Support Smith-Soto

Javier Cortez, Sports Editor

The war against guns on campus has finally ramped up!

Two weeks ago, UTEP professor David Smith-Soto was in the news for his hardline stance on guns in classrooms. News of Smith-Soto’s opposition to the newly signed legislation that will allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus thankfully picked up traction.

Now it seems he is on the brink of a UT-System-wide petition against the new law. About 150 professors have already signed a petition made by UT-Austin faculty to outlaw guns in their respective classroom, and Smith-Soto is trying to do the same here at UTEP.

Smith-Soto put a picture of a no guns allowed symbol sign outside of his classroom and posted two stories on clarifying why he would not allow guns in his classroom.

In both stories, Smith-Soto points out two shootings that were carried out with legally owned guns, by legal gun owners. Each story points out the obvious flaws to such lackadaisical gun laws in the U.S.

“The ‘campus carry’ gun law passed by the Texas State Legislature this year, which allows guns to be carried on public university campuses is a travesty and a violation of our civil rights, a danger to my students as they attend class and to me as I lecture,” Smith-Soto stated in his Aug. 30 post on Borderzine.

Whether or not Smith-Soto and his colleagues in the UT System’s petition come to fruition, it’s refreshing to see opposition toward this idiotic legislation.

If you want a representation of how stupid some Americans are just look at our gun laws. There are people out there who think more legal guns will solve our gun-violence problem. Just like an alcoholic thinks more drinking will solve their problems.

It’s already been established in studies done by the New England Journal of Medicine and American Journal of Epidemiology that people who have guns at home are at a higher risk of homicide then people without guns at home.

Not to simplify the issue, but doesn’t it seem more logical to reduce the amount of people with guns to reduce gun violence? But Smith-Soto’s criticism of this new legislation highlights a key factor in the problem with gun culture in the U.S.

Americans are not responsible enough to legally own guns and the process for legally owning a gun is absurd. I will use myself for instance:

I do not have a criminal record, I have no record of mental health instability, and I could easily go through any of the steps necessary to buy a gun. But what if I suffered a family tragedy or I was the victim of someone’s wrong doing against me? Who’s to say that my mental state would not be changed by the fact that I own a gun?

To clarify, I don’t believe I would go on a killing spree if I was done wrong by someone or if I suffered a tragedy within my family. But there are people out there who go through these hardships all the time, and the pistol in the dresser, car or holster is at their disposal to “solve” their problems.

In short, any person with no criminal record or mental health problem can buy a gun, then eventually use it for the wrong reasons. There is plenty of evidence.

Let’s get away from this slightly anecdotal argument and deal with the broader issue. The second amendment is a big piece of shit. If you are a conservative American flag-waving gun owner, I’m sorry I gave you and your bald eagle a stroke with that statement, but it’s true.

The amendment is not only antiquated, but it is way out of context for today’s society. Keep in mind when this amendment was written.

There was this thing called the American Revolution, it was a necessity that people were armed to fight the British. In fact it was a militia, which is a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency, according to the Oxford Dictionary.

Last time I checked, British Imperialism ended a long time ago, and despite as much fear mongering as there is by the mainstream media and politicians, ISIS is not driving through your neighborhood anytime soon.

The amendment is not even close to being representative of our time.

The sad thing is that all of this is simple logic. None of what I have said in the past 700 words or so is esoteric or incomprehensible. If you are a UTEP professor or student reading this, then support David Smith-Soto’s cause and vehemently oppose guns on campus here at UTEP.

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected]