Written by | Natalie Villarreal |
Many often wonder, “What can we do to protect our citizens?” Amarillo College might have answers and has questioned students and staff about whether the college should designate gun-free zones on campus when Texas’ campus-carry law goes into effect for community colleges next year. English major Lesley Blevins said she thinks that if AC did allow guns, there should be areas where guns shouldn’t be allowed, especially congested areas. “I think that if we do allow guns on campus that having gun-free zones would be a good idea,” Blevins said. “Especially places like the library, tech lab, bookstore, the CUB and places with high traffic.” Blevins said she would feel unsafe if someone in her class had a gun.
Theater major Talia Crist said she thinks AC should be a gun-free campus. “Many people I don’t know and don’t necessarily trust now will have the ability to carry a loaded weapon anywhere I go on campus,” she said. “It doesn’t make me feel safe at a place where I should always feel comfortable and protected. “If something were to happen or go wrong or someone was pushed a little too far, a deadly weapon can be as close as their hip. It’s frightening.” Briana Graves, an education major, disagreed.
“I am against gun-free zones,” Graves said. “A criminal isn’t going to stop at the door of a building and say, ‘This is a gun-free zone; I better turn around and go home.’ “If someone wants to hurt or kill you, they will. I would rather have the option of protecting myself than to wait for law enforcement to show up.” Graves said that in order to carry on campus, she would like to see individuals who have been through a CHL course and have obtained their license. That way, not everyone would be able to carry their guns on campus. Some students are against having gun-free zones on campus because of safety reasons and wanting to protect themselves if they were in immediate danger.
Other students believe the campus should be gun-free to help avoid a dangerous situation. They say it would make the college safer. Campus carry with be put into effect on Texas community college campuses on Aug. 1, 2017.