KSC’s safety concerns after Florida shooting

With recent school shootings, some students and faculty at Keene State College are concerned about the presence and availability of guns on campus.

Maurice Regan is a psychology professor at Keene State College.

Colby Dudal / Student Life Editor

Colby Dudal / Student Life Editor

Regan said, “Students and faculty feel less safe after school shootings because it makes the danger more salient.”

Regan used to be a part-time police officer and a member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).

According to Regan, the reason he left the NRA was largely because of NRA President Wayne LaPierre and his idea that “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.”

Regan said he has had a conceal and carry permit for about 30 years, but he said, “The entire time I have had a conceal and carry permit, I have maybe used it about 4 times.”

According to Regan, the safest place to have a gun is locked up at home where it cannot fall into the wrong hands. “Sooner or later, someone drops a gun and then there is trouble,” Regan said.

Alternatively, Regan said he has seven different firearms including rifles and handguns, and his daughter even owns a Ruger pistol.

Even still, he believes that people who want to get certain types of firearms should have a legitimate reason for wanting them, whether it is target practice or hunting.

Regan said that the solution to gun violence is not at all clear, and probably never will be.

“There will always be Dylan Roofs, there will always be Nikolas Cruzs, there will always be people who want to hurt others,”  Regan said.

Additionally, English major Sam Whitaker, a Keene State College senior, said he is concerned about his own safety and the safety of his peers.

“Sometimes I don’t feel entirely safe,” Whitaker said. “I am gay and I often hold events regarding social justice or my identity,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker is the  president of KSC Pride, which is “the College’s gay/straight alliance that provides support and resources for its members,” according to the KSC’s website.

Whitaker said he is worried about people targeting groups based on their identity. Race, religion and sexual orientation have all been motives in many incidents of gun violence in the past.

Whitaker said he hopes at some point people won’t have to worry about being targeted for who they are.

Similarly, Whitaker said he wants parents to be aware of their children’s beliefs and try to steer them away from hate and radicalization. “People should focus on education and bettering their children’s lives,” Whitaker said.

In contrast, senior Joey Lendaro, a psychology and English major said he feels safe because he thinks colleges are oriented in a different way. “In an elementary school or high school, someone could walk down the hallway with a gun and pass every classroom in the school,” said Lendaro. “Colleges are more spread out and so it is more difficult for a shooter to get around.”

Lendaro said he is not entirely against gun ownership, but thinks there should be strict sanctions on who is allowed to own a gun and what type of gun they are allowed to possess.

In regards to large capacity magazines and automatic weapons, he said, “There is only one reason for them existing and that is to end human lives.”

Lucas Thors can be contacted at lthors@kscequinox.com

*Correction made 3/1/18Paragraph 4: Changed “…Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA).” to “…member of the National Rifle Association (NRA).”*

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