How ‘good guy with gun’ sounds to bad shooter

Olivia Barfield

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Earlier this year, the state of Texas signed a  “campus carry” bill into law, which will allow licensed gun holders the legal right to carry concealed handguns throughout university campuses, starting Aug. 1, 2016.

Concealed firearms have been permitted onto public university grounds in Texas for two decades, but this law will allow them to be carried inside buildings as well.

In Louisiana, we still have laws that explicitly prohibit the carrying of firearms on college campuses, including by citizens with concealed carry weapons permits.

But how long do we have until that changes?

Hopefully, a while.

I am no stranger to guns. I grew up on a rather large plot of land in the middle of nowhere. On occasion, my father would take my little sisters and me outside to practice shooting. Yes, I am from the country.

I’ve shot shotguns and handguns and even a rifle once. And I’ve been hopelessly unsuccessful at shooting any of them well.

I do think that, yes, shooting is fun. At my house, we shoot pumpkins when they start to rot. I think watching a pumpkin fall to pieces after a few rounds from a shotgun is kind of cool (although I rarely actually hit the pumpkin).

My poor father has tried to help me. He’s put effort into trying to correct my stance and technique and whatever else. But no amount of tips or adjustments to my form has improved my ability.

In fact, my 13-year-old little sister is a better shot than I am.

Guns make me nervous. This is because I know what they can enable people to do, and I know that I could not wield one in my favor if I ever needed to.

Someone mentioned to me once that I should get a concealed carry permit in order to protect myself.

First, I let them know that it would be useless on my campus, where I spend the majority of my time, because guns on campus are illegal for civilians regardless of your permit status.

Secondly, I let them know that it would be useless to me off of my campus due to my lack of ability.

Even if I had a gun, if you bring a gun to a public place and try to shoot me, I’m going to die.

I’m very well aware of my inability when it comes to shooting. I will never be a gun hero.

And you probably won’t be either.

The “good guy with a gun” theory says that when bad things happen, a good guy with a gun can step in and restore order by waving their weapon and scaring or shooting the troublemaker.

“If somebody had just had a gun,” is a passive aggressive phrase that America is hearing too often.

There have been 23 shootings on college campuses this year. And somebody had a gun at every one of them.

It’s true that the good guy with a gun theory presents a bit of sense, and it has even seen reality before.

But most of the time, when defense from a civilian with a gun saves the day, it’s because the civilian was ex-law enforcement or a security guard or something of the sort.

Guess how many college students are ex-law enforcement. Not many.

A good guy with a gun probably isn’t going to save us if a school shooting occurs. That gunman has been planning this. He wakes up and says, “I’m going to kill some people today.”

The average college student wakes up and says, “Today I’ve got a test and a hangover,” and is probably  not physically or mentally capable of stopping a determined gunman.

When you let a gun into a campus building legally, you help the shooter out.

It’s not that hard to get a concealed carry license. They let our 1,000-year-old-church organist shoot a pistol from her walker and she got one. A college student with a plan won’t mind having to take a 1-day course so that they can more easily execute an important part of their plan: getting a gun on campus and in the building.

On Oct. 1, a shooting at Umpqua Community College killed 10, including the gunman.

Nine others were injured before the gunman, a student, committed suicide.

Much of the details of the shooting are unknown. What we do know is that 13 firearms were found in connection to the shooter (all obtained legally) and that no one with a gun stopped the shooter from killing.

Instead of fixing the problem with more guns, maybe we should make guns harder to get in the first place. Let’s make it impossible for a college student to legally obtain 13 guns.

It makes fearful to think of my classmates carrying guns. I mean, sometimes I say mean things in the spur of the moment. I don’t need them to have a quick way to kill me in the spur of the moment.

For many college kids, having a gun does not equal protection. It doesn’t equal another day of guaranteed living. Ordinary, under-experienced college kids like myself probably won’t stop a shooter with a plan, but maybe not being able to gather 13 guns legally might.

Religion can be spoken about freely, yet we tread softly when publically mentioning it.

But, the hardest idea to grasp is that having the right to spread religious awareness is certainly not the same as pushing beliefs on others.

While people reserve the right to practice religious freedom and to speak without restraint about any faith they choose, forcing others to listen isn’t freedom of speech; it’s harassment.

There are over 127 major religions and seven billion people on earth with seven billion different views of God. Some love Him, some fear Him, some question His existence and some are still searching for Him.

Some will decide that God plays no role in the trials and tribulations of life, while others will find faith the moment they see their newborn child take the first breath of being.

Whether we discover where we spiritually belong in a pew on Sunday morning or on a lonely drive with no destination, the journey to finding or forgetting God is what determines our views. We can’t be told what and who to believe in, or to even believe in anything at all.

What we learn, who we meet and the challenges we face are what we remember when we stand before Him, not the church members that knock on our front doors, or the people that stand in the quad condemning us all to hell.

And if the church goer at your front door changes your perspective, let them. Be baptized in one church, change your mind, and be baptized in another. Let what you learned in biology class make you question evolution and the powers above.

Learning from life experiences and questioning God’s ways isn’t sin; it’s human. It’s human to change emotionally, mentally, and spiritually when physical surroundings change. It’s human to simply be curious and indecisive.

Faith only exists because there are people that believe strongly enough in it to make it a reality and a way of life. Without doubters and differences, the strength of religion would never have anything to be measured against.

Because of that, religion without true belief is weak.

Never practice out of habit, don’t follow just because your parents or friends do, and don’t ever think one religion is superior to another. In a time that seems to have the explanation for everything in a test tube or on a database, people believing in any God at all is a miracle in itself.