Culture

Student Group Concerned about Safety Because GOP Students Wanted to Talk about Gun Policy

(Agencyby/Dreamstime)
It illustrates the problem that Republicans at California State University, Chico, were organizing the event to address.

A student group at California State University, Chico, issued a warning telling students to “be safe” and potentially “avoid the area” where Republican students were planning to sit with a sign that said “I’m pro-gun, change my mind.”

The organization, called the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center, posted the warning to its social

“Hey folks! Content Warning: Chico State Republican Club is hosting an ‘I’m pro gun, change my mind’ event today (April 2nd) from 9am-3pm by Plumas Hall,” the GSEC wrote, adding, “Please be safe, avoid the area if you need and take care of yourselves!”

(Note: “Content warning” is another way of saying “trigger warning.” It’s not clear why the GSEC decided to use the former phrase rather than the latter — however, some people do believe that the phrase “trigger warning” is triggering in itself, owing to a possible association with guns or gun violence.)

In an email to Campus Reform, the Chico State Republicans expressed confusion about why “anyone would need to put out a warning for an open discussion,” adding that the kind of reaction that the GSEC displayed was the perfect example of why it had decided to set up the discussion table in the first place.

“The actions taken by the leaders of GSEC are similar to the reasons we wanted to hold our event,” the email stated. “Politics has become more and more decisive [sic] over the past few years and we believe events like our ‘I’m Pro Gun Change My Mind’ will help people participate in a political debate while remaining civil.”

I’ve got to say, I agree completely with the Chico State Republicans. All the group was intending to do was start a peaceful, open conversation about the Second Amendment with people who disagree with them, and the GSEC actually had concerns about safety? That’s not just extreme . . .  it’s stupid. The truth is, no one actually has to avoid an area just because it may contain people peacefully debating a policy question.

People on the right think that people on the left want to take away their right to self-defense, and people on the left think that people on the right don’t care if children are murdered.

If you really do — if you really cannot even stand to be in the same area of campus where there will be someone who disagrees with you — then there’s something wrong with you. You do not have what it takes to function as a member of society, and you should probably seek some help with that sooner rather than later if you want to be able to live a normal adult life. A life that will, by the way, often require you to be in the same public spaces with people who have different viewpoints from yours and not to have a complete and total meltdown.

The gun issue is a tough one because it’s so emotional. Overall, people on the right think that people on the left want to take away their right to self-defense, and people on the left think that people on the right don’t care if children are murdered. Each side has absolutely no understanding of the other side’s point of view, or of their reasoning behind it — and that’s precisely because it’s so impossible to have the kinds conversations that the Chico State Republicans were trying to start. The truth is, there are a lot of things out there that can kill you, but engaging with an opposing viewpoint isn’t one of them. In fact, it’s healthy.

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