Right to bear arms: in defense of our students

Courtesy of Drue Sokol

In 1991, University of Iowa student Gang Lu shot five university employees. In 1996, San Diego State University student Frederick Martin Davidson killed three professors. However, the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre is the most memorable shooting on a college campus, as it left 32 innocent students dead after they were picked off by a crazed gunman.

On Dec. 8, 2011, another shooting occurred on the Virginia Tech campus, leaving a police officer dead. Apparently the school’s ban on guns failed yet again, considering that the perpetrator of this incident did not obey it. But how many people actually believe that a sign prohibiting firearms is going to stop people from bringing their guns to the massacre they have been planning?

Because of the pressing need to arm students, 14 states over the past year have introduced legislation to allow college students and faculty to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry concealed weapons on campus. Such a bill allowing handguns on campus was passed in Texas last year. One gun-owning Texas A&M student, when asked about the law, explained that “gun-free zones are shooting galleries for the mass murderers.” In Colorado, legislation similar to that introduced in Texas, was shot down — pun intended — by the Senate. This situation highlighted how bipartisan this issue is, as state legislator Sal Pace (D-Pueblo) stated his reason for supporting the bill: “Someone’s going to go shoot up a school whether or not they get a permit beforehand.”

The legislators in some states, like Colorado, are hostile to the idea of firearms being carried on campus, but the judiciary has been doing a good job insuring students’ rights. The Colorado Court of Appeals has held that the University of Colorado did not have the authority to prohibit students from possessing concealed weapons.

On the West Coast, the Oregon Court of Appeals decided, in a ruling by a three-judge panel, that the Oregon University system’s ban on concealed firearms was invalid.

Despite the momentum that the “concealed on campus” movement has gained, it still faces much opposition, which I just cannot understand. Critics of firearms on campus argue that it will make us less safe, but that is clearly not true. How many college massacres have occurred in Utah, the first state to allow concealed weapons to be carried on campuses?

The answer is zero. Many students carry guns on campus, yet everyone feels safe. If allowing a person with a permit to carry a gun leads to more violence, why haven’t there been horrendous school shootings in states that do allow guns on campus? To better illustrate this point, a bill that would have allowed guns on campus was killed by the Virginia General Assembly in January 2006. Virginia Tech publicized its praise of the General Assembly’s decision, stating that killing the bill would “help parents, visitors, faculty and students feel safe on our campus.” This type of logic, which basically asserts that “if upstanding citizens are allowed to carry guns on campus there will be more shootings,” has led to disastrous results.

Furthermore, the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech Massacre had time to reload multiple times while he picked off students. The slow response time of those whose job it is to protect us is another reason why individual students need to be allowed to carry guns on campus. The quickest response times are a minute or two, which is still too long. Ironically, the best case for why guns should be allowed on campus comes from a campus which had banned guns. In 2002, 42-year-old graduate student Peter Odighizuwa killed three people at Virginia’s Appalachian School of Law before being subdued by armed students who had broken the rules.

Students and faculty of New Hampshire colleges have recently pushed for laws permitting concealed carry of firearms on campus, so hopefully it is only a matter of time before universities in New York are pushing for similar legislation.

Ondo is a member of
the class of 2014.



You can contact Adam at aondo@u.rochester.edu.

    22 Responses to “Right to bear arms: in defense of our students”

    1. rob@equip2conceal.com says:

      If you have any questions about the CWP or training contact http://www.e2c.us or 1-866-371-6111 and the Instructors at Equip 2 Conceal will be happy to help you.

    2. Juan Robaina says:

      Wanting to make campuses a safer place by introducing more firearms amounts to the same idea as making the world a safer place by crafting more nukes. Rather than enforce reactive measures (eg. potential for retaliation), it might make more sense to act proactively (eg. anti-gun legislation directed at the manufacturers); disarmament on a smaller scale. Putting more guns into the hands of more people isn’t a long term solution, by any means.

      Last I checked, Rochester wasn’t in the Bible Belt.

      • Adam Ondo says:

        Well, maybe New York should strive to be like the Bible Belt, because I feel much safer (not to mention cleaner) out there than I do out here. I like to be in control of my fate. I don’t want to be one of 32 casualties, I would rather be one of the students at App State.

        PS: Crafting more nukes did make us safer. It is called mutual assured destruction and it worked (we haven’t faced a nuclear war yet, and with the technology and intertwined economy we have we probably never will). Also, that is not a valid argument, because I doubt you have any statistics to show that building more nukes led to more bombings. The two scenarios aren’t comparable.

        Next time, do some research, show me that places that allow guns see shootouts every weekend (and that places that “don’t allow” guns have no gun violence). Refute my response time argument. Then people may actually consider what you have to say.

    3. bhirsh says:

      Juan -

      I’m sure you believe that your theory is ‘reasonable’ and ‘rational’. Therein lies the rub. Your belief does nothing to refute reality.

      Every bit of historical evidence says you are wrong. There is zero evidence that says you are right.

      Additionally, even casual observation of the operation of Natural Law in the world reveals that predators seek defenseless prey, and avoid those with the real ability to meet violence with violence.

      It can be summed up succinctly in the adage, “Like shooting fish in a barrel”. There simply is no way you can refute history, Natural Law and logic using misguided altruistic ideological fantasy.

      Your mode of thinking will lead you to the wrong conclusions, every single time. It would behoove you to listen to people whose ideology and political philosophy are demonstrably superior to yours, and to correct your erroneous thinking accordingly.

      • zzalnera says:

        bhirsh,

        Unfortunately, opponents of campus carry and concealed carry in general are the ones who have no evidence to support their wild theories about what would happen if firearms were allowed on campus.

        In support of the effectiveness of campus carry, however, we have the experience from over 200 campuses in 6 states that now allow campus carry. Since Colorado State first allowed campus carry in 2007, there has not been a single negative incident involving any lawfully armed citizen on a university campus.

        In addition, none of these campuses has seen an increase in violent crime, and many have seen a significant decrease. Licensed, of-age individuals responsibly and effectively carry concealed firearms everywhere else in their lives, and these examples support the logical conclusion that their behavior would not change by crossing a property line.

        Your use of condescension and false superiority are completely uncalled for, and further highlight your complete lack of research on the subject and knee-jerk reactions.

        If you bring statistics and research rather than relying on your interpretation of “Natural Law” then we can continue this discussion, but until then I would respectfully request that you stop insulting the author of this very thorough and well-researched article.

      • 4CampusCarry says:

        bhirsh,

        You are making statements and with no proof or evidence.

        You said, “Every bit of historical evidence says you are wrong. There is zero evidence that says you are right.”

        Where is this evidence and proof you speak of?

        Secondly, you claimed that predators seek defenseless prey. I 100% agree. But that statement doe NOT apply here. Students who carry are not going to be having a visible holster on their hip and a sign that says, “I’ll shoot back!”.

        I could stand 2 people in front of you and you would NEVER be able to tell which one has a weapon concealed! Therefore a murderous shooter would be taking a chance no matter where they reveal themselves.

        Referencing back to the horrible events of the VT Massacre, if one person in that area was a permit holder and had their weapon on them, a huge amount of lives would be saved.

        Personally, if I was permitted to carry on campus, I wouldn’t think twice about drawing my weapon against a crazed person with an assault rifle. Just my act of drawing a weapon would save lives. I guarantee that crazed person would go for cover in the sight of opposition. That few seconds he/she is distracted is more than enough time for people to get moving. And the majority of people don’t have the proper training to hit a moving target.

        Keeping guns out of the hands of good honest people is like disarming our nations weapons, explosives, nukes, and military. The US is the one of, if not the only, super power left. Do you think we could hold that status with no ammunition to back it? If we disband our military, it would be a matter of months before unopposed invasion. In the same way with concealed carry on campus, we are defenseless.

        By allowing students to lawfully carry weapons on campus, the attacks on campus will decrease or never happen again. For the same reason predators go after defenseless victims, they would then steer clear of campuses. Why do you think all of the murders happen on campuses instead of the mall down the road?!?! Because the crazed shooter has NO risk of return fire!!!

        • tinytuba2002@yahoo.com says:

          There was a miscommunication. Bhirsh was talking to Juan, who is against allowing guns on campus. I believe you and Bhirsh are on the same side of the argument.

    4. bgulotta46@gmail.com says:

      Great article…I really don’t need to add anything to it…. Juan you probably should keep your thoughts to yourself… At least until they making sense…. The criminal element will always have guns…. Has making drugs illegal stopped our drug problems? How do you suggest you could make all the guns disappear? I guess we should not be allowed to hunt either….. Juan… Just do me one favor…. Just don’t vote until you have come to your senses!

    5. advocarebige3@gmail.com says:

      I agree that predators prey on defenseless people. I would imagine at the same time you have not heard of the sheepdog concept? You can look it up on YouTube and learn a lot. Under the ideology that law abiding citizens should not be able to carry on campus would argue that Sheep do not need sheepdogs to protect them. Taking away the sheepdog only leaves helpless and clueless Sheep to be preyed upon by a Wolf. The Sheep do not get along with the Sheepdog, in fact, they dislike the Sheepdog. The Sheepdog however, still does its duty and protects the defenseless…..you are welcome. So the next time you are not carrying a gun and get attacked I hope your thinking you wish you had a gun to protect yourself or a Sheepdog to protect you. Regardless, if criminals know they are in a place that allows carrying, they would be aware that if they commit a crime or “prey” on the defenseless, they would get “preyed” upon. P.S. using big words does not make your point any more valid….then again you would think with all that brain power, you could understand the reasoning behind carrying on campus. Sorry to all the readers if they are offended I didn’t use all my SAT words in my comment. I am sure the above covers that superbly.

    6. dpcoronado@sbcglobal.net says:

      Disarmament, Juan? Go ahead and give up your rights–just don’t give up mine for me.

      “But how many people actually believe that a sign prohibiting firearms is going to stop people from bringing their guns to the massacre they have been planning?”

      Adam, that is an excellent question to ask. It makes sense to many people. Just beware of asking questions that make sense, because it will certainly piss off the people who don’t make sense. It will also bring about questionable arguments, exaggerations, and pure fabrication out of them as well, like Mr. Disarm-everybody up there.

      Thank you for an article that makes sense!

    7. tburns7v@gmail.com says:

      Good job with the article. Keep it up. Pick their psychotic talking points, and write an article on each and every one (and make sure to do one that negates their statements about untrained people carrying will just make matters worse, and remind them that there are college students like me, a Marine veteran with 2 combat tours in Iraq… which do they want… a kid with a cell phone calling for a swat team to stage for 4 hours while more people die? or a Marine with a gun and the instincts, training and skills to eliminate essentially any threat possible) More and more examples are the best evidence, and the lack of the anti gun evidence, or even proof their ideas don’t work…. I like the evidence and citations…. AWESOME JOB with this article!!

    8. Juan Robaina says:

      Adam – You don’t need to lecture me on MAD, we’re all aware of the theory; it (and you) just fail to rationalize how the increased production of weapons (either guns or nukes) keeps us safe if it is just a potential for more violence. The fear of retaliation doesn’t account for the dangers of irrationality: introducing more weapons into a alcoholically induced population under constant stress of schoolwork makes us no safer than working to eliminate said weapons altogether. If more people have guns, more people will use them, period (be it accidental or intentional). Equipping more people with guns is doubtlessly a move in the wrong direction, regardless of how unclean being away from the bible belt might make you feel. I agree that previous shootings at schools are atrocious, but it speaks to the need for more regulation, not less.

      By all means, if you feel as though having a gun will make you safer and you’d rather be “one of the students at App State,” here’s a website I’d recommend for you: http://www.asl.edu/Admissions.html

      bhirsh – As much as I admire your self-professed “superior” political philosophy, you’re laboring under the presupposition that humans are inherently violent or “predators.” What evidence do you have that guns in society don’t create a “violent culture” which allocates individuals with a capacity to resort to violence? Even if you are subscribing to the idea that there are always a few “bad eggs” in the bunch to which we should be prepared to deal with, you haven’t accounted for the enablement their violence would achieve through acquiring a gun. Even if there’s a screening process for obtaining a concealed weapon, it doesn’t account for the fact that it nonetheless introduces guns into society, for lost weapons or flaky screening processes (being from Texas, I’m more than familiar with flaky screening).

      If you really think that the logic of having more guns in more people’s hands is potentially problematic is “misguided altruistic ideological fantasy” then I’d question your own ascribed superiority of logic. This is overlooking the capacity of a narcissistic, confrontational individual such as yourself who so quickly ascribes superiority to their own views to have a weapon-which I personally don’t feel comfortable with; if you’re so quick to condemn a stranger’s views, I’m not all that sure you’re qualified to hold a person’s life in your hands.

      • Adam says:

        “If more people have guns, more people will use them, period (be it accidental or intentional).” – Juan, in college we usually try to substantiate these type of claims with real facts and figures. For instance, the 0% increase in gun violence (and suicides or accidents) on campuses in Colorado since the bill was passed would indicate that just because people can now bring their firearms to campus does not mean they are going to start shooting everything in sight. In fact, gun violence is not as prevalent in Midwestern states where many people carry firearms as it is in places like NYC and DC and Los Angeles and Oakland.

        Furthermore, you didn’t address my arguments about response time.

        Also, if you want to be a sitting duck, don’t carry a gun, but who gave you the right to make it so I was left unarmed in case of a massacre.

        PS: App State doesn’t allow guns and those students were punished if I remember correctly. If anything, I would apply to the University of Utah.

        • Juan Robaina says:

          Adam, as much as I know you enjoy getting a rise out of people with polemic arguments (eg. “rape is equivalent to abortion”), criticism of common sense will get you nowhere. I understand if this is a little bit much for you to grasp, so I’ll break it down for you:
          1. College students are the last individuals that should have access to guns. By a large majority, college students are the most prone to stress, binge drinking and drug consumption as well as suicide. Frankly, I’m not going to waste my time copying and pasting statistics on college students but the information is more than available anywhere online.
          2. If you have more guns, you have more of a potential for violence either intended or accidental. If you can’t really wrap your head around that, you might be better off at the University of Utah after all. If cherry picking statistics about locations where people haven’t been shot yet due to students carrying guns makes you feel good, then by all means, keep it up. Personally, I’d recommend taking a look at the trend of decreased gun crimes and increased gun regulation as documented by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
          3. While I enjoy sensationalism as much as anyone, your argument is flawed insofar as the majority of violence against college students doesn’t take place on campus, but off campus: 93% of crimes against students takes place off campus ( http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=593 ). The problem isn’t really with individuals coming onto campus and inciting violence. So when you posit that we’re all in some perpetual state of threat because we can’t carry guns here, you’re just perpetuating a ridiculous political agenda.

          Honestly, you’re young and your reasoning shows it, Adam. Nonetheless, I hope you will appreciate it when I say that I will no longer be personally giving you any validation through responding to your ridiculous views as, they are ridiculous enough to often be their own best rebuttal.

          • fdavis101454@gmail.com says:

            Juan, your lack of understanding the rational of concealed carry defies logic. There are over 300 MILLION firearms in private ownership in this country. They are owned by over 80 million citizens. They were used last year in self defense over 2 million times. About 1,000 people were accidentally killed. Approximately 8,000 people were murdered and 12,000 people committed suicide. Pretty good track record. Over 100,000 people died when their doctor made a mistake. Making it 20 times more likely that you’ll die at the hands of your doctor than by a gun.

            No thanks, I carry everyday. Signs or no signs. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

    9. tinytuba2002@yahoo.com says:

      Adam,

      Very good article. I really enjoyed it.

    10. cduncantx@yahoo.com says:

      Btw, the conceal carry legislation failed in Texas because of a power-hungry speaker of the house. Thought that should be known.



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