Our political discourse can often give one the impression that college students, to a man (or woman), are opposed to concealed-carry rights on college campuses. But this isn’t the case—and one senior at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas proves it.
“Not allowing college students with a state issued conceal carry permit exercise their right to self-defense while on campus is illogical,” writes Caitlin O’Shei at Medium, “and the knee jerk emotional arguments of opponents of campus carry do not stand up to scrutiny.”
One of the reasons people often cite for denying college students campus carry rights—higher drinking rates on campus—is, O’Shei claims, “flawed on multiple levels.” Carrying a gun while intoxicated, she points out, is already illegal. Additionally, “drinking often occurs at parties off campus, which a campus carry ban has no impact on.” Lastly, as O’Shei notes, a student who goes through the process of obtaining a concealed carry permit “understand[s] the great responsibility that comes with carrying a gun and will act accordingly.”
“Of the over 150 schools that allow concealed carry on campus,” O’Shei writes, “not one has experienced a single resulting act of violence or suicide for the past 20 years by a permittee.
“Clearly concealed carry does not make campuses less safe.”
People who are unfamiliar with guns often claim that allowing students to carry would have a negative impact on free speech and the learning environment. This is ludicrous for three major reasons. First, by definition concealed carry is just that, concealed. It is folly to believe a firearm that nobody is aware of could have an impact on the culture of a classroom.
Second, any student that is willing to threaten or commit violence in a classroom is not going to care if they are technically allowed to carry or not. Our collective experience with concealed carry over the past three decades shows that while criminals almost always illegally carry guns, legal permit holders are actually far less likely to commit crimes than the average person.
In light of mass shootings on college campuses, it is completely immoral to force students to remain vulnerable to attack. Shootings like the one at Virginia Tech show that a deranged individual can take many innocent lives before the police arrive. Armed college students can react to the threat of a mass shooter immediately and potentially save themselves and others. Furthermore, prohibiting campus carry does nothing to stop a mass shooter intent on murder, it only condemns others to helpless victimhood.
O’Shei writes: “The notion that college students, adults in the eyes of the law in every other way, are too childish or irresponsible to be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms is insulting.”