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There has been a lot of banter on both sides of the issue over the past few years on the guns on campus controversy. Let's try and clear it up.
Within the past few years following V Tech, many states have considered passing legislation to allow CHL holders to keep their gun on them in class and on campus.
In my state, Texas has twice since 2007 floored a bill that would force Texas Colleges to allow CHL holders to bring their concealed weapon on campus, and both times it failed to pass muster. Texas is generally a very pro gun state, like Utah, and Arizona, and the fact that it failed to pass the bill twice shows just how controversial the topic is.
The debate over this issue is a heated one, as guns are generally considered by the majority of citizens as being dangerous devices (let's be honest: they aren't rubberbands, or staplers, they are devices designed to kill). Understandably, the idea of allowing such dangerous devices to be present on a college campus, or in a classroom full of students, (even by law-abiding CHL holders) seems to really scare a lot of people.
The question, however, is a pretty simple one, if not very easy to answer. Will allowing CHL students to carry their personal firearms on campus result in more violence (and presumably deaths) than the status quo? If so, then they should remain banned. Logically, if the opposite is true, however, all moderates on the issue (which is the majority) should agree that we should amend our current laws to allow a CHL holding student to carry his/her concealed firearm with him to class.
Duh right? Seems pretty easy.
Well, as some of the above have pointed out, not everyone can agree that the studies aimed at trying to answer this question on the issue are accurate. Some of believe that by continuing the current ban, we will have more Virginia Tech incidents, which is unacceptable and preventable. Others believe that by allowing CHL holders to carry their firearms on campus, more violence will naturally result.
We should remember, however, the goal is not just to prevent future V Tech type murder sprees by lone deranged killers. It is also to assess whether objectively, there will be more overall violence occurring on college campuses by allowing the presence of firearms on campus. That’s it. Will there or will there not be more violence? Will you, or your friends, or your family members, or any other person who happens to be in class or on a campuses, be more (or less likely) to be affected by violence as a result of the presence of firearms by CHL holding students or professors on campus?
Helpful questions to get your mind going:
1) Are college campuses currently safer than say your average restaurant, or office building, or parking lot? If so, is that because guns are banned? Or some other reason?
2) For those who oppose allowing guns on campuses, but not elsewhere, what is it specifically about allowing CHL holders to carry guns to class that seems more dangerous (or maybe is more dangerous) than allowing CHL holders to carry guns to your local restaurant, or office, or down the street or in a local parking lot, etc.?
Many people have talked about the high stress of the college environment on students and that effect on student decision making. How is that stress different than the infinite types of daily stresses we deal with everyday at places where CHL holders do bring their personal firearms... like at the office, or at restaurants, or walking the sidewalk?
Is there a big difference between the stress one feels from losing their job (and wanting revenge against their former employers for firing them), than the student who is in extreme student loan debt and fails college b/c of a bad grade given by a professor?
Assume in both scenarios that person is a CHL holder who carries his firearm on him at all times. Is the presence of a gun on that ex-employee or student when they get the bad news more or less likely to cause them to act violently with their weapon?
Is the student more likely than the ex-employee to use his gun violently?
Another scenario: Employee gets in heated argument with another coworker…fighting words are exchanged. Is the coworker with a CHL more likely to use his weapon a result than a non-CHL carrying employee subjected to the same heated situation? Is a student who gets in a heated argument with another student for any various reason…where fighting words are exchanged, more likely than a non-CHL carrying student to use his weapon as a result?
Think through all of the situations in your life where you have encountered violence. How many times have you seen, or heard, of CHL holders using firearms illegally while carrying them in public?
3) Compared to the average population (where CHL holders are currently in most states allowed to carry concealed weapons in most public places) are student populations on college campuses more or less educated, and intelligent, and violence prone, than the average state population? If they are more educated, more intelligent, and less violence prone (which I believe is probably well documented with regard to gun crimes), what is it about student populations and/or the college environment that makes students on campus more likely to be victims of gun violence/crimes than the average population if or when CHL holders are allowed to carry their guns on campus?Jan 5, 2012