Congressional Dems say college students too drunk, crazy to be trusted with guns
According to several House Democrats, college students cannot be trusted to carry concealed firearms because of their propensity to drink alcohol and experience depressive episodes.
In a letter sent to the leaders of both chambers of the Florida Legislature Tuesday, 10 Democrats from Florida’s Congressional delegation—including Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz—weighed in on a pending bill to allow concealed carry on college campuses (HB 4001/ SB 68), expressing their “belief that this change would only serve to increase gun violence in our campus communities” and urging state legislators to reject the measure.
“College students are already known to disproportionately engage in high[-]risk behaviors such as binge drinking and to struggle with mental health issues including thoughts of suicide,” the representatives write. “Increasing students’ access to guns only increases the likelihood that volatile situations on campus will end in tragedy.”
Currently, even individuals who hold a concealed carry license in Florida are prohibited from possessing firearms on a college or university campus, with only a narrow exception for stun guns and other nonlethal weapons that are “designed solely for defensive purposes” and do not fire a projectile.
The letter also mentions that certain campus police officers have speculated that campus carry “would dangerously interfere with their response to an active shooter situation in that they will struggle to identify the actual perpetrator,” but neglects to address the question of whether it would also have beneficial effects in terms of mitigating the damage inflicted during such an incident.
Rather than loosening restrictions on concealed carry, the Congresspersons suggest, the state legislature should instead work on “strengthening the background check system for gun purchases and increasing mental health services on campus,” which they claim would be a more effective way to enhance campus safety and security.
“We agree that campus violence is a serious problem,” they say, but contend that “increasing the number of guns on college campuses is simply not the answer.”
In addition to Wasserman Schultz, the letter was also signed by Reps. Lois Frankel, Corrine Brown, Alcee Hastings, Kathy Castor, Theodore Deutch, Frederica Wilson, Patrick Murphy, Alan Grayson, and Gwen Graham.
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