By Lindsay Pickard
A Brookhaven College student pulls into the campus parking lot with a sticker on the back of their car that spells out “love” in letters made of handguns and bombs. Another student has a sticker that says, “I dare you to take my gun from me.”
According to the Brookhaven Student Handbook, firearms are strictly forbidden upon any campus, and this includes any person who possesses a license to carry a hand- gun under the Concealed Handgun Law. Brookhaven students and professors have different opinions about this policy as the government debate over gun control continues.
Neil Muoz, U.S. Marine veteran and Brookhaven student, has an opinion on the topic. “The policy is set in stone because of things that have probably happened in the past,” Muoz said, “because anyone at any time can snap.”
On Feb. 12 this year, The Guardian reported that more than 44 school and college shootings have occurred in the U.S. since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn. Of those 44 shootings, 13 occurred within the first six weeks of 2014.
Some students feel they should have the right to protect themselves, including Brittney Young. “Our cur- rent firearm policy is dumb,” Young said. “I think what it is really doing is not allowing people to defend them- selves. Everyone regrets not enforcing a tighter law after it’s too late.”
Brookhaven English professor Dr. Ricardo Gonzales said he believes in the right to bear arms. “That right does not make me want to own a gun,” he said. “We no longer focus on gun rights. We focus on gun control. I think that says more about the mentality of a government than the state of the people.”
According to the book “Lethal Weapons” by Scott Harrison, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence from 2006 to 2011, a job application asks for more personal information than most forms used for background checks. A month after the Sandy Hook tragedy, President Barrack Obama signed an executive order for gun control legislation.
According to a Wall Street Journal article from 2012 by Steve Eder: “Students are now permitted by law to carry guns on public campuses in five states – four more than two years ago. The movement to ease gun restrictions on college campuses gained momentum after the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, with advocates arguing that students, if armed, would have been able to stop the shooter who left 32 people dead.”
The Brookhaven Firearm policy may not be changing any time soon and though the appearance of certain stickers on the back of cars promote the desire to bear- arms, as of now the policy has not been an issue.