Colorado Campus Carry Controversy Conversation Continues

By TTAG reader girlswithguns

In their never-ending effort to serve the community and examine the tough issues, the Denver Post ran a point-counterpoint on campus carry yesterday. Never mind the fact that, thanks to the Colorado supreme court, the issue is now settled law in The Centennial State. But be that as it may, they ran opinions from two members of the UC-Boulder community, one a professor and the other a student. Guess which one makes the more logical argument?

CU prof Dan Liston takes the pro carry ban position with a few well-worn gems:

The only rationale for concealed guns I’ve heard depend on dubious, rights-based claims and fear-driven, gunfight logic.

The presence of concealed weapons in the classroom exacerbates these classroom risks to potentially deadly levels and destroys instructional trust.

The gunfight rationale claims that if an enraged student were to attack, the concealed-gun carriers would ‘save the day.’

Guns in the classroom threaten lives and damage learning. The promise of education should not be denied by the presence of guns.

Here’s a news flash for Prof. Liston: there are already guns on campus, they’re just not there legally, mkay? His argument is based on some old straw men and the tried and true debating tactic of trying to instill a little fear. Pretty much the stock in trade for anyone opposing “rights-based claims” in favor of fostering an atmosphere of “instructional trust.”

The pro carry flag is taken up by CU student Elisa Dahlberg:

Over the last decade, concealed carry has been allowed on more than 200 campuses in six states. Not once has a student threatened a teacher or other students over an academic debate, grades or a belief system — not over anything. Not once.

Concealed carry is one of the best advantages a person can have when faced with violence. Individuals who carry concealed handguns are not afraid — they are prepared.

It may be argued that preventing students from carrying concealed handguns keeps campuses safe. Yet history tells us gun bans don’t work. Virginia Tech’s gun ban certainly didn’t protect its students — instead, it left them vulnerable and defenseless.

Permit holders are some of the most law-abiding citizens I know. To be issued a permit, an individual must be at least 21 years old, pass federal and state background checks, be fingerprinted, and demonstrate competence with a firearm before being issued a permit.

As a veteran, a petite woman, a law-abiding American, and most certainly a student, I wish to understand why any faculty member would argue that I should sacrifice my right to self-defense in pursuit of a college degree.

Or in other words, “Is a woman lying on the ground – raped and strangled – morally superior to a woman holding a smoking gun with a dead rapist at her feet?” Perhaps Prof. Liston could answer that one. Ms. Dahlberg manages to make her case with facts (although she doesn’t state her sources), offering the best reason for concealed carry, something Prof. Liston conveniently sidestepped – self defense.

Bonus: here’s a little background on the commentators…Elisa Dahlberg is an Air Force veteran and a UC-Boulder senior. She worked for a short time with the Aurora Police Department before enrolling in the university and she’s an outspoken advocate for campus carry.

Dan Liston is a Professor in the School of Education. Per the colorado.edu site,

By invitation and in collaboration with the Center for Courage and Renewal, Dan Liston planned, designed and led a recent four-day “Global Gathering” that included 120 educators, ministers, social workers, civic leaders, doctors, and lawyers.

The Center for Courage and Renewal website carries this welcome message:

Courage & Renewal programs and retreats are unique opportunities to align your inner truth with your outer life. We help you reconnect who you are with what you do. You will return to your life and work with renewed passion, commitment, and integrity.  Our programs offer a profound experience of our Circles of Trust® approach.

So I’ll leave it to you — which author do you think is more connected to the reality-based community and stated their case more effectively?