BY THEO ROBIE
A professor at the University of Texas recently quit his job, he says, because of the state’s new laws regarding “campus carry,” or allowing licensed individuals to carry concealed firearms on campus. As it stands, most US college campuses prohibit concealed carry, even in states where it is allowed. He seems to think that “with a huge group of students,” his “perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at [him] has been substantially enhanced by the concealed-carry law.” He chose to move to Australia to teach in Sydney, where the risk of him being shot by a student “seems lower.” There are a few problems with his position here. First, as he says himself in his letter of resignation, he primarily teaches 18 year olds, or freshmen, and this is presumably the group he is most worried about. But to even get a concealed weapons permit or buy a handgun, you must be 21. If one of his freshmen students were to carry a gun onto campus, he or she would be breaking the law regardless of whether or not concealed carry was allowed. Furthermore, according to a study done in Texas in 2001 by William Sturdevant, concealed carry permit holders are “less likely to commit any type of crime than the general population, and overall were 13 times less likely to commit any crime” at all. Anyway, it’s good that the professor did not make this decision any earlier, because he just may have been in a certain Sydney coffee shop when it was taken over by an armed terrorist last year.
So let’s get into this topic of concealed weapons on college campuses. Now I suppose it might be a complete coincidence that virtually all mass shootings on American college campuses have taken place on those campuses which prohibit the position of firearms, but let’s come at this from a different perspective. For this, I’ll need you, the reader, to put yourself in the shoes of one of these mass shooters.
Let’s say you’re a sociopath and you want to break into a school and brutally murder as many innocent people as you possibly can. First, you need a gun. But wait! It seems some misguided policy makers have made them illegal to purchase in state, or perhaps you can’t pass a background check. So is that it? Would you, a sociopath who’s willing to break a law that says you can’t kill people, be stopped or even impeded by a law that says you can’t possess a gun? I would say not likely. So you steal one, you buy one on the black market, you acquire one through an illegal straw purchase, whatever you have to do to get the tools you need to accomplish your goal. Just like Mr. Breivik in Norway who killed all those people at that camp and bombed several offices in Oslo. All of the stuff he had was highly illegal in Norway, down to the type of bullets in his magazines. But back to the point. So now you’ve got your illegal firearm and you’re headed to school. But wait! It seems some other misguided individuals have posted a sign on the gate that says you’re not allowed to bring firearms here. Campus carry is not legal. What now? Would you turn around and call it quits? Or would you take refuge in the certainty that nobody beyond this point will be able to shoot back at you, because they’re not murderers, they’re not criminals, and they left their guns at home.
As a student, if you were given the information that a killer was on the way, would you rather be in a classroom with someone who was lawfully carrying a firearm for self-defense, or would you rather hide behind a desk and call the police? They’re only a few minutes away, after all. Unfortunately, it takes just a few seconds to blow ten holes in the desk you’re hiding behind.
Licensed concealed carry is not the problem. On the contrary, I believe it is part of the solution.