There are logical arguments against allowing college students to exercise their natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon on campus. Before firing-up the hate-mail generator please, note that I said logical not correct. If your starting premise is flawed then all the logical reasoning in the world won’t provide a correct conclusion. As such, from the Eastern Illinois University Daily Eastern News we hear . . .

Michael Skasick wants to exercise his right to bear arms.

Skasick, a freshman English major, said he is hoping to start a registered student organization called “Panthers for Concealed Carry” that will defend students’ rights to carry concealed handguns.

This being Illinois the point is admittedly moot but that doesn’t stop faculty from opposing the idea:

Robert Zordani, an English professor, has been a witness to the dangers of concealed carry and said he thinks guns would bring more harm than help.

Really Professor? Let’s look at a little table I whipped up (inspired by one found on page 37 of the absolutely terrific resource for answering the antis, Gun Facts ver. 6.0). As best I can determine, the data are current through 2011:

State Permits Issued Revoked Permits %Revoked
Florida 2,031,106 6,421 0.3%
Arizona 163,080 1,115 0.7%
North Carolina 228,072 1,203 0.5%
Minnesota 92,550 49 0.05%
Michigan 291,112 1,726 0.6%

So tell me prof, with over 2.8 million permits issued and just a bit over 10,500 revoked, what’s the revocation rate? Oops, sorry. I forgot – English professor. The revocation rate is a bit less than 0.35% which works out to about 350 revocations per 100,000 permit holders.

Of course not all revocations are for crimes, but for the sake of argument let’s say that they are. So 350 crimes per 100,000 for permit holders and (according to the 2010 UCR) 3345.5 crimes per 100,000 for the general population.

Yes, this is only a rough approximation because permit holders are mostly OFWGs who aren’t your prime criminal demographic. But I think the point is made: guns in the hands of permit holders will not “bring more harm than help.” But having (he claims) thought about that issue, the prof then proceeds to abandon all pretense of thought when he says:

Zordani said his former professor and friend at the University of Arkansas, John Locke, was shot to death by a “disgruntled” student.

I just want to make sure I have this straight: Prof. Zordani is opposed to permit holders being allowed to carry on campus because a “disgruntled” student who didn’t have a carry permit, illegally concealed a revolver, carried it onto campus in violation of Arkansas law as well as University policy, murdered someone and then commit suicide. Howinthehell does that incident have anything to do with lawful campus carry?

But wait, there’s more:

Zordani said he has always been against guns, but his own connection to the violence people can cause once they are allowed to carry weapons reaffirmed his position.

Wh . . . bu . . . I . . . Hunh?!? The shooter was illegally carrying in an illegal location in contravention of school policy but the Prof. says he’s seen what people can do when they’re allowed to carry? How much more disconnected from reality can you be?

Oops, spoke too soon:

“Guns are a recipe for disaster,” Zordani said. “Students’ tempers flare and accidents happen.”

Wow. Just wow. The Arkansas shooter’s temper flared so he went to Wal Mart, bought ammo, loaded and concealed his weapon, made the 10-minute drive back to campus, walked to Prof. Locke’s office and . . .  let’s pause here for a moment.

Where I come from, taking all of these deliberate reasoned actions is not considered a flare of temper or even heat of passion. It is called deliberate or pre-meditated.

Okay, getting back to the narrative: Prof. Z. thinks the shooter shopped, drove, walked, confronted and then with temper flaring accidentally shot his advisor three times? Then accidentally shot himself? What are they putting in the English Department’s water cooler at EIU? Whatever it is, I guess they have a diluted version in the Philosophy Department’s bubbler as well:

Grant Sterling, a philosophy professor, said the argument that violence will decrease if guns are allowed is implausible.

Gosh darn it! If only we had something besides philosophy to back up our arguments. You know if only we had empirical evidence that more guns mean less crime, or some experience with student carry to show it doesn’t lead to bloodbaths. But I should quit with the gratuitous (if well-deserved) insults and allow Prof. Sterling to get in his gratuitous insult:

“If we armed a large percentage of the campus population, it might decrease incidence of some sort of crime, but that would mean putting guns into the hands of a large group of people who are untrained and unprepared,” Sterling said.

Okay for starters, as small a percentage as 3 – 5% has been shown to reduce crime (Chuck Mandel summed it up nicely when he said: “If 5% of the ducks could shoot back, you’re not going to go duck hunting”). Hell, back in the 80’s, merely publicizing the fact that women had concealed carry permits precipitated a drop in the rate of sexual assaults.

Second, how many college students will want the responsibility that comes with carrying? Sterling may think that just about anyone will be able to walk in off the street to get a permit, but of all of the permit holders I know, every single one, gave serious thought to the possible consequences for themselves, their friends and their families before shouldering the burden of concealed carry.

Third, Sterling just admitted that campus carry will reduce crime.

What more is there to say?

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28 Responses to Thought At EIU: Logic Not a Prerequisite

  1. I hate the term “college students”. Are they not adults?

    Let’s use the proper term: adults are denied their rights on campus.

  2. Hmmm. Having trouble posting. NOTE IT’S THE SPAM FILTER. YOUR PATIENCE IS APPRECIATED.

    Ok, so in terms of age, they’re adults, but the majority of them aren’t living in an environment that encourages them to behave like adults. They just don’t have the same responsibilities. The college experience is carefully engineered to free students from responsibilities (by providing them with dorms, meal plans, and loans to defer payment), ostensibly so they can focus on their studies.

    The end result is that, since they have no responsibilities, they tend to act like they have no responsibilities. We have a word for people like this; we usually call them children.

    Campus carry is part of a much bigger problem with the university. Once parents stop thinking that education is always a good investment no matter the cost, universities will have to rethink their socialist utopia approach to student life. I don’t think campus carry is going to get anywhere until that happens.

    • Over 14% of that school’s students are Graduate Students so they are not 18-19 year olds. That college is also well know for the number of honor students that go there, so it’s not a party school and we are not talking about bottom of the barrel students either. More importantly, adults also take college course. I didn’t start my freshman year of college till after I served in the military. We had a sizable group of veterans and reservists on my campus as well as a sizable group of law enforcement officers taking criminal science and forensic courses.

      I worked full time, was a full time student, did not live on campus, did not have an option of a meal plan as my school did not offer one and payed my own tuition and rent. Was I also acting like I had no responsibilities and like a child?

      Grouping all college students as “children” due to the actions of a few is the same as grouping all gun owners as homicidal maniacs due to the actions of a few.

      • No, you’re misunderstanding me– or perhaps I should say, I didn’t explain what I meant my “responsible”.

        We often use the word “responsible” to describe the character trait of trustworthiness. That’s not what I mean.

        We also use the word “responsible” to mean “accountable”– i.e., to be responsible for the consequences of x (one’s own actions, for example). That’s what I mean.

        I’m not saying that college students are all untrustworthy party animals, or that all should be denied the rights of adults because some of them are. As you say, that would be ridiculous.

        I am saying that most students are not *held* responsible for the things other people are. Even the most upstanding students are insulated from consequences of their actions– they need to find housing, drop a course, switch majors– all things that they pay for *after* graduation.

        And all that’s a problem. It needs to change, and once it does, I’ll be all for campus carry. Until it does, though (and it’s beginning already), I think it’s reasonable at least to allow colleges to ban guns from dorms.

        I admit, though, that it’s possible I’ve got the cart before the horse. Maybe campus carry is what will force Universities to start treating students like the adults they are (or could be).

  3. Gun control freaks ALWAYS point to people who carry ILLEGALLY and commit heinous crimes as examples of how LAW-ABIDING citizens who carry LEGALLY cannot be trusted.

  4. “Hell, back in the 80′s, merely publicizing the fact that women had concealed carry permits precipitated a drop in the rate of sexual assaults.”

    I agree with your whole premise, but the above statement is the same kind of logic stretch that the opposition uses… Correlation isn’t causation until proven.

    As a Virginia Tech alumni who knew some of the victims, I completely agree that students and professors should be trusted to carry.

  5. Wooly-headed leftists don’t disappear, they become college professors. Besides, being a little tin god with the power to pass or fail is better than working for a living.

    • Sorry, Ralph, I have to disagree with you. Every failing grade given means that I have failed in some way, also. And with every failing grade I have to assign, I know that there is a student who has taken a hit financially and is a step closer to not finishing his or her degree.

  6. After attending two universities in my short time here on Earth I have deduced the conclusion that the last thing any modern 4 year institution wishes to do is truly instruct college students.

    We logically already know that there is nothing about concealed carry that changes when passing the fancy University Welcome Sign. The problem colleges have with concealed carry isn’t in the nature of crime or self defense, but that students are empowered to take responsibility for their own defense. Universities work like miniature Marxist instruction camps, advocating against personal solutions to problems in favor of appealing to a big government bureaucracy for a solution , at the governing body’s discretion. Want to change roommates? Ask Permission from someone. Want to drive a car on campus? Ask permission. Want to change majors? Ask permission. Wish to live off campus? Ask permission.

    What part of personally carrying a gun fits into that? Concealed carry implies that an individual shouldn’t rely on a college to provide them ‘security’, when any individual problem a student has otherwise depends on the college to solve. Its a ideological paradox on par with the Ayatollahs in Iran deciding one day to allow citizen carry of firearms without permits. How can any college administrator advocate socialism for an intellectual position when evidence of its failures walks right past him in the hallway?

  7. If most of the commentors in these pages strongly support National right to carry (whether open or concealed), and several have stated that they have carried from their teen years going forward (which has largely been met with tacit approval), then I do not see any basis for debate about the right to carry on college campuses.
    As far as the statements of the Professors cited, they are just laughable.
    The Education System in this country from Grade School to Graduate School needs a serious re-making in curriculum and structure. If it functioned correctly, that would further remove the need for any debate about National right to carry on college campuses or most other venues.

  8. Bruce, in your bloviating excess you forgot to include “God-given.”

    “their natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon on campus.”

    Not to mention the absurdity of claiming that the possessing of a particular inanimate object in a particular place is all those things.

    • It’s a free country, so if you really have so many problems with our Constitution and Bill of Rights you are free to leave.

      I’ll even start a collection for your ticket.

    • You’re entitled to your opinion, but referring to his speech as “bloviating” is insulting with no regard for the content.
      Basically, since a University is unwilling to or incapable of providing a controlled, secure, gun-free environment (such as an airport terminal), it can be construed as a death trap. The only guns stopped by a “no-gun” policy in these environments will be by people who abide by the rules. It won’t and didn’t have any effect on a spree killer who is intent on breaking much more severe laws. This can be applied to alot of other public places as well.
      Personally, I would not mind a no-gun policy if we all had to go through metal detectors and armed guards patrolled the halls of every faculty building, but then again, who would want to go to school in a place like that?
      Property rights are big stumbling block here, but other than that, your arguments aren’t based on anything rational. If the state trusts an individual to carry a gun concealed in a multitude of locations, then why do they present a threat in a University setting?

      • Josh, do you know how rare school shootings are? Whenever I talk about negligent discharges or kids getting shot with daddy’s gun, you guys tell me how rare they are in the overall picture.

        Now, you’re talking about an extremely rare possibility as justification for concealed carry. That’s not very consistent of you.

        • It’s funny you say that. Schools are your so-called “gun-free zones” (as are many malls, government buildings, etc…) where it is supposedly safe. Despite how rare school shootings are, the fact that when they do occur; they almost always result in a mass casualty incident because no one can fight back. It’s this mentality that the nanny state will protect and provide for ALL of your needs that places students and the public at risk.

          Please explain to me why mass shootings at gun stores and police stations are even rarer than shootings at schools. Perhaps the threat of lethal force is a deterrent? Just a guess.

          By insisting on legally disarming citizens, you are intentionally violating their civil right to self defense and the life/lives attached to that action.

  9. If you’re old and responsible enough to carry one in defense of this country, you’re old and responsible enough to carry one anywhere.

  10. Zordani is opposed to permit holders being allowed to carry on campus because a “disgruntled” student who didn’t have a carry permit, illegally concealed a revolver, carried it onto campus in violation of Arkansas law as well as University policy, murdered someone and then commit suicide.

    That’s the equivalent of saying 16 year olds shouldn’t be allowed to get driver’s licenses because a fourteen year old drove a car illegally and killed someone. Same thing, how are guns different?

    • “Zordani is opposed to permit holders being allowed to carry on campus because a “disgruntled” student who didn’t have a carry permit, illegally concealed a revolver, carried it onto campus in violation of Arkansas law as well as University policy, murdered someone and then commit suicide.

      That’s the equivalent of saying 16 year olds shouldn’t be allowed to get driver’s licenses because a fourteen year old drove a car illegally and killed someone. Same thing, how are guns different?”

      It’s more like saying, “Anyone who has been through all the training and legal processing to get a drivers license, not to mention however long they have been driving legally and been of no harm to anyone else can’t drive on a public road because an unlicensed individual got mad, stole a car, and used it to run over someone who disagreed with them, and then drove the car off a cliff to kill themselves.”

      But I agree with your point.

  11. I’m grateful of all the support, Bruce. I’ve been constantly writing letters to the Daily Eastern News to rectify all the bad research and fear-mongering that their reporters like to do.

    I’m going to fight for this until the end. I can guarantee that.

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