Fewer Guns, Not More ‘Heroes’

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In the wake of the latest college shootings, Utah’s public college students are packing heat. I feel much safer now.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) — The senior at the University of Utah gets dressed and then decides which gun is easiest to conceal under his clothes.

If he’s wearing a T-shirt, he’ll take a smaller, low-profile gun to class. If he’s wearing a coat, he may carry a different weapon, he said.

He started carrying a gun to class after the massacre at Virginia Tech, but the student says he’s not part of the problem of campus shootings and could instead be part of a solution.

Utah, according to CNN, is the only state which allows concealed-carry at all public colleges as well as other places around the state. “However, [a university administrator] said the regents are opposing a legislative proposal to allow people with concealed weapons permits to have the weapons visible in public. “We are worried that it may affect their [students’ and teachers’] willingness or desire to go to or teach a class on campus,” she said.

You don’t say?

Where once you had to worry that the slacker next to you might be copying your answers or calling you a tramp on JuicyCampus.com, now you have to worry that he might think that that bulge in your own pocket just might not mean you’re glad to see him. I teach at a university – hell, I live in America – and I worry about mall and campus violence and the nice, crowded targets we represent. Call me crazy, but I don’t feel any better thinking someone in the room believes he’s got the Die Hard focus to avoid all the fleeing bodies and the pandemonium and take out only the deranged shooter who started it all. All, of course, without breaking a sweat or wasting a bullet. Or a classmate. They’ve probably got their ‘just kicked your ass,’ toss-off movie one-liner ready — “hasta la vista, baby” and the like.

Maybe this isn’t really so much about the 2nd Amendment as some folks’ need to believe that they’re cowboy cool, all Clint Eastwood, and they’re going to NYPD Blue the perp right into the back of a squad car. Then get the keys to the city, a trip to the White House, a movie deal, the blonde…

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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