Letter to the Editor: Concerning firearms on campus


Dear Editor,

I’m writing you concerning the article about allowing concealed carry on college campuses in Florida, Senate Bill 234.

I firmly believe in the Second Amendment and the right to carry firearms by responsible individuals. I was raised around firearms and taught how to handle them safely and properly early in my life.

Just because an individual carries a firearm does not mean he or she will be some sort of vigilante, eager to have to pull out his or her weapon and inflict harm; they simply want to protect themselves and those around them.

Allowing concealed carry on campus would foster a much safer campus. All it would have taken was one armed student, or faculty member, to dissolve the situation at Virginia Tech.

Sure, the University Police Department would be able to do something about a gunman on campus, but only after he starts shooting. That means students will likely be shot before anyone even knows what is going on. If students and faculty were armed, they could respond to the situation immediately.

Now, with all this being said, I do not believe everyone has the capacity to safely carry a firearm.

The certification for a concealed weapons license in Florida is lacking. It does not adequately teach weapons manipulation and safe handling, only the laws regarding concealed carry.

Carrying a firearm imparts a huge responsibility on the individual doing so.

They must use discretion in deciding whether or not to use their weapon. They must also be competent with the weapon and know to use it only when they must. Not everyone possesses this mindset — I understand this.

Carrying a firearm is not for everyone, not everyone wants to and not everyone should.

The article mentions a background check for applicants to ensure the safety of the students on campus.

However, UNF is an open campus, meaning that anyone can come onto campus carrying whatever he or she wants.

Someone has to stop them if their actions are violent. I would rather be able to appropriately respond myself than have to wait on someone else to protect me.

Also, one of the statistics associated with the article is incorrect. It states four people are shot in America every ten seconds. If that were the case, over 12 and a half million people would have been shot in America in a year, when another statistic lists that number as merely over “100 thousand” (100,910 according to the statistics in the article). I just wanted this discrepancy to be brought to your attention.

Thank you,
Joel Belgard — junior, criminal justice