published Monday, September 13th, 2010

College gun bans sensible

A group of students at Old Dominion University, who say they are worried about their safety, want the right to carry concealed handguns on campus and have turned to the social media to promote the campaign. They’ve started a Facebook page, but so far have gained little traction on campus. The effort did win support, however, from individuals and groups in Virginia and around the country that habitually advocate policies that allow just about anyone in any place or circumstance to carry a concealed weapon. Such advocacy is misplaced. Guns have no place on the Norfolk or any other collegiate campus.

A majority of states, including Tennessee and Georgia, wisely ban or significantly restrict weapons on campus, despite repeated and well-financed campaigns bankrolled directly or indirectly by the gun lobby to rescind such rules. Most of the nation’s colleges and universities, including those in states where the rules are more lax, acknowledge the bans as a matter of policy — and rightly so. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is typical. Its student handbook explicitly bans guns, along with alcohol and drugs, on campus. Possession is a felony.

That makes sense. There’s no reason for students, faculty or staff, other than sworn officers, to carry a weapon. Most campuses are quite safe with little violent crime reported. The addition of firearms would make them less so.

That’s especially the case at schools with large resident populations. There, the mixture of alcohol, crowded dorms and hormone-induced emotions often creates volatile situations that sometimes get out of hand but rarely lead to serious injury or death. The addition of firearms to the mix would change that for the worse. The possibility of gunplay rather than fisticuffs, for example, to resolve a perceived insult or to end an altercation could lead to tragedy.

That doesn’t deter concealed carry proponents. They continue to trot out old, tired arguments in support of their cause. They argue that campus gun bans don’t deter shooters or criminals. They say that they strip students of the right to defend themselves. They’re quick to point to tragic incidents like the shootings at Virginia Tech to support their case. Those arguments, though, aren’t supported by fact.

The fact is that colleges and universities are much safer than the communities around them and that the availability of guns is unlikely to improve that. One Justice Department study reported that 93 percent of violence against college students age 18 to 24 occurs off campus. That, no doubt, is due to the fact that almost all U.S. colleges and universities currently ban or severely limit firearm possession on campus. That’s consistent with well vetted research into gun-related violence.

Numerous studies have shown that whenever guns are introduced into an environment — like the home or the workplace — the result typically is more gun deaths and injuries. It stands to reason, then, that allowing guns on campus would increase, not reduce, the risk of violence to students, faculty and staff. That’s a lesson that Old Dominion students and concealed carry and gun advocates don’t want to acknowledge, but should take to heart.

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Douva said...

This site features a rebuttal to this editorial:

Scroll down--it's the top post, below the introductory paragraph and menu bar. It's part of the "News/Analysis" section.

September 13, 2010 at 4:22 a.m.
Sailorman said...

Didn't this same nonsense run on Saturday?

September 13, 2010 at 7:06 a.m.
SCOTTYM said...



September 13, 2010 at 7:47 a.m.
nucanuck said...

With a permit should one be able to carry a weapon on an a commercial airline? If restaurants,schools and churches are OK,why stop there?

The NRA...building our own Hades one handgun at a time. Come join the fun. Millions of happy handgun owners can't be wrong.

September 13, 2010 at 11:58 a.m.
Douva said...

Is there any difference between a commercial airliner and the other locations nucanuck mentioned? Let's all take a moment to try to think of one.


OH! I remember! Airports are secured with metal detectors, X-ray machines, and armed guards and are, therefore, gun free in more than name only.

September 13, 2010 at 3:44 p.m.
whatever said...

What if there's a crazy Eskimo on the wing? What then?

September 13, 2010 at 4:37 p.m.
MountainJoe said...

In answer to nucanuck, yes, law-abiding American citizens should be able to carry weapons on commercial airliners. If that had been the case, it's hard to see how terrorists with box cutters could have killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11. Even assuming the terrorists (who were not citizens) could have brought guns on board too, there is no way an on-board shootout could have ended any worse than the situation with no guns on board did.

Those of us who study or work on college campuses have just as much right to self-defense as other Americans. Of course, most of the liberal professors would probably be afraid to carry guns. That's fine ... the rest of us would have their backs. EVERYONE is safer when even a small minority have ready access to weapons of self-defense.

What part of SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED do some people not understand?

September 13, 2010 at 4:54 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Most professors I know own guns.

September 13, 2010 at 4:56 p.m.
whatever said...

Even assuming the terrorists (who were not citizens) could have brought guns on board too, there is no way an on-board shootout could have ended any worse than the situation with no guns on board did.

In that case? Sure. Not going to get much worse than that. Now how about the thousands of other flights? Hijackings are very rare on their own. Other incidents not so much. There is a certain price I'm not willing to pay for even a 100% chance of no flights being crashed into buildings ever again in the future. And that limit can be found on both ends of the spectrum.

September 13, 2010 at 5:25 p.m.
hambone said...

I use to be a member of the NRA till I finnaly caught onto its real purpose, to sell more guns. It should be " The National Gun Manufactors Association" they run it.

September 13, 2010 at 10:15 p.m.
rolando said...

No matter how it is reported, discussed, slandered, supported, or whatever, legally carried guns deter or stop crime everywhere. Period. Look it up [just don't choose Wikipedia exclusively...bias, you see.]

I carried concealed on commercial aircraft for decades...they can still be easily transported in stored baggage by anyone, with advance notice and prep.

Interestingly enough, military aircraft were a tougher nut -- the AC [Aircraft Commander or pilot] has ultimate approval authority over what goes on his plane and who controls it. But they don't really have "stored baggage"...its right there in the middle of the floor.

September 13, 2010 at 10:30 p.m.
Jarhead1982 said...

Hey, since doctors are 14,000 to 31,000 times more likely to kill you than a person carrying concealed, why aren't you crying to ban doctors, especially on campus?

JAMA 2001 report 700k doctors kill 44k-98k people a year or .065 to .14 per doctor.

Florida & Texas government CPL databases 2.7 million licensee's, 13 deaths a year or .00000445 per licensee.

.065 or .14/.00000445 = 14k to 31k, darn the numbers are right.

Oh my US government agencies USDOJ National Gang Threat Assessment annual report 2009 identifies 80% of violent crimes committed by career criminals/felons and multiple police studies (Chicago & NYC specifically) show that 76 to 80% of shootings, both shooter and injured were involved in a criminal activity (mostly drug deals) or had significant felony histories.

So again where is your data to support your inference that law abiding gun owners are responsible for all the violent crime in the US? Oh wait, you anti extremists never have any data.

Man real effective how them signs are for stopping violent crime, lol! Tell that to all the victims and relatives of the people at Va Tech, N Illinois, and all those other criminal entitlement zones you anti's love to have so your body count just goes higher and higher. After all, you believe criminals have more rights than a law abiding citizen and that a woman strangled and raped is morally superior to the same woman standing over the body of her dead attacker eh?

Insanity is repeating the same failure over and over again, and the insanity has been proven to be gun control as it has failed to reduce ANYTHING in regards to violent crime in ANY country or city it has been implemented, prove otherwise.

September 15, 2010 at 12:15 p.m.
whatever said...

Hey, since doctors are 14,000 to 31,000 times more likely to kill you than a person carrying concealed, why aren't you crying to ban doctors, especially on campus?

We certainly do need to do more to prevent doctors (and other medical personnel) from harming people with their own incompetence.

September 15, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.
hambone said...

The reason the founding father wrote the right to keep and bear arms into the constitution had more to do with real estate. A well armed militia was needed to take this fine land away from the previous owners.

September 15, 2010 at 9:57 p.m.
MountainJoe said...

A well armed militia may also be needed to take this fine land away from its CURRENT "owners" (a.k.a. Washington, DC politicians and bureaucrats :) Let's hope we can do it at the ballot box instead, but if all else fails ... the Second Amendment was written not only to deter criminals and terrorists, but most especially to serve as our last defense against tyranny.

September 21, 2010 at 1:35 p.m.
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