Editorial Board

In the wake of the Colorado theater, Wisconsin Sikh temple, and most recent, New York City shootings, gun rights and gun control are sure to be factored into the debate between Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama as the November election nears.

However, many politicians have been saying this is not the time to discuss gun control legislation. While The Miami Student editorial board believes that hasty legislation should not be made in the midst of a crisis, the board believes this is an issue the government needs to address.

The Miami Student editorial board found the topic of gun control and policy a difficult one to discuss and write about, so we understand that this is a difficult issue for many Americans to tackle.

Although we were all in agreement that American citizens have the second amendment right to own a gun, the board believes gun legislation needs to be reassessed.

These are policies that have several stipulations and need time to be carefully thought about and discussed by both citizens and elected officials alike.

Gun control has been a long-standing issue in our country, and with events such as the most recent shootings, we must take a close, examined look at gun culture in today’s society.

Gun laws need to be reassessed, more specifically laws concerning who should be allowed to own and carry a weapon. There should also be a longer waiting period in order to obtain a gun and permit, and a law regarding suspicion of intent when assessing how much ammunition and what types of guns someone purchases.

The state of Ohio’s concealed carry laws state that the person must have 12 hours of weapons training and submit a CCW form that includes a background check, after which the permit is valid for five years.

We also feel gun control is an issue Miami University students need to be aware of. It is easy for students in the “Oxford bubble” to feel that gun violence is not a problem, but we must remember that none of us are immune to gun violence.

Miami University Police Department (MUPD) officers train every summer with the State Highway Patrol and have a mutual aid agreement with the police departments of the surrounding counties if gun violence were to occur on campus.

However, we feel that Miami students are not prepared if an on-campus shooting were to occur. While every member of the editorial board remembers receiving training on fire and alcohol safety, none of us know what we would do in the event of gun violence on campus.

Our lack of information and preparedness plus the “Miami/Oxford bubble” leads to a dangerous false sense of security. Even the most highly trained police force would be overwhelmed by 16,000 panicking students if a shooting on campus were to occur.

We believe it is essential for students to know emergency procedures for this situation.

It is easy to forget about the rest of the world while on Miami’s campus.

But, we need to remember that today, gun violence is a reality and take steps to mitigate it.