firearms. In all the recent mass shootings, mental illness has been suggested as a contributing factor. Even highly-trained Secret Service agents surrounding President Reagan were unable to prevent his being shot by a deranged person.

My brother was mentally ill for most of his life, but he never had any difficulty buying any guns he wished to have. I thank God every day that when he committed suicide he only killed himself and his pets and not a whole bunch of innocent people.

J. Christopher Brown

Loyola community member


This is the second in a four-part exchange. The first can be found here, the third  here, and the fourth here.

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