OPINION: Education is key to gun control issues

 Robert Ocon
Robert Ocon | Ranger Reporter

Gun control has made headlines around the nation recently, and Texas is no exception. We have heard about all the legislation that has been introduced to help cope with the outbreak of gun violence that has occurred in recent years. Although we have people who agree or disagree with it, the fact of the matter is that it is a problem, and we need a solution.

In Texas, Senate Bill 182 has been introduced to allow faculty and students to carry concealed handguns on campuses of higher education, but what about other schools? Sadly, we have seen shootings from elementary schools all the way up to the high school level. Should guns be allowed in those elementary and secondary education schools where only faculty would be able to obtain a concealed weapon license? I think faculty in those schools should be allowed to carry a weapon.

The solution to the problem starts with education regardless of what legislation goes into effect. Let’s say concealed weapons are allowed on college campuses. Should those people who are licensed be required to inform the school that they will be carrying a weapon to school? Should students be informed that there are other students in their classroom who are carrying a gun? Would that be a violation of privacy, or should that be public information? There certainly would have to be a certain amount of disclosure by the person with the concealed weapons license while maintaining the person’s privacy.

On the other hand, if guns continue to be banned from campuses, what happens then? School faculty members have been trained in how to handle all sorts of scenarios, but that knowledge has for some reason failed to reach the classroom. Students also should be informed on how to handle such situations. What happens when a group of students is without a trained instructor? Students don’t have the required knowledge to handle a hostile situation safely if they aren’t properly trained.

Just like the duck-and-cover drills practiced in schools in the 1950s, we need some knowledge of what to do if a gunman were to open fire on campus. Universities around the country are conducting seminars for students in which they create scenarios of shootings. They are told how to handle specific situations and also how to fight back as a group if they are blocked in a classroom without another option. It is indispensable training for students at all levels of education, because the reality is that schools no longer are the safest place to be.

Preparation is the first step to reducing the risk of high fatalities in cases like the ones we’ve heard about in the news.

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