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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

NMU CARES — President Brock Tessman shares his feelings on the universitys new CARE Team. Photo Courtesy of Northern Michigan University
Letter to the Editor — Our New CARE Team
Brock TessmanFebruary 23, 2024

Leave campus gun laws to university

On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho committed the second deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history when he took 33 lives on the university’s campus. Presidents of universities throughout the country, including NMU’s Les Wong, lent their condolences and support, declaring: “Today, we are all Hokies.” It was on this day that every college administration’s greatest fear became a reality.

Cho had a history of being mentally unsound, and lawmakers were outraged at the fact that he was still able to purchase the guns used in the massacre. According to a report released by the Brady Campaign, a campaign dedicated to ending gun violence, a law strengthening the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was signed by President Bush on Jan. 5, 2008, putting forth effort to make sure something like the Virginia Tech massacre never happened again.
Current Michigan state law prohibits city and local governments from regulating concealed weapons, but allows universities and colleges to regulate weapons on campuses. Michigan state Rep. Wayne Schmidt has proposed a bill that would make regulation of concealed weapons consistent across the state. This is a step backward in the work that has been done since the Virginia Tech massacre to keep guns off college campuses.

The State of Michigan should not be directly responsible for the safety of students and employees at a university. College campuses are often safer than the communities that surround them. A study by the U.S. Justice Department found that between 1995 and 2002, college students 18 to 24 experienced violence at lower annual rates than non-students the same age. This is because college campuses enact stricter gun laws than the cities that surround them.

According to the 2008 state census, Michigan has 10,003,422 citizens to try and control, while large universities such as Michigan State only have 46,648. We should give the power to the administrators with not only fewer people to manage, but a closer proximity to those people. If the state wants to take on the added burden of making sure college students do not abuse loosened concealed weapon laws, they’ll have to be willing to take the blame when something goes wrong. And let’s face it, something will. Even though background checks for purchasing guns have been tightened, there will always be those who slip through the cracks. Making it okay to bring guns into such a high-strung, competitive and emotional environment could dramatically threaten students’ safety.

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Some people believe arming students would prevent campus shootings. This is wishful thinking, and we need to leave safety up to those in charge. Universities have a duty to provide their students with a quality education, while making sure they are as safe as possible. It’s their job to keep us secure, and I take comfort in the fact that the people who pledged to keep me safe are located less than a mile away. I wonder if Wayne Schmidt has children, and if so, if he’d like their safety monitored by someone sitting at a desk hundreds of miles away, versus someone right across the street.

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