Reacting to economics professor emeritus Daniel Hamermesh’s decision to resign in protest of the University of Texas’ forthcoming campus carry compliance, Students for Concealed Carry’s presser pointed out the following: “Speaking to the unusual size (as many as 500 students) of Hamermesh’s annual class, his letter notes, ‘In some semesters these groups of 18-year-olds constituted the largest single course on campus.’ This prompted Antonia Okafor, Southwest director for Students for Concealed Carry, to ask, ‘Why is Professor Hamermesh worried that allowing CHL holders to carry guns on campus will increase his chances of being shot by students who are too young to obtain a CHL?'” Which raises the question . . .
Should the age for concealed carry be lowered to 18? Eighteen-year-olds are legal adults. They can vote and serve in the military. Equally, they can drive a car, a practice which accounts for far more homicides than firearms. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that “Each year an estimated 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.”
Also worth noting, the right to keep and bear arms is a Constitutionally protected right. As such it is not subject to arguments of social utility or the democratic process. In theory. In practice, 18-year-old college students have the same need for personal self-defense as 21-year-old college students. So why not “allow” them the best tool for the job?