By J. Todd McKay
Society shouldn't tolerate guns
To the Editor:
I read with relative distress Rachel Alexander's editorial suggesting that allowing guns on campus would somehow make us all safer ("The regents' anti-self-defense policy," Mar. 24), then went home to the news that a couple of kids opened fire on a school in Arkansas, killing four girls and a schoolteacher. I truly wonder how gun nuts can continue to drone on and on about how much safer we all would be when Americans are shooting each other to death in increasing numbers. By the year 2003, firearm fatalities are projected to become the leading cause of death, overtaking automobile fatalities, if current trends in firearm deaths continue. (Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report of the Centers for Disease Control, vol. 4, 1994.)
Ms. Alexander posits that since the Arizona Board of Regents banned guns from this campus, the number of reported assaults went up. Putting two facts in the same paragraph does not magically generate a causal relationship. Hasn't the number of reported assaults gone up every year? The increase has much more to do with a population increase than the lack of deterrent effect created by guns.
No doubt NRA types can fallback on their brilliant response that guns don't kill people, people do. Reuters reported Wednesday that the principal at the Arkansas school, Karen Curtner, said "the issue is not the weapons or the gun that was used. That had nothing to do with what happened." What? Sorry, but if those boys in Arkansas didn't have guns in their hands, four young girls and a teacher wouldn't be dead. No doubt the boys who shot them were pretty troubled to begin with, but they had guns, so they were able to kill. Without access to the guns, nobody is dead.
Why our society continues to tolerate the increasing availability of guns baffles me. I sincerely hope nobody at this university ever has to go through the horror and pain of those families in Arkansas who lost loved ones because some troubled boys had easy access to guns.
J. Todd McKay