Posted on | May 10, 2011 | No Comments
Is this overly sensationalistic? Proponents of the right to bear arms rejoice today south of the border. The Texas State Senate has indeed approved of a law allowing students to bring concealed firearms in college classrooms, in spite of the growing opposition from universities professional staff and student groups.
Those who promote the law claim it will allow students to defend themselves if confronted to an armed intruder. These are unfortunately not has frequent as is asserted, which prevented the law’s adoption until the Republicans had the idea to tie it up with another bill on university financing.
Its opponents argue instead that it will increase suicide in colleges and universities. This kind of event is not unusual in American schools. Jeremy Wade Dell’s suicide in a Richardson, Texas high school classroom had even inspired the rock band Pearl Jam a famous hit song. Suicide is actually the second cause of death in students south of the border, claiming the lives of more than 1,100 of them last year.
Meanwhile, homicides on American campus remain few and far between. Over the entire USA, a study only found out a total of 118 homicides between 1998 and 2004, slightly less than twenty per year. Presumably the statistics in Texas will be lower (unless they all happened there!). Should the suicide rate climb just a meagre 2% because of this new law, its advantages would quickly be swept aside by its critical flaws. And it is well established that gun availability increases suicide rate, as this Harvard studies discloses.
So yes, it may be a sensationalistic title indeed, but things should be called by their own names. For ideological reasons and (presumably) because of intense lobbyism, the most vulnerable students of Texas are now a little bit more at risk.