By Kyle Henderson
The topic of gun ownership and concealed carry has been one of heated discussion for a long time. This topic has become even more volatile when the issue of conceal carry on college campuses arose, after a string of tragic school shootings over the last decade. The opposition for conceal carry on campuses lists a lot of seemingly valid concerns about allowing legal and licensed carry of weapons on college grounds.
The first point of concern that will be addressed is the idea that “Guns on campus would lead to an escalation in violent crime”, and therefore, be a detriment to student safety.
Now the refutation for this first concern is that since 1995 more than one hundred fifty U.S. college campuses have allowed concealed carry on their grounds and not one of them has had a single resulting act of violence for a combined total of almost 1500 semesters.
The second worry in correlation to conceal carry on campus is “Guns on campus would distract from the learning environment” meaning that the idea of legally armed students will impact that academic pursuits of college attendees.
The negating statement listed in response to this consternation is that students do not seem to cease activities like going to the movies or shopping at the mall because of some overwhelming fear that they will be shot by someone illegally carrying a firearm. So why then would they lose concentration in school by the thought that a classmate might be legally carrying a gun after passing a background check conducted by the FBI?
The last object of protest towards legal concealed carry states that, “The Job of Defending Campuses against Violent Attacks should be left to the Professionals.”
Now the disagreeing point to the aforementioned text is that police are seldom present during violent crimes inside or outside of college. So no one is suggesting that conceal license holders be charged with the protection of campuses. What is being suggested is that adults with concealed carry licenses be allowed to protect and defend themselves in school, the same way they are currently allowed to do so in other unsecured locations. A “U.S. Secret Service Study” into over 30 school shootings showed that most of the studied shootings were over before the police ever arrived. The study also adds that only three of the examined tragedies ever involved shots being fired by law enforcement.
In conclusion, the suggestion of allowing law abiding adults to protect themselves and possibly those around them is a logical idea; whereas, expecting criminals and psychopaths to follow laws and respect gun free zones is not. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the individual to defend themselves. Education about firearms and how to use them in a safe and responsible matter is one of many ways to alleviate some of the fears held by people ignorant of guns and how they work. There are many kinds of firearm education classes available to people of all levels of experience from beginner classes for first time owners, to advanced classes for people that have been in the gun culture for many years. So please join in the movement to allow students to defend themselves.