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Published April 12, 2009, 12:00 AM

Guns to level playing field

North Dakota’s romance with guns became apparent in the current session of the Legislature when a bill to legalize concealed weapons on the college campuses survived weeks of scrutiny.

By: Lloyd Omdahl, The Dickinson Press

North Dakota’s romance with guns became apparent in the current session of the Legislature when a bill to legalize concealed weapons on the college campuses survived weeks of scrutiny.

Sponsors argued that students needed weapons to protect themselves against the kind of slaughter that occurred at Virginia Tech where 33 students were killed. If just one student had a gun, some legislators argued, he/she could have stopped the killing spree and saved many lives.

The Board of Higher Education and the university presidents have taken a dim view of this proposal, fearing that every heated argument or difference of opinion on campus could turn bloody. (They haven’t mentioned that the bill is unconstitutional because the Legislature doesn’t have policy jurisdiction on the college campuses.)

Some faculty members have expressed concern over protecting the integrity of the grading system when armed students show up in classes on exam days. Grades will become meaningless. Good shots will probably get the best grades. To prevent this inequity, it is obvious that we must arm the faculty. (And let’s not forget those vulnerable people in the student loan offices.)

On the basis of the Virginia Tech argument, Gertrude Heisenberg of the Pinelake Health and Rehab in North Carolina where eight patients were killed is circulating a petition demanding that residents of senior homes be given guns to protect themselves against mass killers. The 92-year-old patient says she can still see enough out of her good eye to take a shooter down or anyone else who darkens her door. But guns should not be limited to Pinelake Health residents. It seems that senior citizens in North Dakota should have the right to defend themselves. Let Medicare pick up the tab.

In Binghamton, N.Y., folks studying for U.S. citizenship are also demanding concealed weapons since 13 of them preparing for exams were slaughtered. That makes sense. Prospective citizens ought to be armed so they can fight their way into the home of the brave and the land of the free.

In the process of authorizing guns for all groups that have experienced mayhem, some folks in those groups may well go berserk and start shooting each other. Maybe the porridge in the Good Sam turns up sour some day. Bang! There goes the cook. Or some professor gives a student an ‘F.” Bang! One less faculty member. (Tenured faculty members ought to be allowed two guns.) Somebody’s day will be made every day.

If the argument being made in the Legislature for arming students holds water, it seems that everyone ought to be guaranteed a level playing field. And that can be done only by giving everyone in the state a .44. Or at least a .22. When we all get guns, no one will be safe except experienced hunters, most of whom will have enough sense to stay out in the country.

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