A Campus Safety Administrator’s View of the Efficacy and Morality of Concealed Weapons on College Campuses

courtesy texastribune.org

By B320

Introduction

As a campus safety administrator I have been tasked with researching and implementing best practices in policy, and training the campus community toward best practices in security and to prepare campus constituents be able to respond to a crisis or disaster with equally proportionate and appropriate means. Much of what I have been tasked with revolves around emergency communication and campus procedures in the event an intruder or crazed campus constituent chooses to exact vengeance or calamity upon us.

In the wake of the mass murder in Parkland, Florida, and after an on-campus scare,(1) I fielded a phone call from a distraught mother of a sophomore. Although sufficient information regarding the “scare” was communicated to the campus body to diffuse tensions, assure safety, and communicate the absence of a threat, misinformation of a “deadly threat” made its way to this concerned mother through a conversation with her child.

Speaking through thinly veiled sobs the mother expressed helplessness and insecurity. The incident was clearly explained to her, and although she understood the nuances of the situation and acknowledged that rumors, assumptions, and gossip had snowballed into frightening students, she demanded to be informed of what steps the campus takes to prevent and respond to such threats.

I assured her of our internal investigation and support procedures, our training in the run-hide-fight protocol, and the relatively fast law enforcement response we might receive in a moment of crisis. I assured her that we are doing everything in our power to present her child with a safe and secure educational experience.

As I reflected on the phone call over the next few days my conscience accused me of misleading her. Is the campus doing everything it can to reasonably accomplish the security and protection of its constituents? I submit that it is not, and that a minor improvement may be made to campus security policy that have the potential to pay dividends in the event of an intruder or terror-based attack.

The improvement to be implemented is as simple as removing the “no weapons in campus buildings” stickers from building doors.

College Campus Carry guns concealed carry

courtesy dailycardinal.com

I realize that voicing an opinion or suggesting a solution that falls outside of traditional academic paradigm is often unwise, yet after carefully researching and examining probable and desirable campus security outcomes I am compelled to move towards the removal of the “no weapons in campus buildings” stickers. I present this information to the administration as a step in moving toward the implementation of this policy change.

Compliance with the 2011 Wisconsin Act 35

Signed on July 8, 2011 and enacted on July 22, 2011, the 2011 Wisconsin Act 35 authorizes individuals to carry concealed weapons if they undergo training and receive a license.(2) Act 35 gives employers, businesses, and property owners the ability to limit or prohibit the concealed carry of weapons on its premise.

It is unlawful for any person to enter or remain in any privately or publicly owned buildings on the grounds of a university or college, if the university or college has notified the person not to enter or remain in the building while carrying a firearm or with that type of firearm. This provision does not apply to a person who leases residential or business premises in the building or, if the firearm is in a vehicle parked in the parking facility.(3)

At such a time before Act 35 went into effect our school administration attended a statewide association meeting wherein it was recommended by school administration policy makers and lawyers that under every circumstance school buildings should be posted with lawfully compliant notices forbidding the carry of concealed weapons inside campus buildings. One internal question that continues to persist, “Were the stickers placed on campus buildings because that was the right decision to make, or the easy decision to make?”

When asked if any thought, research, or administrative consideration was given prior to the posting of stickers on campus doors, the Dean of Students from that period did recall that it was done because it was the easy decision to make at the time.

It should be noted that at present several buildings remain out of compliance with what the law demands to adequately notify people that weapons are prohibited. Multiple factors may be contributing to this including inattentiveness, ignorance of the law, or disregard for the previous leadership’s wishes to have the buildings posted as weapons-free zones.

The law states that, “For non-residential buildings, state or governmental property or university or college: A sign must be posted in a prominent place near all of the entrances to the part of the building to which the restriction applies and any individual entering the building can be reasonably expected to see the sign.”(4)

Risk and Hype of a Mass Casualty Event Occurring on Campus

Any discussion of a mass casualty incident should also include a conversation about the risk we assume while operating a college campus. There is a balance of probabilities that need to be taken into consideration before concluding whether or not it is appropriate for permitted campus constituents to carry weapons.

Media hype and bias on both ends of the debate need to be carefully sifted so that selective data presentation and “click-bait” edu-tainment does not unduly influence an impartial investigation of facts – popular media representation is not unbiased; media sow anxiety and fear to compete for market share and for profit. Political pandering of research outlets must be noted while statistics are presented as fact. The 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary Peggy Noonan(5) commented on this saying,

That is my theory: media bias now is in part a financial decision, instead of what it used to be, a good old-fashioned human and institutional flaw. This contributes to public division—to the great estrangement we see in America. I talk to media folk a lot, being one, and haven’t found anyone who’s said, “Why yes, that’s exactly what we’re doing, deepening our national divisions for profit!” Although I shared my theory this week with a senior manager of a news organization who quickly mentioned another major news organization and said: “I think that’s what they’re doing.”(6)

The overall threat of a violent mass casualty event happening on campus, statistically speaking, is minuscule. The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council (IMNRC) notes that mass shootings and accidental deaths by firearm are rare: “The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths.

Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.”(7) The report also notes, “These multiple-victim homicides, because of their shocking nature, have commanded the attention of the public, the media, and policy officials, even though they are relatively rare and account for a small proportion of all firearm-related injuries and deaths in the United States.”(8)

Some comparative statistics have been documented for perspective: becoming a victim of a mass shooting is less likely than being struck by lightning or by being hit by a car while riding a bicycle.(9) Data reported by the IMNRC indicated that between years 2000 and 2010 that suicide accounted for 61% of all firearm-related deaths.(10)

While we prayerfully recognize that mass murder may never occur on campus, we also recognize that being prepared for a mass casualty event is something to which we must be committed. Our Crisis Prevention Team and emergency drills work to prevent and prepare for such an event.

All legal and morally-obliging methods to respond to a mass killer should be implemented and sustained. The axiom is applied, “It’s not a matter of if, but when,” and law enforcement officials are quick to remind school officials of this and say that it is only a matter of time before each individual campus is impacted by a mass killer, whether it be shooting, bombing, or rampage by vehicle.

The 2016-17 FBI active shooter incidents report records that out of the 50 total recorded active shooter incidents, 13 shooters self-terminated, 11 were killed by police, 8 were stopped by non-law enforcement individuals, and 18 were apprehended by police.(11) Most active shooters were stopped by the use of firearms. It is very rare that attackers are physically tackled and restrained.(12)

As trustworthy as FBI data may seem, independent researchers and analysts indicate that selective classification of incidents of FBI authors may have lead them to forego the reporting of additional incidents where non-law enforcement persons stopped the threat with a personal weapon.(13) Laws and restrictions have been shown to not prevent criminal intent or murder.

A person intent to kill as many people as possible will do so regardless of the laws against murder and the prohibition of weapons. Immediate intercession has proven to save lives, and delaying proportionate response only lengthens the amount of time an active killer has to take more lives. Under such circumstances physical force is entirely appropriate, moral, and legal. Why would the institution choose to strengthen the power of the assailant by rending its own constituents unable to efficiently defend themselves?

The Case for the Permit Holder

Those that hold a concealed carry permit issued by the state are statistically the most law-abiding demographic of person, committing crimes at rates lower than even law enforcement officers. (14) Permit holders have submitted themselves to voluntary background checks, when approved, indicate that they have no disqualifying criminal or mental health history. Those who choose to carry a defensive weapon have decided to be proactive about their personal health and welfare, and likely that of their family and those around them.

The greatest danger of their possession of a weapon would be to an assailant, and only if the situation permits the use of force to prevent deadly or great bodily harm.(15) Those who possess a permit and choose to carry a concealed weapon bear a greater burden and responsibility to abide by the law and act lawfully, and consistently do so.(16)

Firearms exist in great abundance in Wisconsin (and nationwide)(17) and criminals and those with murderous intent will acquire and use them for their purposes. “No weapons” policies and signs will not deter criminals or others intent upon perpetrating violence. They only disarm the law-abiding and render them defenseless.

There is nothing to physically hinder anyone from carrying a weapon on campus because there are no physical barriers like metal detectors and armed security at each building entrance. Those who wish to carry a weapon for ill intent, to rob, assault, or murder, are already in possession of weapons on campus. Signs are useless for the prevention and cessation of interpersonal violence and cannot save lives. If the “no weapons” stickers are removed from campus buildings only the people who are currently obeying the signage will be affected.

Many campuses already allow permit holders to possess weapons on their person while on campus.(18) Note that law enforcement response time varies in each situation. In the 5-10 minutes it may take for first responders to arrive, a mass murderer may already have taken 10-20 lives. Historically, law enforcement responders have acted as historians and janitors: to take notes from witnesses and to investigate and record the facts of what happened, and then to help clean up after the disaster has been recorded.

Current local law enforcement training dictates that as soon as an officer gains knowledge of a mass shooter or active murder in progress, s/he is to take steps to intercede.(19) Even so, many of these killers commit suicide when confronted by an armed defender without a shot being fired.(20) In a situation where a person on campus has either a choice to defend herself or die, any chance to stop an aggressor is preferred. Without multiple School Resource Officers (SROs) patrolling campus and entering buildings at random on a regular basis, it seems misplaced to put exclusive reliance on local law enforcement when they are always minutes away.

The employment of multiple SROs would be of great benefit and would be a natural way for the campus to liaise with local law enforcement agencies. The expense to employ multiple SROs is burdensome and prohibitive, and the SRO presence on campus may not deter or guarantee an immediate crisis response, though having a single armed SRO is preferable, especially since current policy renders everyone else defenseless. Faculty and staff are already sprinkled throughout the campus and would be better placed to present an immediate, appropriate response to an active killer should they be permitted to lawfully carry a weapon.

Whereas current police training doctrine has moved towards immediate intervention tactics, law enforcement does not have moral or legal obligation to provide individual protection to citizens.(21) Should law enforcement respond and choose to delay engagement it is very possible that the agency itself will not be held legally accountable for the lives lost during the delay in engagement.(22)

Allowing law-abiding permit holders to possess weapons will not cost the institution money and is a cost-effective means (23) by which to harden itself as a target for those who may attack. Permit holders have proven themselves perfectly capable of stopping mass shootings when they are actually in a position to do so. This is very important to note, because on at least a dozen occasions, armed citizens have stepped in to stop madmen and even assist police officers.(24) Responsible non-law enforcement persons with weapons are not a myth, contrary to what is commonly reported and what contemporary academia selectively chooses to believe.(25)

Armed citizens are less likely to be injured by an attacker: “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was ‘used’ by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”(26)

Defensive uses of guns are common: “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year…in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”(27)

Common Misconceptions

In the public sphere this is an overtly political topic. Because it is political it is also polarizing, and many people choose to remain ignorant of facts when facts fly in the face of strongly held political beliefs. Common misunderstandings and objections abound – this section addresses some of these concerns.

“Teachers and staff do not want to worry about carrying a firearm and would prefer to only do their jobs.” Allowing carry is not “an arming” of teachers or other staff, but a personal option, undertaken only by those who choose to be armed. Individuals already choose to be legally armed and would relish the ability to be so armed at their place of employment. A non-prohibitive policy would not force arms upon those who wish to remain without and only gives the option to those who may do so within the letter of the law.

“I am never around firearms and feel unsafe around them.” This is an unrealistic assumption made by those who are ignorant of the reality of our world. Whether they know it or not, people come into daily contact with those who carry firearms legally or illegally, on campus or in other public places.

Police are armed, legally permitted non-law enforcement persons may choose to be armed, and those who do not obey the law or campus policy are armed. Open carry of weapons by non-law enforcement is lawful but uncommon; this is the only typical exposure some individuals have to firearms.

College Campus Carry CCW

courtesy spcollege.edu

With a large number of the state population possessing a concealed carry permit(28) it is very likely that many people are daily exposed to individuals who choose to conceal a defensive weapon. Possessing a concealed weapon means nobody else will see or know about the weapon a person may be carrying. Mark R Hinkston, writing on behalf of the Wisconsin Bar Association comments, “Due to its breadth, the CCL will affect virtually all people in Wisconsin, regardless of their viewpoint on, or experience with, weapons. Even if one does not get a concealed-carry license, he or she may know someone who does, will (likely unknowingly) interact with licensees in public (such as in stores or at entertainment venues), and will frequent businesses that have chosen to prohibit or allow concealed weapons on the premises.”(29)

The fact is we are all around people with weapons everyday: on the roads and highways, at restaurants, while shopping, in movie theaters, etc. Those who choose to believe everyone around them remains unarmed will continue to believe that choice; those who are regularly armed know otherwise and choose discretion over grandstanding and flamboyant political speech.

“The person with the concealed carry weapon permit is the one who could snap at any moment.” The current models for predicting mass murderers simply do not involve those who choose to legally carry a weapon. Mass killers are typically sociopaths that indicate many times in advance to their threat to society and usually take time to plan ahead and follow a predetermined path. It should come as no surprise that concealed weapons permit holders are statistically more law-abiding than law enforcement officers.(30)

“The police will protect us.” As discussed in a previous section, police response, though it may be quick, is not quick enough to address a mass murderer before the bulk of his plan has been accomplished.

“Accidents will happen and concealed carry permit holders will mishandle their weapons, putting others at risk.” Active killers pose a significantly larger threat than armed permit holders. Accidents do happen, and even law enforcement officers are not above making poor decisions when it comes to the concealing of weapons.(31) The potential benefit of a lawfully armed person greatly outweighs any miniscule risks associated with carrying a weapon.

“Armed persons will shoot the wrong person in a crisis.” While it is possible to misunderstand a threat in a dynamic situation, in past mass shootings it has been very clear who the aggressor was.

“The police will not know who is who when responding to a crisis.” There are no clear examples of police harming persons that defended themselves or others with the use of arms. Even so, a legally armed person accepts this possibility and chooses to assume the risk. Police are not trained to kill compliant suspects, though accidents and poor policing choices sometimes kill or wound innocent bystanders. Basic concealed weapons training will help those who choose to carry a weapon understand the weight of the responsibility and possible risks involved. The individual permit holder assumes this risk unto her/himself.

“Students will also be able to legally conceal weapons on campus during class.” With student residential rules prohibiting the storage of weapons on campus, it is only a small percentage of students who are 21 years of age, commute from off-campus, and possess a concealed weapons permit, that may actually be eligible to carry a weapon. Since many students have shown their quality and have been entrusted with roles involving institutional confidentiality and the handling of dangerous equipment and highly toxic chemicals, flammables, or biological agents in labs, or other trust-bearing activities, it should not be a concern of anyone that a very small percentage may have the ability to legally possess a concealed weapon.

“Armed non-law enforcement persons will act as vigilantes and escalate tense situations and act unlawfully and kill people at their own whim.” Widespread carrying of weapons by non-law enforcement show this to simply not be the case. In most cases armed persons seek to avoid and de-escalate conflict.

“What if (insert negative consequence) happens?” None of the “what if” scenarios are supported by fact. Dozens of universities around the country have permitted concealed weapons for many years and none of those “what if” scenarios have been substantiated. In the present media culture, if any “what if” scenario had come to pass, we would be instantly informed and presented with a hyped and prolonged presentation of how legally permitted weapons are an extreme failure of modern society. Instead the media tends to gloss over appropriate use and respect for concealed weapons and those that legally use and possess them.

We are an educational institution and it is our business to educate and equip individuals to be servant leaders in society. It is wrong for us to selectively choose to ignore a moral, legal, and proportionately appropriate response to an individual that would attempt to kill many people on our property. Educating and enabling every capable person on campus to legally defend their life and the lives of others is a net positive and in the true spirit of servant leadership.

If the institution chooses to continue to prohibit weapons inside campus buildings, it may be held liable in a court of law under specific circumstances.

Under the CCL, a person who does not prohibit individuals from carrying concealed weapons on property the person owns or occupies is “immune from any liability arising from” such decision. Employers that do not prohibit employees from carrying concealed weapons are also afforded immunity “from any liability arising from” such decision….

To impose liability, foreseeability is key: liability will not be imposed unless the danger presented was foreseeable and could have been prevented or stopped within time… If there is an attack, a plaintiff must show that the proprietor had knowledge of the perpetrator’s “violent propensities” and that the defendant could have undertaken action in sufficient time to stop or control the perpetrator.(32)

Prior institutional knowledge of a student with “violent propensities” that commits murder or great bodily harm on campus invites litigation against the institution, and the institution will likely be held liable because it prevents its constituents from carrying a weapon for lawful self-defense. Many mass killers are known to have “violent propensities” and have been problematic individuals on campuses or other places where their daily routines occurred. One such attacker may very well open up the institution to liability.

The Moral Appeal of Armed Self-Defense

It must be recognized that weapons themselves are inanimate objects that can be used for evil and good alike. Persons that choose to legally defend themselves with arms are not morally inferior than those that abstain. Partisan groups use Biblical examples to highlight their agendas for/against the use of weapons. Examples are taken out of the Biblical context and twisted to meet political aspirations and teach falsely that Jesus wants all believers to be armed,(33) Jesus was a pacifist,(34) or that there will be earthly peace if all nations and peoples give up the use of arms.(35)

The account of Nehemiah and his builders deterring attack by being armed proportionately to the existing threats by the other inhabitants of the surrounding areas is a contextually accurate example of the moral and righteous use of weapons.(36) When confronted by the gospel imperative to do good to one another (37) it should also be recognized that doing good includes protecting the lives of those in danger.(38) In the context of Luke 22:36, Christ acknowledges that his followers were lightly armed and does not command them to disarm, but yet in John 18:10,11, Peter wrongfully used a weapon, interfering “…with the Lord’s humble submission to his Father’s will.

The positive emphasis of the Fourth Commandment ‘to help and befriend [our neighbor] in every bodily need’ can find application in defending oneself and one’s family with a weapon.”(39) From a Christian perspective, the possession and use of weapons is not about waging personal offensive campaigns or exacting vengeance, but about being equipped to do good and take action on behalf of those that cannot provide safety for themselves.

Our existence in middle-class America is typically sheltered from the random violence that plagues communities of lower socioeconomic status. Self-reliance for self-defense issues are less common among the middle and upper socioeconomic levels simply because affluence affords a luxurious buffer against typical “poor people” problems and crimes. We exist in a middle-upper class world where personal bubbles of safety are perceived to be created and maintained by others with authority.

It is good and desirable to perceive the provisions of protection and safety through socioeconomic status and law enforcement. It is, however, not moral for those who perceive their own safety to insist that those who take steps to lawfully protect themselves are inferior and substandard simply because they perceive personal safety differently or other life conditions preclude them from being protected by others.

courtesy Deandra Gonzalez and theranger.org

Though a vocal number of faculty or staff may be opposed to the lawful and moral use of concealed weapons (on our campus and higher education overall) and choose to remain disarmed, it is wrong for them to impose their opposition on the consciences of those who would take steps to lawfully and morally defend and preserve life using a weapon. Some campus constituents already lawfully carry weapons and must disarm for work even though it burdens their consciences. It is morally objectionable to insist that they be disallowed the best means necessary to oppose an active killer. It is also morally objectionable to insist that a person’s only option when facing an active killer is to confront him with whatever may be improvised as a weapon.

A double-standard is in place—the improvisation of a weapon is politically correct and morally superior to the carrying and use of an actual weapon. Disarmed people who put themselves between active killers and others are bold and should be honored, but usually end up dead. There is no moral superiority in becoming another corpse for the active killer to step over and continue killing.

Our culture places high value on many things and chooses to protect money, banks, politicians, celebrities, government facilities and the like with weapons. We have chosen to protect our own assets (people and educational services) with ineffective signs.

Revoking the right to carry a weapon for self-defense for those with a legal and valid concealed weapons permit does not prevent a disgruntled employee or mentally unstable student from coming to campus to attempt to kill as many as possible. Allowing licensed concealed carry of weapons will increase the odds that someone will have the proper tools to oppose an active killer.

Reviewing Institutional Interests and Goals

Identifying objectives is done by realizing interests, and realizing interests may not be possible if the status quo is maintained. We need to examine and understand the nature of our own beliefs and goals and not copy the beliefs of others for convenience or out of apathy (including personal beliefs and/or commonly held institutional beliefs in higher education). Our primary goal as an institution is to educate and prepare individual servant leaders for the public workforce.

Our second goal is to provide a safe educational environment. That secondary goal insists that an institution take steps to provide shelter, food, and safety; each of the highest caliber, to contribute to the primary goal. Commonplace violence is abhorred simply because it detracts from the secondary goal, however, the use of violence in defense of the weak and defenseless is valid and right. If someone is unhinged enough that they think shooting up a classroom or lab is an appropriate response to a relational or educational issue, the prohibition for sane, law-abiding individuals from the lawful carrying and use of weapons makes no sense.

We must observe that recommendations made by local law enforcement agencies often seek to preserve police union objectives and perceived law enforcement safety while pandering to the local ruling political party’s platform. It is wise for the institution to consider agenda-laden recommendations of policy given by local law enforcement and to form internal policy that serves the best interest of its own constituents. Local police recommendations to prohibit the lawful concealed carry of weapons best serves the interests of the local police union, its political agenda, and not our own interests.

The 21 years of age requirement to receive a concealed carry weapons permit in the state of Wisconsin means only some senior or non-traditionally aged commuter students, faculty, staff, and select campus visitors would be eligible to carry a weapon on campus. Of that group, only the subset of those that have taken steps to receive a permit, including training, classes, fees, background checks, and the financial wherewithal to buy a weapon may possess a weapon. Given these criteria, it is no wonder that permit holders are more law-abiding on average than the police.

Other two and four-year colleges across the nation allow permit holders to possess weapons on campus.(40) The lack of news reports regarding safety issues and lawful persons carrying weapons is deafeningly silent. Since real life, time, and experience has shown there are no issues with permitted concealed weapons, there is no reason to forbid it. No evidence exists to support that permitted campus carry causes problem. Evidence exists that it can contribute to the prevention of some types of crime and help end lethal confrontations with mass killers.

If one imagines that guns in civilian hands are used solely as murder weapons, it makes sense to ban or strictly regulate them. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans legally carry a firearm every day, and most cite self-defense as their primary reason.(41) Most often those weapons are never drawn in anger. Innocent individuals can and do sometimes use their weapons in self-defense. Any discussion of weapons policy must acknowledge the lives saved by legal use of guns as well as the lives lost by criminal use.(42)

Policy Recommendations

Ultimately the college sets its policies based on the educational and safety goals for its students. A spectrum of concealed carry allowances could be made to vet campus constituents to carry a concealed weapon.

At one end of the spectrum the college could simply remove the “no weapons” stickers from buildings and allow constituents to be restricted only by state law. On the other end of the spectrum the college could establish whatever additional criteria (including selection of candidates, assigning specific “no weapons zones” (e.g. sensitive labs, etc.) and mandate semesterly training in weapon safety and emergency response. The quiet removal of stickers from campus doors would be the simplest and most time-effective and inexpensive implementation of a policy change.

A low-key allowance of lawful concealed weapons may attract some parents due to the inherent safety of the campus (tying in with the fact that killings happen in advertised “gun free” zones),(43) and would perhaps limit liability in the case of an on-campus assault or murder. Lawful persons who choose to carry a concealed weapon recognize and understand that the possession of a weapon is not a one-size-fits-all solution and is only a potential choice and useful tool in the face of death and great bodily harm.

This simple change of policy is not a suggestion that armed persons act as SWAT and attempt to hunt down aggressors but is an augmentation of the current run-hide-fight protocol. If there is an active shooter on campus, this protocol will still be followed. If it is not possible to run away or hide, it would be preferable that someone be able to stop the aggressor with an actual weapon. Then they would not be expected to improvise with a textbook or stapler to overwhelm the aggressor with sheer numbers.

In recognition that permitting concealed weapons may reduce the severity of an attack and improve the overall hardness of campus, as good stewards we must be able to say with a clear conscience that we trust in God and take every action to do our very best to care for the campus community.

Humbly submitted,

Campus Safety Administrator

 

Authors Note:

TTAG writers and commentators have (in part) inspired and given me the words to share this document with my college campus leaders. I am very pleased to be able to share this back with the community. Feel free to use it to suit any similar needs you may have at your place of employment or house of worship. Some of the information is state-specific and religious (Christian perspective on a Christian campus). If you’re not from my state or religion please discard and replace those areas with content more suitable to your situation. 

 

Notes

1 Endnote redacted.

2 https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/related/acts/35.pdf

3 Wis. Stat. § 943.13(1m)(c)5.

4 Wis. Stat. § 943.13(2)(bm)2.b.

5 https://www.wsj.com/news/author/5356

6 https://www.wsj.com/articles/america-shouts-while-europe-shrugs-1498170712

7 Page 13, Second Paragraph: https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/3#13

8 Page 11, Introduction: https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/3

9 https://medium.com/@bjcampbell/real-talk-about-school-shootings-691bad2fa660

10 Page 13, Second Paragraph: https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/3#13

11 Page 2: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/active-shooter-incidents-us-2016-2017.pdf/view

12 Ibid. p.5.

13https://crimeresearch.org/2018/05/new-fbi-report-claims-that-8-of-active-shooter-attacks-during-2014-17-were-stopped-or-mitigated-by-concealed-handgun-permit-holders-but-misses-at-least-half-the-cases/

14 With 683,396 full-time law-enforcement employees nationwide in 2006, we can infer that there were about 102 crimes by police per 100,000 officers. Among the U.S. population as a whole, the crime rate was 37 times higher than the police crime rate over those years — 3,813 per 100,000 people. Now let’s look at permit holders. Between October 1, 1987, and January 31, 2015, Florida revoked 9,366 concealed-handgun permits for misdemeanor or felony offenses. This is an annual rate of 12.5 crimes per 100,000 permit holders — a mere eighth of the crime rate among officers. In Texas, 108 permit holders were convicted of misdemeanors or felonies in 2015 — the last year for which data are available. This is a rate of 10.8 per 100,000, scarcely more than a tenth of the rate for police. Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 6.9 per 100,000 officers. For Florida permit holders, the rate is only 0.31 per 100,000. Most of these violations were trivial offenses, such as forgetting one’s permit. The data are similar in other states.
https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/01/new-york-times-concealed-handgun-crime-numbers-are-bogus/

15 A person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference with his or her person by such other person. The actor may intentionally use only such force or threat thereof as the actor reasonably believes is necessary to prevent or terminate the interference. The actor may not intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless the actor reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself. Wis. Stat. § 939.48(1).

16 There exists a correlatory relationship between lawful driving and concealed weapon permit issuance: https://crimeresearch.org/2017/09/concealed-handgun-permit-holders-much-less-likely-drive-recklessly-drivers/

17 Wisconsin Ownership rate of 34.7%; Nationwide ownership rate of 29.1%: https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/injuryprev/early/2015/06/09/injuryprev-2015-041586.full.pdf?keytype=ref&ijkey=doj6vx0laFZMsQ2

18A specific example of a campus weapons policy page: https://www.k-state.edu/police/weapons/index.html; A list of campuses published that permit concealed weapons: http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?pid=4153

19 During a personal conversation with [POSITION, NAME AND UNIT REDACTED], it was indicated that all officers are currently trained to immediately respond in an active shooter situation.

20 Page 5: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/active-shooter-incidents-us-2016-2017.pdf/view

21 Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981).

22 Delayed Police Response to PULSE Nightclub shooting: ttps://www.npr.org/2016/07/05/484832479/police-face-backlash-over-delayed-response-to-orlando-shooting
Delayed response to Parkland Florida Shooting: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/florida-school-shooting/fl-florida-shooting-coral-springs-video-20180222-story.html
Delayed Response to Mandalay Bay shooting: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-las-vegas-shooting-live-updates-why-did-it-take-police-so-long-to-1507174474-htmlstory.html

23 All costs associated with permitting, training, and weapon purchasing is absorbed by the permit holder.

24Th presentation of data in this research shows gaps in the FBI research and indicates a statistically significant number of additional occasions where non law enforcement stopped aggressors and/or assisted police: https://crimeresearch.org/2018/05/new-fbi-report-claims-that-8-of-active-shooter-attacks-during-2014-17-were-stopped-or-mitigated-by-concealed-handgun-permit-holders-but-misses-at-least-half-the-cases/

25 Two such examples are presented. More can be easily found by using an internet search engine. http://www.news9.com/story/29008359/witness-pulled-gun-on-burglary-suspect-who-was-beating-okc-officer
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/11/06/man-who-put-end-carnage-texas/838700001/

26 Page 16, top paragraph: https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/3#16

27 Page 15, third paragraph: https://www.nap.edu/read/18319/chapter/3#15

28 About 8 percent of the state’s over-21 population now are permitted to carry a concealed firearm… 319,770 concealed carry permits are active in Wisconsin as of November 8, 2016 https://www.postcrescent.com/story/news/investigations/2016/11/23/law-obscures-impact-wisconsin-concealed-carry/94344080/

29https://www.wisbar.org/newspublications/wisconsinlawyer/pages/article.aspx?Volume=85%09&Issue=7&ArticleID=8710%20

30 Comment in text body repeated in a different context and endnote links repeated for emphasis and further consideration: https://crimeresearch.org/2018/05/new-fbi-report-claims-that-8-of-active-shooter-attacks-during-2014-17-were-stopped-or-mitigated-by-concealed-handgun-permit-holders-but-misses-at-least-half-the-cases/

31 FBI Agent loses control concealed weapon while dancing: https://www.npr.org/2018/06/13/619526810/fbi-agent-charged-after-dance-move-resulted-in-accidental-shooting
Article about DEA Agent shooting self in foot while lecturing school children: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/17/agent-loses-appeal-over-accidental-shooting-video.html
Video of DEA Agent shooting self in foot while lecturing children:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trlPcDg-B4E

32https://www.wisbar.org/newspublications/wisconsinlawyer/pages/article.aspx?Volume=85%09&Issue=7&ArticleID=8710%20

33 Luke 22:36: He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

34 Matthew 5:38, 39: You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

35 See Isaiah 2:2-5, esp. verse 4: He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

36 See Nehemiah, esp. 4:16-18: From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.

37 Galatians 6:10: Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

38 Proverbs 24:10-12: If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

39 https://wels.net/faq/gun-ownership-and-usage/

40A specific example of a campus weapons policy page: https://www.k-state.edu/police/weapons/index.html; A list of campuses published that permit concealed weapons: http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?pid=4153

41 Harvard School of Public Health Summary: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/three-million-carry-loaded-guns/
Loaded Handgun Carrying Among US Adults, 2015: https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2017.304072
42https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulhsieh/2018/03/20/any-study-of-gun-violence-should-include-how-guns-save-lives/#7eff94b75edc
43https://crimeresearch.org/2018/05/more-misleading-information-from-bloombergs-everytown-for-gun-safety-on-guns-analysis-of-recent-mass-shootings/

comments

  1. avatar Sprinter2x says:

    As is evidenced by all the school shootings, the only people who will pay any attention to the “no guns or weapons” signs are the law abiding gun owners. Those signs create a “sitting duck” situation for occupants.

  2. avatar FedUp says:

    Posted anonymously in hopes of not becoming a former campus safety administrator for carefully explaining a logical point of view in public?

    If the author is working in MadTown, I don’t expect that’ll work out very well.

    1. avatar Ingenero says:

      Probably one of the many other UWs. There are a lot of campuses, and the majority are in far more conservative areas than Madison or Milwaukee. This would get a lot more movement at those other schools.

      Having gone to Madison many moons ago, I suspect the city council would probably explode en masse and riots break out if someone tried. Riots break out for everything there, even Halloween. But the campus security admin would know that, and know the backlash would probably not be worth it.

      With the right management, maybe he or she could get this through an administrative back channel (no one would likely notice removing the stickers…), but any debate and it’s game over.

  3. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    I stopped reading as soon as I came to ” . . . I have been tasked with . . .”. Besides, at my old school, we had a tacit “don’t ask/don’t tell” rule. People largely ignored the “gun free” rules and carried when they felt the need, which was often.

    1. avatar Carrucan says:

      Why make such an ignorant comment after reading so little of the article? What possible value did you mean to contribute to this conversation with your brilliant rhetoric? You couldn’t just move on to the next article?
      There’s a saying that begins, “better thought a fool…”

  4. avatar Eric says:

    Bravo.

    Very well written and researched. We need to send a copy of this to our senators and representatives.

    1. avatar Rick3 says:

      Agreed.

      I wish that I had written such a detailed and rationale argument for this when I was in a campus security position.

      Very nice!

    2. avatar Ingenero says:

      Yep. Whoever wrote this is doing the right thing…both by raising the issue, and by posting anonymously. That way critics can’t target them or the school they’re at, and it can help anyone else in a position to do something about this. It’s an impressive piece of work, and I wish them well as they try to make these changes.

    3. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Theoretically a great idea, but three-quarters of the elected representatives in this country wouldn’t take the time to read and comprehend a carefully-researched, thoroughly footnoted 5000-word essay.

      The other 25% probably can’t even read to begin with.

      1. avatar Ingenero says:

        Fortunately he’s dealing with college administration. They’re probably more amenable to reports, though the ideas may well be another story. But the writer should know their recipient well, so…

  5. avatar PK says:

    “There are no clear examples of police harming persons that defended themselves or others with the use of arms.”

    Well, this must have been written a while before the older fellow in Aurora CO was shot by police after he shot the attempted murderer of his 11-year-old grandson…

    1. avatar Ing says:

      Yes, “none” is an unwise assertion; if only one has ever occurred, then the assertion is wrong. There are a few…very, very few. The Aurora incident is the only clear-cut example I can bring to mind, actually.

      And as the author points out, the existence of those incidents, even if they were much more common, isn’t a valid objection because everyone who legally carries has willingly assumed whatever risk exists. There’s no point in denying them based on a risk they WANT to take.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        Cop on defender shootings?

        I don’t think we have any examples in the entire country in schools yet, elementary, high school, or universities.

        In homes and businesses, yep, we’ve got those by the dozen.

  6. avatar m. says:

    ending the federal biden death-zone/gun-free laws would be a good start, but won’t happen. A lawyer-politician would have admit he was wrong, accept responsibility for numerous deaths.

  7. avatar Timothy V Noecker says:

    “Keep Gun-Hating People/Teachers Out Of Our Classrooms!!!”

  8. avatar Bloving says:

    TLDR
    Here’s the abbreviated version:
    There are three types of people: wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs. The wolves prey on the sheep and are afraid of the sheepdogs. The sheepdogs serve the Shepherd and protect the Flock. The sheep just want to eat their grass and wish to be left in peace; but even though the sheepdogs are there to protect them – from the sheep’s perspective, the sheepdog still looks an awful lot like a wolf. This is why the sheep want the sheepdogs to have their teeth (guns) taken away. They see little difference between the sheepdogs and the wolves. But even if the sheepdogs pull their teeth and turn to eating grass, the wolves will not. Sheepdogs, do not give up your guns or your right to fight back, no matter how loudly the sheep may bleat.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      I started reading, but it is very long for the format, and I have to get to work. Maybe TTAG can serialize it, and post it in blog post sized chunks?

      1. avatar DrScaryGuy says:

        Do as I did. Bookmark it and read it over morning coffee.
        TBH, there’s a good chance I’ll read it again (on the clock, because that’s what those of us in middle management get to do) because I didn’t read as carefully as an article this beautifully-written deserves.

  9. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    The “professor” lecturing on geysers should be wearing protective headgear as well as the vest.

    1. He did. There aren’t other photos out there showing the helmet.

      1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

        I thought there was a picture of him wearing a helmet and vest on TTAG last year?

  10. avatar Alternator says:

    He must be an academic. I fell asleep after the first couple of pages. Here’s the Cliff Notes version: “Shall Not Be Infringed.”

  11. avatar Sam I Am says:

    I vote this the overall contest winner: organization; clarity, cohesion, structure, ease of reading.

    1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

      And complete with reference links.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “And complete with reference links.”

        Yeah, I botched that one, a really important element. Thanks for the assist.

    2. avatar Ing says:

      I’m not sure I’d agree with “ease of reading,” (it being very, very, very long for a blog post) but it was well crafted. The sources cited in the footnotes might be the most valuable part.

      I’d vote for this piece as the winner so far.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        Length of a writing, and the ease with which it can be read should not be considered mutually exclusive. “Ease of reading” means the wording and syntax are not burdensome to comprehend and digest. Novels can be easy reads, but very long.

    3. avatar Mike B in WI says:

      This has my vote, too. I hope to use this article with my state reps and with my kids school district

  12. avatar Ing says:

    “Why would the institution choose to strengthen the power of the assailant by rending its own constituents unable to efficiently defend themselves?”

    That’s a very good question. I don’t think these institutions would like the answer.

    1. avatar Zeke says:

      Interestingly enough, I just read a pretty good summary of how those people are thinking:

      https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/college-infantilization-martin-center-article/

    2. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “Why would the institution choose to strengthen the power of the assailant by rending its own constituents unable to efficiently defend themselves?”

      “That’s a very good question. I don’t think these institutions would like the answer. ”

      Simplicity pretty much explains things. Any armed attack is likely to involve three parties: attacker, victim, police. If only the attacker and police are armed, it makes things more simple to resolve: one or more “civilians” DRT means police are not faced with possibly two adversaries. Most important, a zero tolerance policy is easier to enforce among the greatest number of subjects. Once you move off zero tolerance, you then must work to identify the permissible circumstances. Not only is that hard work, it cannot be that every permissible, or non-permissible, circumstance is covered.

      As an analogy, a supply chain is very simple to maintain if you have only one product to manage. Besides, there is a whole host of approvals for signaling that there is nothing good about guns.

  13. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Nice work, contrib.

    I am so pleased you were able to borrow words, and I’ll presume arguments and analysis from TTAG & the snarky battleswarm hereabouts. Thank you for saying that.

    The format is a tad unusual for a blog+ site, but bang on for your context. (I was talking literally yesterday with some guys responding to an RFP from a Fed contractor. Very different format n dialect vs. their typical clients. They offered to pay me for essentially translation services on this one.)

    1. avatar Sam I Am says:

      “…some guys responding to an RFP from a Fed contractor. Very different format n dialect vs. their typical clients.”

      Always frustrated with defense contractors who delivered their RFP responses with a formal letter, in formal language, essentially stating: “Here is our response to your RFP number 1234”. When I worked for a defense contractor (vs. working in government contract management), they stated that a short direct answer would indicate to the government that the contractor really wasn’t serious about the response/proposal. Working both sides of the contracting arena was entertaining, to say the least.

  14. avatar C R says:

    This is the best written article about the subject I have ever read, and very likely ever written. When national organizations tacked the subject, they fumbled. Friends sympathetic to the CCW idea could not fathom arming teachers. I insisted to my friends that no one who does not already carry needs to be armed; just let them legally carry where criminals and outlaws already carry. Why aren’t you officially at the head of those representing those of us who stand for constitutional rights?

    1. avatar DrScaryGuy says:

      I am 100% in agreement. Whoever the author is needs to be given a much more comfortable job working for a pro-gun organization. This is much better thinking than anything I’ve seen come from the NRA in years, and without any of the frothy madness that has been creeping into their PSAs.

  15. avatar Charles U Farley says:

    Stickers ON the door don’t comply with the “near the door” requirements of the law dearie.

  16. avatar DrScaryGuy says:

    I’m parroting many others at this point, but this is, without a doubt, the absolute best article I’ve seen on the subject. Give this author the prize. Give them all the prizes. Send this article to everybody in academia.
    I appreciate how politely this article addresses many of the issues that fall under the old adage “you must have gone to college to say something that stupid”. However, I would like to add one more anecdote I experienced during my grad studies. In a talk with a dean about this topic (while my trial for having a gun on campus was pending – don’t worry, they dropped the case) he revealed to me that our university was most definitely a gun free zone. It always would be and they would continue to enforce it, but they were not going to post any signs to let people know that guns weren’t allowed. “Why not?” I asked…- because seeing a “no weapons” sign on the door would make people think of weapons, and that would make them uncomfortable. The faculty most certainly had spent plenty of time in colleges to say something that stupid.

  17. avatar m. says:

    By the length of this, must have studied in the ebola-bama school of lawyer bs. Ask a 1-minute question and receive a 1-hour response. Know the meaning of terse?

  18. avatar MattG says:

    Can we get this stickied in the gun facts section? Seems like a good resource that I’d hate to lose track of

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