Silver posted the following comment re: bans on concealed carry on college campuses: “I’d ignore the no-carry law on campus, personally. Get a pocket gun, keep it concealed and secure, and no one’s the wiser. Let the sheep huddle and cry while waiting to be shot if some maniac opens up on campus, not me.” Well fair enough. But what if your son or daughter wanted to carry a gun on campus in contravention of laws banning CCW? Would you recommend risking prosecution, expulsion and the permanent loss of their gun rights? Would you give them your gun? Or advise them to carry a less-than-lethal alternative? Does it matter if it’s a son or daughter? Would you tell them to transfer to a college that allowed campus carry?

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42 Responses to Question of the Day: Would You Tell Your Child to Carry on Campus Illegally?

  1. In the real world, you’d be a lot more likely to be arrested for illegally having a gun on campus than to ever be in a situation where you’d use it for self defense. Remember that the incident we’re all talking about took place off campus – though I predict Temple will try to punish the student who defended himself. And that’s another obnoxious but real point. You need a college degree, and therefore it behooves you to keep your head down to avoid the PC inquisition. You can customize your lifestyle all you want after graduation.

    And in any case, it’s irresponsible at best to condone your children breaking the law. This should really be a no-brainer…

    • I agree with you Stacy. But regardless of what the comments show, I believe the Club named “Bad rules be damned” has a lot bigger membership among the Armed Intelligentsia than they’ll admit.

      • I think it’s more along the lines of “Unjust rules be damned.” I personally refuse to be victimized by head-in-the-clouds insanity.

        • That’s noble but more than a little misguided. We’re talking about 3-5 years of your young life and a tiny geographic area from which you automatically escape at the end. Rest assured I’d have a different outlook if the entire US were governed by the Duke U. faculty and Mike Nifong were the AG. But it’s not, he’s not, and the pressure is on the lefties even inside their little enclaves. Why get yourself in life-altering trouble over that?

  2. While I generally believe all risks are 50% (either a thing will happen or it won’t), realistically it would be more risky to be found out than shot at. I feel the same about carrying in my place of employment, which is posted with keyed access. There, strangers may pose a risk in the parking lot; disgruntled employees in the building itself.

    While I think the restrictions are absurd, I couldn’t recommend carrying illegally to anyone when the outcome mentioned above — “prosecution, expulsion and the permanent loss of their gun rights” — is almost guaranteed if discovered or outed by a disgruntled classmate or professor.

    Just my 2¢.

    • I have to disagree about all risks being 50%. I drive my car, every day, and I don’t get killed in a car accident 50% of the time. I also don’t get struck by lightning or win on a scratch ticket 50% of the time. I do however, think I am more likely to get in a car accident than get hit by lightning, so I drive safely and have insurance, but I don’t go into the bomb shelter when a storm comes.

  3. Frankly, I’ve got two criteria when selecting a college for the offspring. 1) a place that offers a campus free of Liberal bias (a lot harder to find than you might think), and 2) no stupid “gun-free zone” rules. Still looking.

    RE: requirement 1, you’d be surprised at how many college campuses are every bit as much indoctrination factories for Progressive thought as much as they are institutions of higher learning. If you want to do some interesting reading, Google “Frankfurt School” and see what you come up with. It seems that the Frankfurt School was a Socialist group in Germany, Pre-WWII. They relocated to Columbia University to escape Hitler. Their location? Next door to the J-School at Columbia. They influenced a generation of journalists there. (Didn’t you always wonder why so many journalists seem to be supporters of the Left in America?)

    Even more interesting, take a look at the money spent by Saudi Arabia and other Islamic groups on universities across the country, to endow chairs for “Islamic Studies.” Places you would think would be bastions of Conservatism (say, the University of Texas, for instance) have received some serious coin to build buildings, start Islamic Studies degree plans, and teach students about Islam from their point of view. Nothing wrong with that on the surface, but in practice, it seems to be fostering anti-Semitism.

    Besides, most gun-free zones are not set up by the colleges or universities – they are the result of state laws. So you’d really have to look not at the colleges, but at the states to see how their laws treat campus carry.

    • If you can get past #1 I’d consider you lucky. If your kids are more engineering/accounting prone then you might be ok because those professors don’t have as much of an ax to grind but if your kids want to go into liberal arts, good luck having them come home without every professor trying to push their liberal “enlightened” beliefs into your children’s heads.

      To the questions at hand I’d say no. Anyone see’s it and the police will over react and they might be lucky to end up with just a felony. Jumpy cops can turn non-issue into a loss of life pretty quickly.

    • Speaking as a former teenager myself, the idea of parents “selecting” colleges for their kids doesn’t work as easily as you might think. If you do a good job raising your kids, teaching them to be intellectually honest and have strong character, they should be able to experience and entertain a wide variety of viewpoints without necessarily accepting them. A university should be a gathering place of ideas where soon-to-be-adults can hear every crazy theory and perspective out there and then decide what they want to believe for themselves.

  4. I’m a college student in Georgia and a licensed CCW. Off campus I’ve always got my 1911 on my hip or my LCP in my boot or pocket (clothing dependent). GA law prohibits carry on campus regardless of permit (also church, courthouse, bars…). When I get to school, before I get out the car I put them away. The environment at my school (small campus in a small town, conservative middle class) is such that in the risk/reward analysis I’ll much more likely get arrested than SHTF. For me personally, I don’t carry where I’m not supposed to, even though I bitch and moan the whole time. For someone in a place where the situation is different, there are other options (mace, asp, taser, etc). Every time a law abiding CCWer gets arrested for an oopsie-daisy (unknowingly walking into a defenseless victims zone armed) it sets us back in the sheep’s eyes.

    • Too bad leaving the guns in the car is a no-no. What about the chances of your car being broken onto or stolen and the gun being used in a murder the following day? You and all your friends would cry to high heaven how you’re not to blame, only the thief and murderer are to blame. I say leaving guns in an locked car is a bad practice.

      • And leaving your car must be a no-no. What about the chances of your car being stolen and then used to run someone over the following day? You and all your friends would… oh, wait. This doesn’t make much sense… Never mind.

      • “Too bad leaving a car is a no-no. What about the chances of your car being broken onto or stolen and being used in a murder the following day? You and all your friends would cry to high heaven how you’re not to blame, only the thief and murderer are to blame. I say leaving a locked car is a bad practice.”

        There, fixed. You’re welcome.

      • Ooorr…

        I could leave my gun in the locked mini-safe attached by a steel cable under my seat. Not foolproof, but resistant to smash-n-grabbers.

      • I agree. Leaving guns in a locked car is a bad practice. So is leaving them at home where robberies can break in and steal them. The best and safest place for a gun is on our hips where its under our constant control and nobody can steal it without a fight.

  5. The whole trick to parenting is in raising offspring who are, on the whole, less screwed up than we are. Teaching your children 1) to flout the law and 2) it isn’t safe to walk across a college campus without packing a heater are… interesting ideas, but not especially wise ones. I can see three possible outcomes from this parenting choice:

    1. Your kids may come to believe you are not right in the head.
    2. Your kids may become not right in the head.
    3. Both.

    • How about this potential outcome, rather than the purely negative ones that you seem to like so much…

      You discuss this topic with your child and tell them that they are not allowed to carry. They decide that they do/do not agree with this line of thinking and decide to pursue a pre-law course of study. The child goes on to law school, gets a great job, makes their way to the bench and becomes a respected judge and legal scholar. All that could sprout from a tiny seed planted during a discussion about an issue such as this.

      Your lack of ability to see anything positive coming from the debate about firearms is truly sad. I feel sorry for your children, as you obviously will not allow them the freedom of choice to make up their own minds concerning this issue.

    • Interesting — albeit, limited — set of options, Magoo. And no wonder we’re perpetually accused of seeing the world in simple black-n-white. Howzabout a fourth option:

      (4) Your kids may come to understand that there’s a whole bunch of people out there who think they know what’s best for everyone else — and they just might be wrong.

      Maybe let’s stop worrying about what anyone else does that has no bearing on our lives…

      TCM

    • Skippy nailed it. The odds of the kid being caught with the gun are far, far greater than the kid ever using it to defend himself. Oh, great. A kid’s academic career has been crashed to help justify some daddy’s nutcase hobby.

  6. I had to make this decision for a long time while at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. I was a CCW but the university policy forbid guns. I did not carry. I would not advice my children or students to carry. The chances of getting caught carrying are higher than needing the gun.

    I wish the state law changed. But it is what it is.

  7. The decision will be mine, not campus securities. To entrust your child with a weapon is a very difficult decision. As one who has always worn a gun to work I understand that every altercation every pushing match and every all out fight is a “gun involved” incident. Proper training and disiplin is paramount but almost non-existent when civilians carry handguns. Brandish your weapon at the wrong time, such as when a shooting would be unjusitified and you risk escalating the situation, and now your going to jail or worse having the weapon taken from you.
    Untrained individuals bringing handguns into any situation especially A college campus would seem to worsen a violent situation. A young man or women with proper respect and situational awareness could however put an immediate end to some of the horrific events unfolding today. If your going to arm your family the choice is yours, just be sure they know how easily that weapon can be taken from them and used against them.

  8. Huh, probably would’ve made that response more prosaic or flowery if I knew this would happen, hehe.

    I just wanted to say that what I meant was based on what I personally would do. I went to a college that suffered a string of rapes, assaults, and muggings on campus, and even if I didn’t, things like that can happen anywhere at any time. While I can say what I personally would do, I honestly don’t know what I would tell my child to do.

    A college-bound teen is a fresh adult, and thus should be treated as such. I don’t think I’d tell my offspring to do anything; I’d give him the risks and rewards of both scenarios and let him choose for himself, then stand behind him no matter which way he goes. Whether his life is saved by carrying, or he becomes persecuted for carrying, or he gets helplessly mugged, or nothing happens at all, each scenario brings a life lesson, in their own ways.

    I would never encourage my kid to have no respect for the law. But at the same time, I would never encourage my kid to have more allegiance to the law than to his own safety, and to the Constitution. I could only hope that I raised him well enough to ponder this inherent American dilemma and find his own path.

  9. In most states we’re talking about a 21+ year old adult, not a teenage kid. I would never advise my child to carry in defiance of the law or school policy, and I wouldn’t provide them with one of my firearms if they did choose to do so.

    If they do decide to carry on campus in spite of my advice, that’s their decision as an adult.

  10. “…the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”.

    What part do you not understand? It doesn’t say “…unless people are uncomfortable with it.” or “…except in areas not permitted by law.”.

    These “kids” are the same age I was, or older, when I deployed for Just Cause (18). They are adults and have attained their “majority”, thereby coming into their full Rights as citizens.

    If my son or daughter feels that the environment is such that they need to have the means to defend themselves then I will spend time, talent and treasure to ensure they come out of any legal reprecussions as unscathed as possible and I will buy any gun for them they want if they are “legally” prohibited from doing so themselves (as long as they continue to be rational, intelligent individuals).

    If the antigunners can ignore the Law of the Land, then I can ignore their piddly little statutes.

  11. I would hope that when my kids are adults that they will be making their own decisions. I wouldn’t tell my kid what to do when he goes off to college, nor do I think he’d want me to be telling him what to do.

  12. I’ve recently been struggling with this myself with some unique twists.

    As a 30 something going back to school part time where school policy (not state law) forbids any weapons. I carry everyday IWB tucked (very deep concealment due to work environment)

    Options
    -Lock it in the glove box (still on school property though)
    -Leave it at home the one day of the week I have class
    -Carry despite school policy and risk discipline, expulsion, perhaps prosecution…

    I’m leaning toward locking it in the glove box because it’s a well lit parking lot close to an active building entrance with security cameras. I think I’m going to have to keep my holster on though because none of my pants fit without my holster!

    • Hi Chris,
      There is a low-cost lock-box for handguns that has a cable to attach to the metal frame of your car seat. Better than the glove box. Price is between $20 and $30.

  13. The premise put forth in the title is flawed, albeit on a technicality.

    Children don’t attend college. Adults do.
    (That this statement does not match reality signifies one of the greatest problems of society today.)

    Strangely if you graduate high school and go to work, you are not considered a child, people don’t treat you like a child, and you tend not to act like a child.

    Children shouldn’t go to college. That usually demonstrates to be a waste of both money and opportunity.

    My view is from the standpoint of someone with multiple technical and scientific degrees, a research professional, college instructor, and graduate mentor.

  14. In PA, there is no law in the consolidated statues of the Commonwealth that prohibits the carry of a firearm on a college campus, or at least there is no law that I am aware of. Additionally, two passages from Commonwealth law apply with regard to so-called “state-schools” — these are Article 1 section 21 of the PA Constitution (IMO, worded how the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should have been), and P.A.CS. Title 18 § 6120.

    As far as I’m concerned, I’m not going to give up liberty so that someone else sitting in an ivory tower can feel safe.

    The only GFZ for which I disarm are K-12 schools (the handful of times I need to be in them for work), the county courthouse, the Commonwealth’s capital building, and post offices. On the whole, the first and last on that list, I avoid under as many circumstances as possible, and the ones in the middle are less of an issue, as there is generally armed security guarding the facility as well as guarding the locker in which my firearm is stowed.

  15. Sure would, better to risk a misdemeanor than risk death. Laws creating gun free zones in places that can’t practically be secured are unreasonable and any reasonable person would ignore them.

  16. I am a grad student in the not-so-great state of IL. I carry at home, but cannot legally carry anywhere else, including college campuses. I hate the fact that I am not allowed to carry, but I will not until it becomes legal to do so. I refuse to become a criminal, even if I don’t agree with the laws. I will carry other weapons to defend myself, even if they are not as effective, and do what I can to get the laws changed. Plus I would hate to have to start checking the yes box on job applications when it asks for any prior felonies.

  17. Absolutely. Civil disobedience is necessary when your inalienable rights are being blatantly violated – especially when that violation results in you being defenseless against those who would wish you harm. I carry in airports (but I don’t fly. The airlines won’t get another cent from me until they tell the TSA to shove off), at church (several other weapons license holders I know carry secretly as well, and all the off-duty police there do as well), and into whatever stadium I know doesn’t have metal detectors.

    I never flash it. I never let it print. I never show it off. I’m doing nothing irresponsible. Gun-free zones are dangerous for everyone but the violent criminals. I’m not going to be a victim just because people don’t understand the Constitution.

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