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Abolish Gun-Free Zone on Campus

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Matthew Noyes

     SUNY campuses are gun-free zones for everyone but police and criminals. If, God forbid, someone wanted to commit violence against our student body or faculty there would be little that could stop them. The policy, enacted by the SUNY Board of Trustees, prohibits anyone who is not a police officer from carrying a concealed firearm on campus even if you have a concealed carry permit.

     The police can’t be everywhere all the time. Gun-free zones provide a false sense of security and infringes on human rights: the right for an innocent person to protect their life and property from harm. This policy should be overturned, and responsible firearm owners allowed to discreetly and safely carry concealed handguns on public campuses.

     To get an idea of what other students think about this I interviewed two students, Brynn Labounty a junior, and Eric Papas, a sophomore. When asked if they think people with a permit should be able to conceal carry on campus, Labounty said no, because she thought that would “allow anyone to carry and could lead to violence and accidents.” Papas said yes. He thought, “If someone wanted to attack the school, it would be good to have people who could take them out.”

    Both Labounty and Papas said they don’t think gun-free zones work because someone could break the rules and bring a gun anyways. They are right; gun-free zones don’t stop criminals from bringing guns on campus. What it does do is prevent those who respect the law and are well versed in firearm safety from carrying concealed on campus.

    When asked if they trust the government to protect them, both answered no. They think there is a lot of corruption in law enforcement. I don’t think most law enforcement is corrupt or incompetent. However, that was the case in the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. According to CNN, there were several sheriff deputies outside the school during the shooting. They failed to do their job and so did Sheriff Israel.

    The Florida school shooting is an example of government failing to do its job: the FBI failed to act on the numerous red flags, the police stood by and did nothing during the shooting, and the background check system in place wasn’t enforced. None of the gun control measures being proposed would have prevented this tragedy. A failure of Sheriff Israel, his deputies, the FBI, and of the state and federal government to implement the background check laws on the books allowed this horror to occur.

    I do not believe in schools arming teachers. Those who personally own firearms and know and respect firearm safety shouldn’t lose their civil right of self-defense when they walk onto public school grounds. Allowing students to safely and lawfully carry concealed on SUNY campuses will not make us unsafe. Why should we disarm responsible firearm owners? Why shouldn’t a trained female student be able to have a way to prevent a rapist from overpowering her? Why should we make it easier for a potential shooter to murder our fellow Great Danes? The reason I believe in getting rid of the gun-free policy on campus isn’t because I don’t care about the victims of violence. On the contrary, it’s because I care about the safety of my peers that I support eliminating the contradictory idea of gun-free zones.


Matthew Noyes is a conservative columnist and assistant opinions editor of the Albany Student Press. He is also president of the University at Albany's Turning Point USA chapter and a writer for Campus Reform. Noyes, a New Hampshire native, is a political science and Japanese double major.


  1. Matthew Noyes' Forgotten Conscience
    March 10, 2018 at 9:14 am — Reply

    “the background check system in place wasn’t enforced”: once upon a time I might have realized I undermined my own argument in favor of arming students, given that my fellow students may have obtained their guns through failures in background checks. Clearly effective, comprehensive background checks need to be prioritized, as does attention to red flags. Of course, my brain and those of my fellow students are not fully developed and such obvious problems are inevitably overlooked when one has blindly committed to a (not really) conservative (or “liberal” or whatever) ideology.

  2. Simon Lindsey
    March 21, 2018 at 6:11 pm — Reply

    “and of the state and federal government to implement the background check laws on the books allowed this horror to occur.”
    Fake News. He did pass a background check and he would have no matter what. As you said just before, he may not have passed a check had the other agencies done their due diligence but to claim the NICS check was performed incorrectly is false.

    “I do not believe in schools arming teachers.”
    I am confused by this sentence, should teachers be allowed to carry on campus or not?
    Abolishing gun free zones means teachers would be able to carry on campus, does it not?

    I appreciate that you’re willing to put in the time to write from the perspective of liberty but it would be best for everyone that supports your position if more time was taken to fact check and clarify. These days liberty based policy advocacy is a fringe position so we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than those in the mainstream tend to do.

  3. Jake Winezki
    March 21, 2018 at 9:37 pm — Reply

    Okay where to begin with this madness. Allowing people to carry on campus wouldn’t ensure safety. It would however, increase the likelihood that someone would use their firearm in an irresponsible way which could lead to others getting severely injured or killed.

    By the way, interviewing two students isn’t a great way to get the idea of what an entire campus thinks. Might wanna spend more time on that if you’re gonna use it to back up your argument.

    Also consider that statistics show that a vast majority of the firearms used in mass shootings were purchased legally. It doesn’t make a school safer, but it will increase fear and intimidation around campus and there’s every chance that someone will get hurt.

  4. Jake Winezki
    March 21, 2018 at 9:39 pm — Reply

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