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Editorial: Concerns with feeling safe surrounded by guns

By Angeliki Verros
On May 9, 2011

You're walking to your car after a long day at work or school, and you're approached by a person who skillfully points a gun to your head. Any items that were once in your hand are scattered on the ground. If you make any sudden movements you're dead. You are helpless.

If you had a gun on you, would you have been able to use it? At this point, no, you wouldn't.

In March, gun control advocates and many politicians were confident the concealed carry bill would pass. Earlier this week supporters of concealed carry were making progress until Governor Pat Quinn vowed to veto the bill although House passed it on Tuesday.

Kevin O'Brien, 22, is a senior at DePaul University who feels strongly uneasy about the entire debate surrounding this bill.

"I would not feel safe if I was sitting next to someone on the train or bus and they were carrying a weapon," said O'Brien. "I don't trust a stranger to protect me, let alone trusting them to carry a gun," he said.

Trusting the system is another issue, amongst not being able to trust a stranger. Laws in the gun permit system may be one of many reasons why the bill has been debated. Flaws would enhance the chances of someone carrying a gun that is not capable of using it correctly, has a mental illness or a criminal.

Rose Garcia, 23-year-old senior political science major at DePaul University would not use a gun even if she was legally allowed to carry one. "Sure, it would ease my mind a bit and make me feel like I can protect myself," Garcia said. "But would I honestly be able to kill another human, even if my life was in danger? I don't think so," she said.

A person's morals, religious or other, will not allow the killing of another human, even if their life depended on it.

Allowing a person to legally carry a gun will give people the incentive of using a weapon against those who already have intentions of using a weapon, whether law permits it or not.

In 2010, 80 percent of all murders in Illinois were firearm murders.

Adam Marosi, 22, is a witness to those statistics. Marosi is student who was attending Northern Illinois University during the 2008 shootings. "The shootings took place on my birthday, a day I will never forget," Marosi said. "Never, in any situation, would I think allowing students to carry a gun would have stopped this student from shooting five of my classmates," he said.

I know, concealed carry excludes students or anyone on campus from carrying a gun, but as current Illinois law forbids concealed carry, what's stopping anyone from walking into a school and going on a shooting rant? Nothing. And passing a law that allows concealed carry everywhere but school campuses would not have stopped the Northern Illinois University shooting, the Columbine shootings, or any other school shooting either.

Students, professors and staff have a right to be protected and feel safe on campus but that security is not the student's job. "Passing this bill would undermine police officer's position," said Marosi.

"There are problems in current school security as the law stands now. Let's fix those issues first before we allow any citizen to carry a weapon," he said.

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