Monday, August 27, 2007

Quite Possibly the Craziest Thing I've Heard All Day

I was listening to NPR today and had to do a double take when I heard about a group called "Students for Concealed Carry on Campus". Because you know, since mature, adult citizens never accidentally shoot people, get angry or go crazy, so why would beer drinking, teenage college kids? The group is lobbying on over 60 campuses nationwide to change state laws to allow permit holders to carry on campus. Gosh guys, what a great idea!

Look, while I have empathy for scared students today, and their concerns very real, I think that we would have more shooting deaths in schools if students were allowed to carry concealed weapons. How many school shooting take place each year? When we are lucky, very few, but sometimes in bad years, it can be dozens. Now think about the fact that thousands of accidental shooting deaths take place in the U.S. every year and imagine what could happen to that number if college students could take their guns to class!

I was in college when the Columbine shooting happened and can remember quite vividly, having fears of a mad gunman charging into my classroom. I understand the motivation behind the students of S.C.C.C., but please for one second envision this scenario:

A gunman enters an average size classroom, with maybe thirty students. The gunman starts firing and you have bullets flying all over a small room. Then the five students carrying a concealed weapon start shooting back. Great, now you have a small room with thirty people in it and bullets from six guns instead of one flying around. At that rate, everyone gets hit. It just doesn't make sense.

On top of that, knowing the statistically small chance I would have of being in a school shooting, I think as a student, I would be much more worried knowing that every shmoe next to me in class might be packing heat. Talk about distraction in class - how could you concentrate when you're worrying about the dude with the pistol next to you!

The 2nd amendment was ratified in 1791, written at a time when American citizens were fearful of attack from the British. We only had MUSKETS people. Muskets, clumsy, oafish rifles that were as imprecise as I am . We didn't have semi-automatics sitting around our homes. I think that if the SCCC were in favor of concealed muskets, I could deal with it, but I worry about the semi-automatics.


Lauren said...

Hi. I'm leaving the first comment because although I might not get any comments at all, I fully realize that this is a touchy subject.

So, just so you know, I'm one of those "let's just agree to disagree" people when it comes to hard set issues.

Ok, thanks.

ilyms said...

You have just described my biggest workplace fear. My office is in the library of a community college, with windows that look out onto the main area of tables, and the reference desk. I occasionally hear "IP's" (irate patrons) at the circ desk, upset because of fines, blocked records, etc. What does it take before one goes postal, so to speak?

Both of my kids are at the daycare on campus, too. While they do keep the doors locked and you have to be buzzed in, if someone really wants to get in a doorbell is not going to stop them.

I am not a fan of carrying guns. In fact, I have never touched one in 32 years, and do not plan to. My hubby has quite a collection of fire arms locked up in the safe, and carries wherever we go (part always being "on duty.")

I have very mixed feelings about concealed carry. I would like to know that there are those out there who have guns who can protect the rest of us if necessary. But there are too many who should not be trusted with a driver's license and car let alone a weapon that can be carried into any public place.

I hear your fear, Lauren! I feel it, too.

Laura said...

I found myself shaking my head in agreement as I read this post. I'm behind you 110%. However, when people want to inflict pain or harm on someone, they will find a way to do it, laws be darned. I guess that's why the black market flourishes, huh? If there's a will, there's a way, unfortunately. But, I am in favor, always, of tougher guns laws so at least these morons have to try a bit harder and spend a lot of time and money to do their despicable deeds.

Lauren said...

Hi Amanda and Laura! Two really good comments, thank you.

Amanda- wow, that does sound frightening, the "Ip's" and your concerns with daycare. I know very remote worries, but still, as with anywhere, real. You are right about those out there to protect us carrying guns. I think that this fine, police officers, security, etc... it's just when guns get into the hands of the wrong people.

Laura, on kind of the same point. I have such mixed feelings. I know the black market is alive and well. I don't want to be too idealistic and naive. Look at the prohibition times and the way everyday citizens found and drank alcohol. That said, even if private gun ownership was prohibited, if it just made it 1% more difficult for an angry college student to get a gun, then it might save someone.

I think about countries with very low gun violence, Japan..Iceland...what did they do correctly? I think the U.S. has had a gun culture since the settlers, it's just gotten so out of hand.

If you could erase all the guns in this country, start over and give them only to a select few, such as the police or gosh, maybe even nobody. We wouldn't have gun violence anymore. I know this is impossible, but the world would be a much better place.