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Coastal Carolina University was put on lockdown this week after an as-yet-unapprehended suspect shot and killed 19-year-old student Anthony Darnell Liddell of Bennettsville, S.C. at a student apartment complex.

This attack at CCU marks the latest in a trend of gun violence on campus. It is time to ask our lawmakers Рand ask ourselves: How many more?

This attack at Coastal Carolina has angered me much more than crippling student debts, out-of-control spending and a hopeless job market. Today, tomorrow and until something changes – my best friends are dying. At gunpoint, future presidents, CEOs, innovators and agents of change are perishing on our campuses.

We shouldn’t have to make this sort of argument. Our leaders shouldn’t have to be begged to put the lives of future generations above their own agendas and petty arguments. But here I am begging for their help because it is desperately needed. We can either wait for Washington to take action or we can do something here, now.

I will not stand by watching the clock tick away on the lives of students. I will not allow one more life to be lost. The debate over student gun rights must be echoed down the halls – along with the debate over gun control and refocused campus security.

Currently in Five Points – Columbia, S.C.’s popular college district – police officers are still more concerned with arresting drunk students than tackling escalating gang violence. Why? Because arrested drunks pays better than targeting gangs.

Our priorities are not focused. For the sake of my generation we need to adjust, clear our vision and take some action.

Katie Thompson is a member of the University of South Carolina College Republicans. Follow her on Twitter @KatieTThompson.

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