The issue of gun control is not black and white

Gun violence is an increasingly prevalent problem with an ambiguous solution

Given the rise in the number of “deadliest shootings” that the U.S. has had, it is no surprise that gun control is once again a popular topic of debate.

Arizona has one of the least restrictive set of gun laws among all of 50 states, allowing people 21 or older to carry weapons either open or concealed without needing a license.

While students are not allowed to carry firearms on the ASU campus, many still support their use. Given the increase in gun violence on college campuses, it is important to consider how appropriate it is for students to bring guns on campus. 

There are many factors which affect the effectiveness of gun control, eliminating the possibility of one definitive solution to gun violence. However, the nature of gun culture continues to evolve, especially on college campuses. 

Mark Iacovetta, ASU junior majoring in art and the president of ASU’s National Rifle Association Collegiate Coalition, explained his perspective on gun on campus.

“My end goal, before I graduate, is to push legislation to the state of Arizona to allow concealed carry on campus,” Iacovetta said. “Most people would not want to carry a gun, but some people, like me, do want to have a gun on them. It gives me a sense of protection.”

Concealed carry on campus, or “campus carry,” allows students and faculty to carry firearms on school property.

While college campus shootings do occur, the issue of gun control regarding campus shootings as well as mass shootings is not quite as black and white as many may think.

Following the Las Vegas mass shooting which took place in early October 2017, the use of bump stocks was heavily criticized, but despite the opposition by both Democrats and Republicans, no legislation was actually passed. 

This could be due in part to the fact that many doubt the effectiveness of gun control laws. 

“The government is pretty useless at controlling guns,” Iacovetta said. “(Australia) had a buyback program and they pretty much had a ban on guns, but there are said to be an estimated 260,000 illegal guns circulating Australia. But even with 260,000 illegal guns, there are still very few gun deaths, which supports the argument that if someone’s going to kill someone, they’re going to do it from motive – it’s not really a matter of opportunity.”

The research behind gun control laws yields conflicting results.

A law passed in 1995 in Connecticut, which required gun buyers to obtain permits, was followed by a 40 percent decrease in homicides and a 15 percent decrease in suicides committed with guns.

However, while the number of gun-related deaths decreased, it is projected that the overall number of homicides did not decline as a result of the law.

Background-check laws, such as the Brady Act, were not found to decrease the rates of suicide or homicide after its passage in 1994. 

Despite the fact that ASU decided its policy of banning guns, students still experience a degree of worry due to reports of shooters near campus.

"I think if someone is actually trying to commit an evil crime, they’re going to find other ways to do it,” Iacovetta said.

Shootings are also a concern at ASU, as they have occurred around the ASU campus and students have fallen victim to shootings as well. 

For many, the ability to conceal carry may be comforting, but to many others, it poses as a concern, especially given that gun violence on college campuses has increased in recent years.

In today’s times, gun control is unfortunately a personal issue for thousands of individuals. While a solution is undoubtedly required, it appears to be far more more complex than simply allowing or restricting gun access.


Reach the columnist at kalbal@asu.edu or follow @KarishmaAlbal on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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