Thursday, February 9, 2012
Over winter break, I became aware of an interesting Second Amendment issue in my home state. New Hampshirites are known as fiercely independent and unfailingly protective of their Constitutional rights. It is safe to say that we have the best state motto, "Live Free or Die," which is proudly displayed on our license plates. While I fully embrace this motto when it comes to our tax-free lifestyle, there are other extreme ideas rattling around in Concord that appall me. In particular, the state has recently discussed bills that would allow students to carry guns on campuses, enable drivers to transport almost loaded guns (a bullet in the chamber), and eliminate the need for a license when carrying a concealed weapon. WHAT? In my opinion, this is absolute madness. Guns on campus? Shotguns in your car? Well, there go my dreams of being a campus safety officer or highway patrolman. Even as a civilian, the thought of those around me carrying a concealed weapon without a license scares me.
Since we're all students, I'll focus on one issue for the moment. Ideally, college campuses are bastions of intellectual progress, void of any tomfoolery or horseplay. But, like me, I'm sure that you are a realist. We all know what happens on the weekends, between downtown antics and drunken, on-campus misadventures. I would certainly not feel comfortable knowing that my fellow students possess firearms and, at any time, could use them malignantly in a less-than-sober state. Hamilton is a small community and, by most standards, a relatively safe place; there are certainly larger schools where such an issue would be magnified. Now enter UNH, a mid-size state school with some 15,000 students and a far more sprawling campus. Imagine the danger that carrying weapons could pose for such a big population.
College, the bridge between adolescence and adulthood, often fosters experimentation with alcohol, and has for many years. It's just the nature of the beast. People might claim that college-age students are mature enough to handle the responsibility of a weapon. This may be true; however, as members of a unique community that often serves as a bubble within the real world, it would be irresponsible and dangerous to carry firearms. The college atmosphere and the accompanying party scene are simply not conducive to gun ownership.
Let me leave you with one last thought. What if the person across the hall from you owned a gun? What if a neighbor down the hall, known for his destructive behavior, carried one at all times? It's scary...
New Hampshire, you need to take a long, hard look at this one.
Comments are encouraged. Concord Monitor article attached.