Readers’ Forum Oct. 25

185

Gun control: For or against?

Considering a conceal carry campus at BYU

We live in a time where we constantly hear of mass shootings, often in public spaces: recently in schools, theaters, and night clubs, for example. Most of these places do not allow conceal carry of a firearm. Brigham Young University is also a public place that does not allow conceal carry. By not allowing conceal carry, the University is potentially left exposed and defenseless.

As a concerned student and Concealed Weapon Permit holder, I understand the weight and responsibility of carrying this permit. Permit holders who responsibly carry in public preserve the safety of our communities. I say the time has come, that BYU needs to allow conceal carry on its premises for its students and staff to preserve our safe space.

As stated previously, it seems as if mass shootings tend to happen in places that do not allow individuals to conceal carry. This is not just by coincidence; a shooter is most likely to pick a place where he knows the people are defenseless or at least a place not known for people being armed. What would be the point of attacking a place where people are able to fight back?

Fortunately, BYU has not had a mass shooting and heaven forbid that ever happens; however, they run a higher risk of having a shooting than the neighboring college Utah Valley University, which does allow conceal carry. In fact, by law all state-owned universities in the state of Utah allow conceal carry, and because BYU is a private university, can and has made the choice to not allow conceal carry.

If accidents or an increase in crime are what BYU fears, all it needs to do is look to other universities in Utah where conceal carrying has not been a problem. It brings more safety than danger. After all things considered, and based on the time we live, there hasn’t been a better time for BYU to allow conceal carry so that we may allow both personal safety and safety for our community.

Tyler Powers
Provo, Utah

Research needed to solve gun violence problem

Throughout the 1900s, the U.S. government sponsored research on how to reduce the high rate of fatalities from car crashes, and then implemented its findings through regulation. Today, we have rules that set standards for licensing, road conditions, the wearing of seat belts, traffic laws and safety features, including head rests, shatter-resistant windshields and air bags.

While the number of drivers multiplied by six and the number of vehicles multiplied by 11 between 1925 and 1997, the rate of U.S. traffic fatalities decreased by 90 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Today, the U.S. has a unique problem with gun violence. In 2012, the U.S. had a higher gun homicide rate than any other developed country, according to data from the United Nations. The U.S. rate was nearly four times higher than that of Switzerland, the country in second place.

The goal of most recently proposed legislation is not to confiscate and ban firearms. Recent proposals have been aimed at measures such as universal background checks, which has support from 83 percent of registered voters, according to the Pew Research Center.

An ideal way to solve this problem would be to study it, just as we studied vehicular safety throughout the 1900s, to find common sense solutions that save lives without infringing on gun owners’ rights. But the CDC hasn’t conducted any research on gun violence in 20 years.

In 1996, members of Congress took away the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s funding for gun control research and passed the Dickey Amendment, which stopped the CDC from spending money “to advocate or promote gun control.” Since then, the CDC has declined to study gun violence at all in order to avoid trouble.

We can’t say for sure what will or won’t work without allowing gun violence research. If we’re serious about reducing gun deaths, let’s repeal the Dickey Amendment so we can finally study the problem.

Ashley Lee
Chino Hills, California

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