Over the past few months, the debate about gun control in the U.S. has grown more heated as lawmakers at both the state and federal level push for more regulation of firearms. With the immeasurable tragedy of the Newton, Conn., shooting and too many college-campus incidents in the last decade, educators at every level are fervently expressing their views about the threat guns pose to children and young adults.
A recent Washington Post article reported Feb. 4 that 350 out of 4,150 college presidents signed an open letter urging the nation’s legislators to consider more stringent gun control measures, including the opposition of guns on school campuses, ending the ‘gun show loophole,’ a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons and the requirement of consumer safety standards for all firearms. Presidents from several Minnesota colleges have signed the letter, and both Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman are a part of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign.
The University of Minnesota has one of the largest campuses in the nation, located in a dense urban area, and the University can’t shield its students from all the dangers that come with living in a large city. However, University officials can take steps to support measures that would keep risks down. By signing the open letter, University President Eric Kaler would join hundreds of other presidents throughout the nation in voicing a demand not against gun ownership but for stronger gun safety measures that could lead to safer college campuses.