On March 14, 2022, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a new bill on gun rights and regulations. This bill, which goes into full effect June 12, 2022, allows anyone to carry a concealed handgun in Ohio, no longer requiring a permit or training to do so.
Seeing this bill immediately set off red flags in my on-campus household.
As many are aware, since 2018, students across the country have been rallying for March for Our Lives. The movement gained traction after numerous school and public shootings over the last few years, when the youth of America finally broke the silence on the tremendous effect guns have had on our lives.
It is safe to say that at least half or more of our Capital University campus students have experienced an active shooter drill in primary school. They became an integral part of our lives growing up, something that was normalized and prepared for. Yet, can you ever really be prepared for a student or random person to come and shoot down your classmates and teachers? Can you really prepare to throw books and barricade chairs so you don’t get shot? Can you really prepare to send a text to your family in a dark classroom, knowing you might not see them again?
I am someone who was raised to not be scared of guns. My father has a Concealed Carry Permit; I’ve shot guns, and usually I am comfortable with being around them. I can understand why someone would want to own one, and why they would feel it is their right according to the second amendment.
What has become increasingly concerning is the lack of gun control.
With this bill, there is no training (which was previously required to gain a Concealed Carry Permit) and no background check required. The bill states that “any Ohioan aged 21 and up who can lawfully possess a gun will be allowed to conceal and carry a weapon.” I want to reiterate once again that this allows students, while venturing off of campus, to carry concealed firearms, as long as they are over the age of 21.
Many parents of victims of gun violence are strongly against this bill. Sandy Hook parents tried to petition against this bill being passed, and were instead met with this quote from House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” he said. “Also it was the deadliest year for the highways, as I understand it. So I’m not sure there’s a connection.” I find it to be absurd that he equates willful gun violence to vehicular accidents.
It is important to understand how this might have an impact on us–students–who have lived through a history of increasing gun violence in schools. Will this make us safer, or will this be a detriment to our peace of mind and physical safety? How do you feel knowing someone in your community might be carrying a gun without any training on how to use it?
Do you feel safer?