Violence Abroad Threatens Students, As Do Guns At U.S. Schools | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Violence Abroad Threatens Students, As Do Guns At U.S. Schools

Play associated audio

Last year, there were more than two dozen shootings on or near college campuses in the United States. This past Tuesday, that number went up, with the fatal shooting of a student at Purdue University. Then yesterday, a fatal shooting at South Carolina State University. It will, of course, tick up again.

On the other side of the world, in Afghanistan, two university colleagues went out for a Friday night meal in Kabul. Before they could finish dinner, they were killed in a suicide bombing followed by a hail of bullets.

We are outraged at the attack, and at the senseless loss of life. We're safer here in America, we tell ourselves, from targeted violence.

And we know that isn't true.

Because increasingly, our halls of higher learning, and the football fields and parking lots and plazas, are targets. Whether at Santa Monica College, where five people were gunned down, or the University of Arkansas or Maryland, all over the country we find ourselves vulnerable to gun violence. But the issue of campus security is a contested topic.

Colorado's legislature is trying to reinstate a ban to make colleges gun-free.

Yet some states, such as Georgia and Pennsylvania, have been considering whether to make it easier to bring guns to college. Legislatures in Texas and North Carolina have passed laws that allow students who are licensed gun owners to keep handguns in their cars.

In Florida, a group calling itself Florida Carry is contesting state restrictions against keeping guns on campus.

Florida Carry has been advancing its cause in the courts. It has successfully argued that Florida students have the right to stash guns in their cars. This year, the group is pushing for students to be able to keep guns in their dormitories.

Somehow it's not the college experience I remember. Pizza, beer and bullets. Quite the combination: everyone armed and pulling all-nighters.

In an opinion piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, the former provost of Idaho State University Gary Olson said, "there is no recorded incident in which a victim, or spectator, of a violent crime on a campus has prevented that crime by brandishing a weapon."

And most surveys show that students and faculties think having guns on campus is a terrible idea.

Perhaps it's not about knowing who the bad guys are, but knowing ourselves, which offers our best protection. Which is, after all, the fundamental mission of higher learning. Those kinds of insights can't really be learned at gunpoint.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Oct. 1

Music from West Africa and photography from South East Asia come to the D.C. area.

NPR

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

Researchers have found a gene that affects how strongly you experience bitter flavors. And those who aren't as sensitive eat about 200 more servings of vegetables per year.
WAMU 88.5

Legal Limbo No More? Bill To Go Before D.C. Council Lays Out Ridesharing Rules

Cab drivers in D.C. have long complained that their app-based, ridesharing competition are unregulated. Now D.C. Council member Mary Cheh is introducing a bill that would address these concerns.

NPR

'Ello' Aims For A Return To Ad-Free Social Networking

Ello is the viral social network of the moment. Ad-free, invitation-only and with the option of anonymity, it's generating tons of chatter as the latest alternative to Facebook.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.