Rights in conflict

Decision by Pence could threaten safety of students and educators

As Americans, we have a Constitutional right to bear arms. As of March 26, Hoosiers now have the right to have their guns in school parking lots, due to a bill signed into law by Governor Mike Pence. While some consider this a victory for gun-rights activists, I am not so sure that it is a victory for Indiana students and teachers.

While school shootings are rather rare, we, as a society, still have an obligation to prevent these tragedies to the best of our ability. By allowing staff and other adults to carry firearms in their cars, we run the risk of those weapons being used for violent purposes.

While I respect the right to bear arms, I believe there is a time and a place for everything. Schools, even school parking lots, are not the place for guns.

We have regulations set in place to keep students and faculty safe. For example, even though alcohol is legal for citizens over twenty-one, staff members still can’t have alcohol in their classrooms.

Further, our own township recently became smoke free in an effort to decrease the second-hand smoke exposure to students and staff. We do these things because alcohol and tobacco can have negative consequences. Seeing that more than 100,000 Americans lose their life due to gun violence every year, it is clear that guns pose just as big of a threat to Hoosiers.

If we truly want to keep Indiana students and educators safe, allowing guns on school campuses is not the right move to make.