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Culture > News

How Politics Affect You: Guns

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

With recent events once again bringing up worries about shootings, you may be wondering how guns could affect your life on campus.

As with a lot of issues facing university students in today’s age, being a student at a New York college protects you to a certain degree, and this is certainly the case regarding guns. While all 50 states allow citizens to carry concealed weapons if they meet certain requirements, there are currently 16 states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus—NY being one of them.

However, in recent years, gun lobbyists have sponsored legislation that would force colleges and universities to allow guns on campus. Since this legislation is opposed by many types of individuals (police chiefs, students, college presidents, etc.) and it would cause significant financial costs (security), it is unlikely that these bills would be passed, especially in New York. Still, it is important that we work to keep guns off campuses for a number of reasons:

  1. Campuses are relatively safe, so there is little reason to actually have guns on campus.

  2. Heavy alcohol and drug use on college campuses impairs student’s judgment and can influence when and how effectively people will use guns.

  3. Combined with mental health issues, guns can increase the capability for people to commit violent acts.

Of course, just because you yourself might not be in danger of a shooting, it is still important to make change across the nation. Below are some options for how to get involved.

1. Donate money. There are a number of organizations you can donate to:

  • The Brady Campaign to prevent Gun Violence
  • States United to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
  • Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
  • Giffords
  • BONUS: Every time you order something on Amazon use Amazon Smile instead, so that a portion of every purchase you make goes to the gun reform group you support.

2. Call your member of congress

3. Educate yourself through websites like Everytown and Gun Violence Archive.

4. Vote in your home state

Thank you for doing your part!