The Missouri House has passed a bill allowing concealed carry on college campuses in the state. Of course, the universities (or at least U Missouri) respond with the usual idiocy:
“Missouri’s college students should be allowed to learn and exchange ideas in an environment free from the threat of concealed guns,” University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee said in a news release Thursday. “It is hard to imagine that such a proposal could gain support given the magnitude of gun-related tragedies experienced on college campuses across the country.”
Yes, it is hard to imagine, given the illogical hysteria on the subject, much of it fed by the media. And of course, the police are unhappy:
MU Police Chief Jack Watring said at the MU Faculty Council meeting Thursday that he was opposed to the legislation.
“I don’t think most students in an educational environment need a weapon,” he said.
Well, you know what? Most students wouldn’t have one. Most students won’t bother to get the permit. But they’ll be free riders, and safer, because of the few who have one now, or will get one in the wake of this law passing, because they’ll now be able to use it. As Eugene Volokh notes, not allowing students to carry on campus effectively prevents them from carrying much of anywhere, and it’s a violation of a fundamental human right:
Many universities ban firearms, but some research I’ve been doing reveals that some universities ban firearms and stun guns and chemical defensive sprays, either in dorm rooms or in the university as a whole. This basically leaves students entirely without any defensive weapons, and also has the effect of disarming dorm residents when they go off campus property, since they have no place to store the defensive weapons when they’re back on campus.
This strikes me as quite shocking, especially with regard to women students who are in the age range where the danger of rape is at its highest. The university basically leaves them as sitting ducks, unless they’re willing to violate the university policy. Even if the university tries to compensate by offering a good deal of on-campus policing (some do and some don’t), it surely can’t protect the students when they leave campus.
It should be shocking, but it isn’t. And listen to this next excuse:
Watring said…that the biggest concern with the concealed carry provision is the tactical problems it would create, such as the ability for police to identify a suspect in a situation where many people are carrying weapons.
That’s not an argument against allowing guns on campus. There is nothing unique about a college campus in that regard. It’s an argument against allowing concealed carry anywhere. Which is, of course, what many law-enforcement types would like, because it gives them more power over the sheep.
And it’s a stupid argument, to boot. I’m pretty sure that if there’s a mass shooting, it’s not that hard to figure out who the suspect is — it’s the guy shooting lots of people. And if this law passes, in most cases, if history is any guide, by the time the police arrive the shooting will be over, and the suspect subdued or dead, as was the case at the Appalachian University Law School, or the Colorado Springs church shooting, or the numerous other times when there were armed law-abiding citizens present. The only time that the police have to deal with a live, armed shooter is when everyone else has been disarmed (Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc.), because that’s the only circumstance in which he can continue the murder spree for the many minutes that it always takes police to arrive.
And of course, as always, we have the usual slander against CCW permit holders:
But Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, said he was worried about the possible combination of drinking and weapons on college campuses.
“College boys who round up 25 opossums half drunk can do amazingly interesting things with fireworks, bottles of gasoline, with all kinds of interesting devices,” Kelly said.
“Fraternity boys are a very inventive lot, let’s make sure we give ’em guns to play with too,” he added with sarcasm.
I wonder if Rep. Kelly can put together a correlation matrix between people who have been diligent and responsible enough to go through the process of getting a concealed weapons permit, and inebriated pyromaniacal frat boys? Because I’ll bet it’s pretty damned negative. I also wonder why he thinks that people who would engage in such drunken antics would have any qualms about possessing illegal guns on campus?
Stupidity and illogic continues to abound. And if this bill fails, and there is a mass shooting on a Missouri campus, we’ll know just who to blame this time.
[Sunday morning update]
A commenter indicates that I probably painted law enforcement types with too broad a brush, and he’s probably right:
I am a police officer and I would like to clarify a few misconceptions. If you ask any police chief about their position on concealed carry legislation you will get the same answer that you would get if you ask a political appointee. This is because most are elected or appointed by and serving at the pleasure of a politician. Most officers, myself included, support concealed carry. We know better than most how long it takes for us to arrive and just how long each second is in a tragedy such as a school shooting. We also understand that the sick and twisted out there among us won’t leave their weapons at home before a killing spree because they might get in trouble for concealing.
My apologies to any other officers who think I mischaracterized their position on the issue. Most probably are sensible on this issue, even if they can’t publicly say so.
[Update in the afternoon]
Oh, and my answer to frequent inane commenter “jack lee”‘s question is “…none of your goddamned business.”