Arm the students! Why didn't I think of that? ("Students Bearing Arms Could Help Campus Safety," Letters, May 2.)
I'm astounded by the gun advocates' bizarre assertion that the only way to prevent the horror of another Virginia Tech massacre is to allow students to carry concealed guns. Roy Scherer (in this venue) saw this as the "only viable solution." He says students should have the same right to "keep and bear arms" as every other citizen.
What a wonderfully narrow and self-serving view. First of all, our government has the right to regulate the use of lethal firepower and to keep guns out of the hands of those incapable of using them responsibly.
The Supreme Court is a long way from misinterpreting the Second Amendment as Mr. Scherer does. As far as I'm concerned, government has the right to restrict the widespread carrying of handguns and to deny hunters the right to shoot animals with AK-47s.
Second, one of the most significant medical findings since the invention of MRI technology (allowing scientists to track human cognitive development) has been that the brain's prefrontal cortex (which controls impulse, facilitates abstract thought and promotes rational thinking) is still maturing into our 20s. Thus, an unknown but significant percentage of the college population are teenagers who (surprise, surprise) behave like teenagers. Arming or encouraging the arming of this population is tantamount to allowing knives to be thrown during food fights.
American society would be better served if no one under the age of 21 could own or carry a gun, buy alcohol or serve in the military. For the most part, the only persons who should be allowed to carry guns are the law enforcers we taxpayers hire to keep us safe.John G. Schuiteman
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