Guns on Campus

Do the names Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold ring a bell? Depending on how you look at it, the state of Colorado either has a short memory, or is at the leading edge of the whole Constitutional Rights thing. It was April 20, 1999 when the aforementioned students went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School, killing 13, injuring 24 and forever changing the lives of everyone else. Columbine became the standard against which every incident of campus violence is compared. The ensuing years churned with debate on Goth culture, violent video games (many of which are known as “first person shooters”), the use of psycho-pharmaceuticals in teenagers and, of course, increased scrutiny of school security. According to the state Supreme Court of Colorado, college campuses are different. Colorado State University has allowed students to carry guns for the past 10 years, and students at the University of Colorado will now have the same rights. As a former college professor, I often stood before a lecture hall full of students, many of whom were highly stressed and living in an environment where drug and alcohol abuse were widespread. Now, they are armed. Guns are not allowed in courtrooms or on airplanes, why must we have them in classrooms?

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