I’m a wishy-washy supporter of concealed-carry on college campuses. I’m open to arguments against it, but where I don’t find either side of an argument persuasive, my default question is: “Which option increases freedom and individual responsibility?” Because I think the burden of proof, everywhere and always, should be on those who wish to restrict liberty.
With that being said, I’m really quite amazed at how weak the arguments against allow guns on campus are. I’m going to go through that story and look at what they’re saying. First, it starts off talking about how Utah’s policy of forcing all public universities to allow concealed carry is draining the U of U’s resources:
However, Utah’s website warns people on the campus that it is “very possible” that they will see someone with a weapon, and they are “encouraged” to call University Police and report the person, whom an officer would then locate to ensure that the gun was being carried legally.
That’s only one example of how concealed carry can drain colleges’ manpower and resources . .
Why would you encourage people to report such a thing? Driving a car requires a license, oodles of paperwork, and involves a deadly weapon, but we presume that people seen driving cars are doing so legally (a frighteningly large percentage are not – nationally 20% of people have no insurance). No one in their right mind would call the 5-0 to investigate whether a random guy seen driving a car was doing so legally. Utah could stop the drain on their resources by not responding to calls to investigate presumptively legal behavior. Guns aren’t draining their resources, their reflexive fear of guns is.
Among those problems: accounting for the presence of loaded weapons in an environment rife with alcohol, drugs and young people;
Yet we allow cars on campus. And as Instapundit points out, this argument “proves too much” about college campuses.
depending on police to decide in a split second which shooter is the good guy;
To some degree, concealed carry is allowed in almost every state, and yet this doesn’t appear to be a large scale problem. And it ignores the point that allowing concealed carry is designed to end emergencies before the police get there. If I shoot the baddie before the cops get there, those poor officers won’t have to make split-second decisions.
considering the ways in which concealed guns could deter students or faculty from engaging in debate on contentious topics in a classroom setting;
Again, these arguments seem to be intended for a universe where we have no idea what happens when law-abiding citizens carry around firearms. But that’s not our universe. People talk about contentious issues all the time without concealed carriers blowing their heads off. And, BTW, there’s nothing preventing people who want to kill those who disagree with them from bringing guns right now.
One last note on this one: if you’re saying something and you’re legitimately afraid that if your interlocutor had a gun he would shoot you, it’s almost certain that you should adjust what you’re saying. “People shouldn’t be allowed to have guns because then I’ll have to stop being a raging asshole” is a bizarre argument.
storing weapons (which in some cases could be used in a crime); and handling unattended weapons (ihn Utah, an employee once left his gun in a campus bathroom).
And sometimes people leave their keys in their car. So the guy left a gun in the bathroom: And? I don’t recall seeing anything on the news about the ensuing murders, and the story doens’t mention them, so I’m going to presume that there weren’t any. It’s almost as though when you treat guns like they’re normal, normal people can behave normally around them.
“I think we must all be mindful that law enforcement professionals are highly trained to appropriately respond to threats and violent acts,” A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said in a statement to Inside Higher Ed. “In the heat of a gun battle, how does a police officer quickly discern that one person is actually a law-abiding citizen trying to help and someone else is a ‘bad guy’ trying to hurt?… I worry about putting our campus police, as well as our students, faculty and staff, in a very difficult and dangerous position.”
He moves from pointing out that cops are highly trained and know what to do in an emergency to arguing that if law-abiding citizens have guns the police won’t know what to do in an emergency. Are they highly-trained supercops who can take care of all our problems, or are they a bunch of Barney Fifes? If their training is so awesome, this shouldn’t be a problem. And if it isn’t, then we need more armed citizens.
Cigarroa, who has solicited the opinions of students, university presidents and police, is wary of allowing weapons among young people who are separated from their families and friends, often living away from home and experiencing new emotions and mindsets — difficult situations for first-time college students who, as incoming freshmen, reported record-low emotional health last year.
Um, you have to be 21 to get a concealed carry permit. And if the concern is about those without permits getting guns illegally, that problem isn’t solved by restricting the liberty of the law-abiding.
“University life is not exactly an environment that’s stress-free,” he said.
What environments are stress free? Are those the only places we should be allowed to have guns? And if university life is so unbelievably stressful that otherwise normal people who see guns go beserk, isn’t that an argument for changing university life? These kids are taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans to pay for their education; they shouldn’t be coming out of it with ulcers and gray hair.
Also: every college lets these drunken, stressed-out, overly-emotional brats drive cars (and you don’t even have to be 21 for that). It’s pretty easy to plow into a crowd of pedestrians on a college campus if you’re in the mood to.
Honestly, the quality of these arguments, considering they’re coming from people who run our institutions of higher learning, is embarassing.