AP Photo/Brennan Linsley
I’ve never understood the need to restrict guns on college campuses. Yet, plenty of people see such a need. They see it as particularly pressing and will vehemently fight to continue to allow colleges to restrict the right to keep and bear arms.
Nevermind the fact that a ban on guns on campus did nothing to prevent the Virginia Tech massacre.
No, that doesn’t count. Guns should still be restricted. The reasons for this are mindboggling. Take this young person’s thinking, which is not limited to the young by any means.
There has also been a debate across the country over whether it is safer to allow college students to carry concealed weapons, or to ban them altogether. As a state, until now we have left it up to individual colleges and universities to determine what they think is best. However, House Bill 4298, the concealed campus carry bill, would make it mandatory for colleges and universities to allow students to carry concealed weapons, if passed.
Still, the reasons behind why it is crucial to have these sorts of regulations should be addressed.
First, let’s consider the age group that is being targeted by this movement. Most college attendees are young adults, with the average age range being just upwards of 18. This means that those who are in their prime “party-age,” being 21 or older, are also included. At least on a monthly basis, we can see evidence of the harm that reckless behavior from this age group causes. They have access to nearly any substance they could want, which typically leads to partying, but also bad habits and potentially violence. Allowing concealed carry on campus greatly increases the risk of incidents occurring.
Here’s the problem with this kind of thinking. For one, it implies that 18-year-olds will be able to carry guns around the campus. That’s not true. Carry permits are limited to those 21 or older.
Of course, the writer points out that those of that age can drink. To that, I say, “So what?”
People 21 and older have had permits for years, have been old enough to drink for years, and have attended parties for years. Guess what? Nothing happened.
What this thinking does is presuppose that college students with a permit and a gun are somehow less responsible because they’re at a party on campus. While it’s true that campus parties have plenty of examples of poor or non-existent thinking, there’s no reason to believe that those who are carrying a gun will somehow also engage in this kind of behavior. After all, poor decisions aren’t the sole domain of college frat parties.
In fact, there are a number of states with campus carry. Some have allowed it for years. Despite that, there’s a complete and total lack of shootings at college parties.
Do you know what else there’s a lack of? Mass shootings on college campuses in these states.
While it’s fine to be concerned about safety, let’s also be realistic and recognize that those who are going to carry on campus aren’t your usual party crowd anyway. They tend to be responsible individuals, much like those who carry off-campus are.