Shoot-outs, thugs have no role in college atmosphere

“They’re shooting!”

How many times have you heard this in Tallahassee?

Most people seem to have heard this at least once while attending a public event.

Even though Tallahassee is a small college city it still has a problem with gun violence at crowded events.

Two weeks ago at a party at the fairgrounds a couple of fights escalated into gunshots being fired.

Now, I’m trying to make something of myself here in college.

Why do I have to worry about being shot if I choose to attend an event?

I’m getting tired of attending enjoyable events, and as soon as I begin walking calmly to the car, seconds later I end up running because of gun shots.

Most fights begin over something petty – someone has been fighting over a boy or girl, an accidental shove or someone has initiated a fight for no reason – then they just get out of control.

In Tallahassee, students tend to fight each other based on trivial differences such as where they are from.

But, why are students still fighting each other in college?

We are in college to get an education, not to cause fights among each other.

We should be focusing on our schoolwork and getting degrees, not representing our hometowns to the point of an altercation.

Because of the violence in Tallahassee, people now chose to bring guns instead of their fists to a fight.

But, it is time to leave your past behavior back home.

If you grew up around people with guns and associated yourself with them, then you don’t want to look like you have changed to become a ‘soft’ individual.

But remember students: being a smart, peaceful, respectful person is a good thing.

People need to know there are no thugs in college.

A real ‘thug’ doesn’t attend classes, get on work-study or go to study groups.

My interpretation of a thug is a person who doesn’t care about the well-being of others.

College students have too much to lose to be known as thugs.

According to, a thug is “a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber or murderer.”

College students do not fit any of these characteristics, so stop trying to act like it.

If they did they wouldn’t be allowed in college.

The world has too many other problems besides fighting because of pettiness.

There are deadly illnesses, starvation and the war in Iraq to be focusing on instead of fighting over mess.

I don’t want to get shot on someone else’s account.

I have avoided altercations thus far, and I hope I can make it through school without a meaningless altercation affecting my life.

Can I enjoy going to a party without the possibility of getting shot, or should I go to parties wearing a bullet proof vest and carrying tennis shoes in my purse so I can be prepared to run?

Stop the gun violence people.

Latasha Edwards is a sophomore public relations student from Houston. She can be reached at