There are logical arguments against allowing college students to exercise their natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon on campus. Before firing-up the hate-mail generator please, note that I said logical not correct. If your starting premise is flawed then all the logical reasoning in the world won’t provide a correct conclusion. As such, from the Eastern Illinois University Daily Eastern News we hear . . .
Michael Skasick wants to exercise his right to bear arms.
Skasick, a freshman English major, said he is hoping to start a registered student organization called “Panthers for Concealed Carry” that will defend students’ rights to carry concealed handguns.
This being Illinois the point is admittedly moot but that doesn’t stop faculty from opposing the idea:
Robert Zordani, an English professor, has been a witness to the dangers of concealed carry and said he thinks guns would bring more harm than help.
Really Professor? Let’s look at a little table I whipped up (inspired by one found on page 37 of the absolutely terrific resource for answering the antis, Gun Facts ver. 6.0). As best I can determine, the data are current through 2011:
So tell me prof, with over 2.8 million permits issued and just a bit over 10,500 revoked, what’s the revocation rate? Oops, sorry. I forgot – English professor. The revocation rate is a bit less than 0.35% which works out to about 350 revocations per 100,000 permit holders.
Of course not all revocations are for crimes, but for the sake of argument let’s say that they are. So 350 crimes per 100,000 for permit holders and (according to the 2010 UCR) 3345.5 crimes per 100,000 for the general population.
Yes, this is only a rough approximation because permit holders are mostly OFWGs who aren’t your prime criminal demographic. But I think the point is made: guns in the hands of permit holders will not “bring more harm than help.” But having (he claims) thought about that issue, the prof then proceeds to abandon all pretense of thought when he says:
Zordani said his former professor and friend at the University of Arkansas, John Locke, was shot to death by a “disgruntled” student.
I just want to make sure I have this straight: Prof. Zordani is opposed to permit holders being allowed to carry on campus because a “disgruntled” student who didn’t have a carry permit, illegally concealed a revolver, carried it onto campus in violation of Arkansas law as well as University policy, murdered someone and then commit suicide. Howinthehell does that incident have anything to do with lawful campus carry?
But wait, there’s more:
Zordani said he has always been against guns, but his own connection to the violence people can cause once they are allowed to carry weapons reaffirmed his position.
Wh . . . bu . . . I . . . Hunh?!? The shooter was illegally carrying in an illegal location in contravention of school policy but the Prof. says he’s seen what people can do when they’re allowed to carry? How much more disconnected from reality can you be?
Oops, spoke too soon:
“Guns are a recipe for disaster,” Zordani said. “Students’ tempers flare and accidents happen.”
Wow. Just wow. The Arkansas shooter’s temper flared so he went to Wal Mart, bought ammo, loaded and concealed his weapon, made the 10-minute drive back to campus, walked to Prof. Locke’s office and . . . let’s pause here for a moment.
Where I come from, taking all of these deliberate reasoned actions is not considered a flare of temper or even heat of passion. It is called deliberate or pre-meditated.
Okay, getting back to the narrative: Prof. Z. thinks the shooter shopped, drove, walked, confronted and then with temper flaring accidentally shot his advisor three times? Then accidentally shot himself? What are they putting in the English Department’s water cooler at EIU? Whatever it is, I guess they have a diluted version in the Philosophy Department’s bubbler as well:
Grant Sterling, a philosophy professor, said the argument that violence will decrease if guns are allowed is implausible.
Gosh darn it! If only we had something besides philosophy to back up our arguments. You know if only we had empirical evidence that more guns mean less crime, or some experience with student carry to show it doesn’t lead to bloodbaths. But I should quit with the gratuitous (if well-deserved) insults and allow Prof. Sterling to get in his gratuitous insult:
“If we armed a large percentage of the campus population, it might decrease incidence of some sort of crime, but that would mean putting guns into the hands of a large group of people who are untrained and unprepared,” Sterling said.
Okay for starters, as small a percentage as 3 – 5% has been shown to reduce crime (Chuck Mandel summed it up nicely when he said: “If 5% of the ducks could shoot back, you’re not going to go duck hunting”). Hell, back in the 80’s, merely publicizing the fact that women had concealed carry permits precipitated a drop in the rate of sexual assaults.
Second, how many college students will want the responsibility that comes with carrying? Sterling may think that just about anyone will be able to walk in off the street to get a permit, but of all of the permit holders I know, every single one, gave serious thought to the possible consequences for themselves, their friends and their families before shouldering the burden of concealed carry.
Third, Sterling just admitted that campus carry will reduce crime.
What more is there to say?