January 26, 2011

Goddamnit. Don't we have enough guns around us?

Okla senator wants open carry, firearms on campus, to which a buddy of mine quipped, "so the Senator would also support allowing open carry in his work place?

Why is it that the people saying that gun rights should not be limited anywhere, get to go to work behind metal detectors? Why are they telling teachers like myself that we are supposed to just trust that the existence of more guns will make us safer?

7 comments:

steves said...

No, probably not.

Seriously, though, I have mixed feelings about this. Most states don't prohibit open carry and there is a not so insignificant number of poeple that belong to open carry advocacy groups. Personally, I don't have a problem with them, as I don't generally freak out when I see a person with a gun. That being said, I know that many people aren't completely comfortable with this and as long as I can still carry concealed, I can respect the fact that people don't want to know I am doing that.

On the other hand, I think that there are to many places where people can't carry concealed and I see no good reason why a law abiding, permit holder shouldn't be allowed to carry on a college campus.

Some points from the article:

"There is no scenario where allowing concealed weapons on college campuses will do anything other than create a more dangerous environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors," Johnson said in a statement.

I don't see how someone can say this with a straight face. I believe the opposite is also false, in that an advocate couldn't say that guns will help in every situation. The reality is that we just can't predict the future.

University of Central Oklahoma President Roger Webb, who served for 12 years as Oklahoma's commissioner of public safety, said he's not aware of any college president in the country who supports the idea of allowing guns on college campuses.

I guess he didn't really look that hard. I can't speak for the University presidents, but Utah allows concealed carry on campuses and Michigan State University recently changed their rules to allow concelaed carry on campus (though state law still prohibits carry in dorms and classrooms). Utah has allowed it since 2006 and has not had any problems whatsoever.

Webb said college campuses are traditionally safe and that even in the event of an attack, armed students could make matters worse by confusing police.

While I agree that armed students could confuse police, I am going to say bullshit to his first claim. Campuses in many areas are not all that safe. For decades, schools refused to release crime victimization rates until a lawsuit forced them to do so. The other reality is that police and campus security can't be everywhere. If you aren't going to allow me to carry, then you better guarantee my safety.

"The last thing you want is some untrained person caught in a tense situation utilizing their gun in a densely populated area, whether that's a college campus or a supermarket."

Actually, the last thing I would want is there to be a violent shooting in an area. The second last thing I would want is to be in that situation with no means to defend myself or for someone else to be able to defend themselves. I understand that the fear of some untrained person making the situation worse is common, but it just doesn't happen. The are frequent defensive gun uses (DGU's) and I still never hear about someone shooting an innocent person.

For the most part, Michigan prohibts most kinds of carry on univerity campuses. I never liked this. Most students wouldn't be able to get a permit, as you have to be 21. This would leave you with a relatively small group, 4th year undergrads, grad students, and non-traditional students. I went back to school in my 30's and was not able to carry on campus. I had no criminal record, a permit, and no mental health problems. Why shouldn't I be allowed to carry?

Bob said...

"Michigan State University recently changed their rules to allow concelaed carry on campus."

The problem I would have with prohibiting concealed on campus is that I cannot tell where campus begins and the City limits ends. This would be even more true on a campus like U of M which is really integrated with Ann Arbor.

steves said...

Bob, I believe that was the main motivation behind the change. Under prior procedure, if you were driving through campus and not even stopping anywhere on campus, you were in violation of the ordinance.

The Board of Trustees voted to eliminate the ordinance. People are still prohibited from carrying n dorms and classrooms, and employees are still prohibited from carrying while working.

Smitty said...

College campuses are full of "adults;" the 18+ crowd. At 18, I was in the Marines and carrying some serious hardware...meaning that generally, we have decided that 18 year olds can drive, vote, and enlist to make judgment calls about who lives and dies on a battlefield. But that's even a slightly moot point, given that (as Steve points out) most CCW laws are for 21 year olds. At 21, I had been deployed twice, and now could drink! W00t! I'm not worried about college campuses.

Where I can't fathom carrying is an elementary school through high school. Ya ya ya, the *kids* can't carry. But adults can, and enough kids blow their brains out every year on "responsible gun owner daddy's" watch that I don't want a gun in my kid's school. My guns at home are locked in a safe in my basement under a pile of bullshit that I move twice a year, unloaded, to take to another place with no kids around where I clean and load them to kill targets or try desperately to kill a deer I'll never see. I think people who want to carry guns in schools less than college, most especially elementary schools, are misguided gun nuts. Sure sure sure, they have them at home and maybe have kids around...but that only puts their own family at risk. I'll be damned to Hell if my kid gets watermeloned at school because Dicky McSmallcock's Glock 9 discharges or the rent-a-janitor (because we fired all the local guys to "save money" by contracting) accidentally leaves his piece out for a curious 5-year-old to "explore" or whatever other read-the-nonexistant-tealeaves scenario I can think of. Ya, I know I can't read the future, but seriously. Schools? And Senator Mike Green in Michigan has introduced a bill that does just that: churches, bars, arenas, schools.

steves said...

I think that there are some people that should be allowed to carry in schools under certain circumstances, but I can understand people's discomfort with allowing this. I belive Israel allows teachers and staff to carry, but I don't know about parents.

Prior to Michigan's current concealed carry law, it was left up to local districts to decide if they wanted to allow carry. I am not aware of any that did.

I'll be damned to Hell if my kid gets watermeloned at school because Dicky McSmallcock's Glock 9 discharges or the rent-a-janitor (because we fired all the local guys to "save money" by contracting) accidentally leaves his piece out for a curious 5-year-old to "explore" or whatever other read-the-nonexistant-tealeaves scenario I can think of.

At least one or two times a year I read about some dipshit D.A.R.E. officer or other cop forgetting his duty gun in some school bathroom after doing his business. Fortunately, they have always been found by some kid smart enough to leave it along and report it quickly.

Smitty said...

Prior to Michigan's current concealed carry law, it was left up to local districts to decide if they wanted to allow carry. I am not aware of any that did.

I would argue that it is fine to leave it to school districts, because like you said, I can't imagine any that would do it for POLITICAL reasons (ZOMG...School board candidate A voted to allow guns in school!!!) let alone safety. But Green's bill just straight-up allows it. No thanks.

All the other spots...church, bars, arenas, fucking concerts, etc etc...I don't care. I can avoid some spots, and will certainly look down my East-Coast-bred nose at those who think it makes sense to carry it into a fucking wine tasting or church for that matter. But that's personal choice. Schools...man...just can't abide by that.

steves said...

I was going to do a post on the bill in Michigan and I still might. I agree that carry in schools is poltically not winnable, so I am not going to hold my breath.