The New Hampshire House recently passed a statewide preemption bill. The state Senate appears to have punted, relegating the bill to “further study” limbo. Among other things, the bill would prevent public universities and colleges from enacting campus bans. This provision, predictably, is causing widespread panty-soiling hysteria amongst the usual suspects. . .
According to the Nashua Telegraph Security officials argue against NH House bill that would allow guns on campus:
Daniel Pelletier, director of security at Nashua Community College, said guns and college students should not mix on campuses where there can be abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs.
This is an argument I’ve never been able to fathom. Does Daniel actually believe that people crossing the invisible, intangible boundary between campus and town will suddenly become drug- and booze-addled lunatics? Does he think that Budweisers and blunts aren’t abuse except on college campuses? Or (more likely, in my opinion) is he trying to create the impression in the general public’s mind that passage of this bill will result in gun racks mounted in every dorm?
In fact, neither of these is the case. Student concealed carriers will remain the sober, law-abiding citizens that they are whether they are on campus or off. Likewise, faculty members who carry can also be counted upon to exercise the sort of caution and restraint that is the hallmark of the vast majority of concealed carriers.
But no tired, anti-gun shibboleth is too well-worn for Daniel:
Having untrained citizens with guns only heightens the risk, as law enforcement officers are trained to treat anyone bearing a weapon as a potential threat, Pelletier said.
I’m wondering what new ingredient is being mixed into the antis’ purple Kool-Aid because they seem to be awfully forthcoming lately. First Brady Campaign board member Joan Peterson admitted the group’s true goal; zero gun deaths annually. Nothing “reasonable” or “common-sense” about that goal. Then the village of Oak Park, Illinois directed gun rights advocates to sit at the back of the bus room at a village meeting, and now Daniel admits that LEOs are trained to treat every armed person (except, I’m guessing, other LEOs) as a potential threat. I’m sure 60 years ago some LEOs treated all ‘coloreds’ as a potential threat, but that doesn’t make it right.
At any rate, is Daniel actually saying that trained law enforcement personnel, the only ones we should trust with guns, can’t be trusted to determine actual threats in an active shooter situation? That being the case, since “untrained citizens” like Joe Zamudio actually can discriminate between a real threat and someone who has disarmed that threat, perhaps the police are the ones who should be disarmed in order to reduce the risk.
Next we hear from the administrative side of things:
University System of New Hampshire Chancellor Edward MacKay said allowing guns to be freely held at two- and four-year colleges may increase the suicide rate and put law enforcement officers at risk.
The only problem with this statement is, well, the whole statement. Study after study has shown there is no link between the availability of firearms and overall suicide rates. Heck, a simple glance at this graphic shows that Finland, Belgium, Austria, Japan, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Scotland and New Zealand all have higher suicide rates than the U.S. while this graphic shows that they all have significantly lower firearm ownership rates. But you already knew that, right?
And again with the ‘law enforcement officers at risk’ argument. First, did a no-gun policy protect this officer? Second, if concealed carriers are not a risk to cops off campus (and they aren’t) then why would they be such a threat on campus? Third, where are all the suicides and cop shootings on Utah campuses?
Then we have another campus cop weighing in on the issue:
University of New Hampshire Police Chief Paul Dean said college campuses should be places where young, vulnerable students can go without fear of gun violence.
So tell me chief, do you keep these “young, vulnerable students” locked on campus day and night protecting them from that “fear of gun violence?” Because otherwise as soon as they step off campus to hit the grocery store or barbershop they may well encounter concealed carriers. How many of your students have been shot by permissive concealed weapon possessors?
Finally the chief is reduced to whining that statistics don’t support carry:
“There is no credible evidence or statistical evidence that laws allowing permissive concealed weapon possession reduces crime,” Dean said.
I guess a peer reviewed study looking at county level crime data over the course of years, controlling for more than a dozen outside factors, with results duplicated by more than two dozen independent researchers showing a link between more guns and less crime doesn’t qualify as credible in the chief’s eyes. But we’ll let that pass for the moment and look at the fact he does concede; that allowing individuals to exercise their natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right to own and carry the self-defense weapon of their choice does not increase crime.
So if concealed carry is no problem, what’s the problem?