The article “Concealed weapons at UC Davis? Looks unlikely” in the Tuesday, Jan. 20 issue of The California Aggie discussed whether or not students should be allowed to carry concealed firearms on campus.
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is a nationwide grassroots organization that promotes the idea of students being allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus because, according to their website, they can do so in other, more public places and want to be able to do so on school grounds, too. Members of the organization quoted in the article cite the school shootings across the United States as another reason for college students to be allowed this right.
Whatever the reasoning, this idea misguided.
Numerous studies have concluded that having a firearm in the home increases rather than decreases the chance of a violent incident. Surely increasing the number of firearms on a college campus would have a similar effect.
Proponents of this group note that students are allowed to have concealed weapons on select college campuses in Utah and that there have been no shooting at these schools.
While it is fantastic that there have been no incidents of gun violence in these places, this is not an indication that more guns on campus make for a safer environment. A lack of misfortune is no reason to do away with safeguards.
Furthermore, if it could be guaranteed that everyone who had a concealed weapon was a calm, reasonable individual with no intentions beyond protecting themselves, it would still be a bad idea. The fact that this cannot be guaranteed makes it an even worse idea.
It is hard to believe that students would be more at ease with the knowledge that their peers might or might not be carrying a concealed weapon.
Situations that call for self-defense should be addressed with self-defense classes. Situations like the Virginia Tech shooting should be dealt with by professionals. While a student might be as well versed in wielding a handgun as a police officer, the police officer has had extensive training on how to deal with dangerous situations … not just handling a firearm.
The arguments against adopting such a policy are extensive and the arguments in its favor are not nearly good enough.