It’s unfortunate that legislation like Senate Bill 174 even needs to be debated. In a perfect world, there would be no threat of mal-influence at institutions of higher government and journalism. But the times we live in require unorthodox solutions to curb the trends of state legislatures and Congresses beholden to gun lobbies and ALEC, and insane editorials appearing in Alaska newspapers owned by corporations from Georgia who email their marching orders in from Atlanta.
Writing a parody of a Juneau Empire editorial in favor of SB 174, which would allow for the concealed carry of firearms and knives on University of Alaska campuses, isn't a perfect solution, but it's better than doing nothing. Nothing is essentially what Congress, state legislatures, and the media have done to address the outrageous corporate takeover of an entire branch of government by the NRA and the weapons manufacturing lobby, who together have effectively and quite successfully hijacked funding for public education and are holding it hostage like petulant, vindictive bullies until they get what they want: unfettered proliferation of assault weapons in every public space. They have not sufficiently increased funding for mental health services or improved screening to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining firearms. [sic].
Because of this failure, our universities have become targets. [sic]. The idea behind a free society with a free press is to represent the public. Universities have taken up this idealistic notion, by trying to convince their legislators and their local newspapers that their opinion counts because they live and work there. Now, through the actions of public officials, out-of-state newspaper editorials, and the corporate ownership of both, those ideals have been compromised.
Our circumstances have changed. Our society has reached a point where we have two unfavorable options: unsubscribe to our only local newspaper, and/or vote and make a stink about how incredibly fucked up all of this is. It's impossible to say how probable a change in the status quo might be. Some say it's near impossible.
We understand many students and faculty are against this bill, and have concerns over their safety. We agree, but we don't care, so instead have taken what is actually a complex constitutional question and reduced it to a pandering, reductive, and misleading soundbite.
What the Alaska Legislature is considering is the best solution presented so far to perpetuate precisely the kind of attack that Virginia Tech experienced in 2006, and many other universities since. It might not be a good solution, but it’s the best one we’ve seen that follows the rules laid out by our corporate overlords and NRA/ALEC lobbyists.
What we do know with certainty is doing nothing, or doing what has already been tried and failed, isn’t a valid solution when lives are at stake. [sic].