Guns on College Campuses

guns_on_campusThe university of Texas have recently announced that they are allowing people to carry concealed weapons on their campus. Now, this is not as serious as allowing middle school or high school students to carry a gun to class, but there has been recent shootings on college campuses. The most recent shooting that I have heard is at Indiana’s Ball State University. Two Guys entered the campus, both wielding .25 pistols, shooting erratically. The whole campus proceeded to be on lockdown while the police handled the situation. Meanwhile, a dear friend of mine was texting me the details, from underneath her desk. The police were able to detain these two gentlemen, without any injuries or casualties to civilians.

Of course this brings up the debate on gun control. If students and faculty members were allowed guns on campus, this issue would have been resolved in less than one minute. The response time for police and ambulance and other emergency vehicles are about 6-10 minutes, plus an extra few minutes to set up a safe perimeter; whereas a law-abiding citizen with a concealed firearm could disarm the tense situation without injury. With the knowledge that some people carry weapons on the campus, criminals may think twice before they start shooting innocent civilians.

The counter argument is that police go through extensive training in order to detain perpetrators without the use of lethal force. In order to obtain a concealed carry license, one does not have to go through any training; it would be a shoot-off until either the criminal or the citizen is dead.

Another argument against allowing guns on campus is that it would put a weapon in a safe place. There would always be the potential of a shooting; and on a college campus where people are stressed to no end; it could cause a mental breakdown ending in a mass shooting or suicide.

Recently, an organization called Students for Concealed Carry have formed on college campuses across the country, including Indiana University. At the activities fair, many people signed a petition to allow students on the IUB campus to carry concealed firearms.

But Texas is Texas and like anything, it is 20/20 hindsight. We will see how the allowance of firearms on a college campus turns out.

Campus Life: Bikes or Skateboards?

pictures-kids-bicycle-skateboard-scooter-100052008342When you walk around the campus of Indiana University, you notice two things:

  1. The campus is absolutely beautiful
  2. Everything is so far apart

With these two things in mind, one can only imagine how long it takes to get from one side or another. Since there are only sidewalks on campus, cars are not the most viable options, so that only leaves a few of options. These include many forms of wheeled transportations, such as bikes, scooters, skateboards, and roller blades, etc.

But since you do not want to look like a friggin’ nerd and this is not the 1970s, you really are only left with two options: the fast and efficient bike, or the badass leisureliness of the skateboard.

The quickness of a bike is certainly one thing to consider for the bicycle. It is a nice and fast way to get from point A to point B without too much of a hassle. However, there is a con to riding a bike on campus: everyone hates you.

The fact of the matter is if you are riding a bike, you are honestly the worst thing on earth to pedestrians because bikes come out of nowhere and have the potential to blind side you. If you are in fact riding a bike and cut off a pedestrian, you actually give them a heart attack. No one wants to be hit by a bike, so the fact that the possibility is there makes the average pedestrian anxious.

Now, if you are riding a skateboard, everyone is jealous of you. You are really super-cool skater boi who poses no threat to a walking pedestrian because let’s face it, we can just push you off your little wooden plank. The skateboard has its cons though, because it is quite a lot slower and harder to control than a bike. One would definitely have to practice skateboarding before plunging into the mess that is the 9:55 am walk back from class.

So, all things considered, the bike is probably the more viable option for traveling across campus. But since everyone hates you, you will have more time to study for the class that you arrive 20 minutes before everyone else so what else do you have to do with your life?

Dear Diary…

growingLike almost everything, it starts off with a woman.

When I was 15, in the winter of my freshman year of high school, I was dating this lovely girl (let us call her Caitlin) who is a friend to this very day. In a November evening, around six o’clock, I asked my dad if he could drive me to Caitlin’s house in celebration of her 16th birthday. He agreed. I got out of the car and headed up to the front door.

“Be home by eleven,” he articulated.

I turned my head, nodded, and brushed it off my shoulder, assuring myself that it actually did not matter what time I was home.

Caitlin and I went to dinner that night at a local restaurant and then we went and saw Toy Story 3 together. After the movie ended, her mom (who was oh so kind to be driving us around) asked if we wanted to go bowling. The time was 11:30, half an hour after of when I had to be home. My father’s words echoed in my head:

“Be home by eleven.”

But this was Caitlin. Nothing else mattered to me; she was my world. All I wanted was to spend every second of my life with her. So I lied to her mother.

“One game couldn’t hurt,” I said, knowing full good and well it would.

We finished our game around 12:30. Her mother drove me home and I got out of the car, giving a quick kiss on the cheek to Caitlin, and walked up to the side door of my house to let myself in. It was one in the morning when I unlocked the door.

Remember that one James Bond cliché, where Bond walks into the room and the villain swivels around in his chair saying, “Mr. Bond, I’ve been expecting you.” (The exact quote is never said in the franchise and there never is a swivel chair, but you get the idea). Anyway, that is what happened when I walked into the house.

My dad was sitting on the couch waiting for me to walk in the door. He did not even turn his head from the television.

“You’re late” he said.

I tried to find the right words to come out of my mouth, but there was no real argument against the fact that I disobeyed my father. So I used a weak argument.

“Dad I’m 15. I’m old enough to make decisions for myself. I shouldn’t even have a curfew.”

My dad paused, then looked at me. I remember him saying in my early life that I am not allowed to even date someone until I was old enough to drive. I was already breaking that rule, and now I was breaking curfew. I knew I was going to lose.

“Okay,” my dad said, turning his head back to the television, “your curfew is extended to midnight, but no later. Don’t be late again.”

I stared at my father, one of the most ‘stick to his guns’ man I have ever known. But I was not going to question. I won. I was rewarded with an extra hour. I walked upstairs to my bedroom and went to sleep, feeling achieved.

 And as for curfew, I never broke it again.

The Power of Speech

25-august-2013-power-of-speech-james-3-1-638Like almost everything, it starts off with a woman.

Last year, I was dating this girl. For anonymity’s sake, let us call her Samantha. Now Samantha is a lovely girl; pretty, loving, intelligent, everything that you could want in a relationship. Until one day during fall break, I started thinking that I wanted to break up with her. There was no reason behind the thought, it just popped into my head and I could not stop thinking about ending the relationship.

I came back to school and decided to take Samantha out to dinner at some restaurant downtown. I was still being pegged by the thought of ending the relationship with her when we got on the bus, so I was being more quiet than usual. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her it was nothing. She pressed further.

“What are you thinking about?”

I told her not to worry about it. She let it go after that.

We arrived at the restaurant and were seated at the table, stereotypical date style: sitting across from each other. My food came, but Samantha was not hungry so she sat there silently while I ate.

“Are you ever going to tell me what you were thinking about?” she interrupted.

“Fine,” I stated firmly.

I told her that I was thinking about breaking up with her. I also told her that I had decided against the idea. Samantha stood up, looked at me, gave a nervous chuckle, and walked away.

For a few weeks I wish I had not shared my thoughts about breaking up with her.

Eventually, she forgave me and we started being friends again, going out and doing stuff with other people. It got to the point where we could be alone together without it being extremely awkward. In fact, now we are even closer than we were when we were dating.

She’s seeing someone else now and it is getting to the point where Samantha and her new boyfriend are talking about moving in together. Sincerely, I am glad for her.

Looking back now, I am happy I told her that I was thinking about breaking up with her because where one relationship ends, another begins.

Samantha was not the love of my life, but she found hers.