By Ariana Queenan COLUMNIST
Bang, Bang! No, that is not the sound of Jessie J’s pop song; it is the noise resonating from one of Hofstra’s newest student clubs. The Hofstra University Shooting Club (HUSC) meets every other Saturday morning to go skeet shooting at South Haven County Park.
HUSC claims to be more focused on teaching its members how to shoot a gun safely, rather than providing them with a fun weekend activity. Since colleges are educational institutions, this club not completely inappropriate to have on campus, but it is imperative that Hofstra closely monitors this club and proceeds with necessary caution.
According to the most recent estimates from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 64,147 people have died from guns in the U.S. since the Sandy Hook, Newtown shootings. That number includes all gun deaths caused by criminal activity, mass murder, suicides and accidental discharges. In light of the recurrent mass shootings and school tragedies like those at Sandy Hook Elementary School and in Washington State, Hofstra as an institution should be mindful of the potential dangers that they may be fostering.
Further, the Student Government Association (SGA) should have been more transparent following the club’s approval. Students who are fundamentally against the use of guns should be made aware that their student activity fee is helping to fund a club that revolves around firearms. Students should have a say in what clubs their money is funding.
Students who would like to join HUSC should be subjected to a background check and mental health examination, and entry into the club should be contingent on those examination results. The hope is that everyone who joins the club does so for educational purposes, but it would be naïve for Hofstra to assume that every student is joining for the right reasons.
The transparency, background check and mental health examination are three steps that need to be implemented immediately. These preventative measures will protect this club from indirectly contributing to the next devastating tragedy.
It is imperative for the safety of the students, faculty and staff that this club is heavily monitored. After all, they are educating people on how to use deadly weapons with student dollars.
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