With gun control in the news, colleges across the country are debating whether guns should be allowed at school. Last year the University of Colorado began allowing students to carry concealed weapons with a permit, and universities in Texas, Arizona and other states are considering measures that would allow guns on college campus. A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the arguments.
What about here? Should CCNY allow guns at school?
Harlem is definitely more dangerous than Boulder, Colorado.According to NYPD data, gun violence remains a persistent scourge in Harlem. Just a month ago a 17-year-old boy was grazed in the leg and a 55-year-old man was shot in the hip in broad daylight near City College at the corner of West 136th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, reports DNAinfo. The two survived.
Despite the risk of gun violence, George Costi, a senior at CCNY, believes that allowing guns at New York City college campuses would increase the potential for campus shootings. “People here are more trigger happy,” he says. “Somebody in the Midwest is more likely to think twice of using a gun than somebody living New York City, since we’re not really accustomed to that lifestyle.”
“I would feel more at risk just knowing that people are allowed to have a gun on campus,” Costi adds. He says that may make him want one, too. “If everybody else is carrying a gun, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” he says. “I’d rather be on an equal stance than have somebody have one up on me.”
Guns would make Nan Sukaram, a sophomore, very nervous. “I would not feel safe at all,” she says. “If I were aware that a person standing behind me is carrying a gun, I would feel like bad things can happen at any time.”
Ultimately, some CCNY members believe that guns should be kept out of schools. “What kind of academic environment are you establishing if you are allow guns?” asks Hassan Wallace, a CCNY security guard. “If you have to carry a gun to school you shouldn’t be going to that school.”
Costi agrees. He says, “Guns don’t have anything to do here. It’s an academic setting and it should be an environment where peace is taught not violence.”