Guns are scary. BLAMMO! Someone dies. It’s so … violent. Sure, other forms of death are violent, too. If you’ve ever seen the aftermath of a particularly bad car crash, well, let’s just say it ain’t pretty at all. The thing that freaks out a lot of anti-gunners and firearms freedom fence straddlers: it’s so easy to shoot and kill someone! Of course, it isn’t. And it doesn’t happen that often, statistically speaking. But the idea of scary gun death is out there, somewhere. Actually, it’s right there, in the lead of every anti-gun editorial ever written. Like this one in Miami’s newsherald.com:
Guns and college campuses are a dangerous combination — as shown by an incident last month at the University of Florida.
On July 27, a gun was fired on the UF campus after an argument at a nearby bar. University police reported that the argument escalated into a fistfight in a campus parking lot, ending when a 25-year-old man allegedly pulled out a gun from his girlfriend’s purse and fired it into the ground.
A UF police spokesman told The Sun that he couldn’t recall a previous shooting incident on campus. To keep it that way, members of the university community need to work to defeat another effort to allow firearms on state college and university campuses.
Shock, horror! The Herald’s anti-campus carry anecdote somehow fails to tell us whether the girlfriend in question was licensed to carry a gun. It’s also pretty weak sauce. At the risk of seeming insensitive, you’d think they’d come up with an example where a drunken licensed concealed carrier shot someone’s face off. Which is why they try again . . .
“Young people are more prone to act impulsively,” Patti Brigham, chairwoman of the League’s gun safety committee, told the Miami Herald. “You’ve also got the issue of drinking on campus, and firearms and alcohol over and over again have been shown to be a really bad mix.”
Certainly the UF incident shows that to be the case.
Thankfully, no one was hurt. But a 20-year-old Florida State University student wasn’t so lucky when she was shot to death at a fraternity house in 2011 when a gun was accidentally discharged.
The incident helped lead to the defeat of a guns-on-campus measure in that year’s legislative session. But proponents keep bringing back the bill, despite unified opposition from university leaders, police chiefs and groups representing faculty and students.
Again, was the firearm legally owned (even if was illegally possessed on campus)? If not – and I suspect not – isn’t that proof that UF’s “no guns on campus policy” is a failure? Oh wait. They’d argue that it would be worse if legally owned firearms were allowed on campus. Only … there’s no proof that that’s the case. In fact, quite the opposite…
Law enforcement officials on campuses across Utah, where permit holders are legally allowed to carry, say that’s just not the case.
Officials at several universities, including the University of Utah, Utah Valley University, Dixie State College and Utah State University told IdahoReporter.com that though carrying guns on campus has been legal for nearly a decade, they haven’t seen evidence that their schools are less safe.
“We haven’t had much problem with it,” said Steven Mecham, head of the Utah State University Department of Public Safety. “It’s just not been an issue.”
Reached via email, University of Utah spokeswoman Maria O’Mara told IdahoReporter.com, “We have had no incidents on campus regarding this law.”
Ah, but if denying Americans their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms on campus saves just ONE life . . . Uh, no. One lost life – like the negligent discharge death cited above – does not justify creating campus “gun-free zones.” Not even a dozen. Besides, how many lives have been saved, how many rapes prevented, by innocent Americans carrying a firearm on campus? Shouldn’t we consider that context?
While we’re at it, isn’t this anti-campus carry crusade a bad landing at the wrong airport? Hello? What about alcohol? That legally sold product poses significantly more danger than legally held guns on campus. You want anecdotes? Here are a few representative samples from Recent Alcohol-Related Student Deaths-Complete Listing [via compelledtoact.com].
[University of Kentucky student] Connie [Blunt] died in a hit-and-run accident crossed against the traffic signal and stopped in the street for unknown reasons when she was crossing South Broadway. The police accident report says that Connie Blount had been drinking that night before she was struck.
[Gannon University student] Abrielle [Marie Brynda] was found unresponsive in an alleyway between two downtown buildings. The coroner concluded that she lost her life because of complications from hypothermia “in a setting of acute alcohol intoxication.”
[Clemson University student] Marc [Anthony Cocozzella] was thrown from the bed of a pickup truck after his friend, who is accused of driving drunk, ran into two other cars. Marc died two days later.
I didn’t include any deadly alcohol-related car wrecks; they account for a good portion of a list that’s as long as it is tragic. You’d save a lot more lives by banning students from keeping a car on (or off) campus than than you would by prohibiting them from arming themselves on campus.
B-b-but guns! Once again, we’re left with the feeling that the anti-guns-on-campus jihad launched by the News Herald, the Florida League of Women Voters and others against campus carry isn’t really about student safety. It’s about protecting the dependency culture beloved of America’s economic and political elite.
[Note: if you have a college-aged child, please encourage them to click on the link above. And teach them about safe gun handling. And choose a school that allows campus carry.]