The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

SMU Democrats favor assault weapon ban

The SMU Democrats presented a display in front of Hughes-TriggThursday favoring the assault weapons ban that was lifted in earlySeptember.

With some of its members and the table decked out in camoflague,the SMU Democrats’ backdrop featured replicas of assaultweapons including an M16 and an Uzi.

“At first glance the weapons are made to look real,”program coordinator and environmental committee chair JosephGrinnell said. “But they only fire pellets,” junioranthropology major Harvey Herr added.

Initially the cardboard display board and table were set up infront of the Hughes-Trigg west bridge. Around 11:30 p.m., officialsrequired the group to move from under the Oak tree to the parkbenches outside of Hughes-Trigg.

SMU Democrats Vice-president Chris Purcell said, “We hadto move because there is a difference between a voter drive and apolitical statement designed to get voter’sattention.”

To the advantage of the SMU Democrats, the move made it easierto ask passing students to register to vote if they hadn’talready done so. Also on the table were stickers that read,”Some things were never meant to be recycled,” with apicture of President George W. Bush and brochures promoting Sen.John Kerry. The brochures primarily targeted independents, Purcellsaid.

The SMU Democrats chose the assault weapons ban for its displaybecause “we felt it was important to present the issue, whichwill hopefully compel students to take action,” Purcellsaid.

First-year chemistry and pre-med double major Frances Goldshmidcasually debated with passing students showing interest.

“Guns represent fear in this country and that fear is seenin the availability of these weapons,” he said to onestudent. “These guns serve no purpose. I mean, how many deerare you going to kill?”

The display, contrary to some rumors, was not intended as aresponse to last week’s free speech display by YCT.

“We want to express ourselves without the feeling ofcompetition,” Purcell said.

Regardless of political views, Goldshmid said,”Republicans and Democrats alike need to see both sides andlisten regardless of their stance. Arguing gets younowhere.”

After the display moved out in the open a tour group of about 15perspective students stopped in front of the booth.

“I heard the tour guide say ‘this does not representthe spirit of SMU,’ Goldshmid said.

It’s hard to have a voice and bring awareness to certainissues at SMU since the university is mostly republican, he said.”Republicans in general responded to our display withdismissal,” he said.

Herr said the original motto for the display would have beenmore upsetting than the display itself.

“The original motto behind the display was,‘Register to vote and get an assault weapon whileyou’re at it,'” he said.

The organization’s goal, both at the display and at”Rock the Boulevard” was to explain the issues at handwhile allowing party access to everyone interested, Purcellsaid.

By 1:30 p.m., more than 15 students registered to vote at thedisplay.

According to Purcell, during its first voter drive a few weeksago, the SMU Democrats registered approximately 40 people.

The SMU Democrats also had a table at “Rock theBoulevard.”

Nationally ranked shooter Jansen Jones, a junior history,political science and pre law major, visited the booth and voicedhis opinions about the assault weapons ban.

“I’m a believer in education. It is the basis foreverything,” he said.

As a member of the International Defensive Pistol Associationfor two years, Jones, a hunter from Boston said, “Youdon’t need a 30 round magazine. The restrictions [on crime]didn’t help reduce crime.”

As a hunter, Jones said it is a requirement to take a firearmssafety class.

There are four key points discussed during the class.

“Never point your gun at anything you don’t intendto destroy, be aware of your target and what is behind it, handleyour gun as if it were loaded at all times and always keep your gunin a safe and secure place with a lock,” Jones said.

Goldshmid in a discussion with Jones mentioned that his friendin high school was shot by a close friend because they were unawarethe gun was loaded.

“I believe education will ease our problems. We’velost touch with firearms education,” Jones said. Toy gunsdesensatize the severity of the consequences, he said.

During Fall Break the members of SMU Democrats will visit aswing state, at this time it is unknown which one, where they willmeet up with fellow Kerry supporters and go door-to-door handingout fliers.

Although it has no office on campus and no official Web site,the SMU Democrats meet at 5 p.m. in portico E every Wednesday inHughes-Trigg.

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