Retired cop: Campus carry is bad because people miss

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The state of Arizona is considering a campus carry bill. They’re not the first state to consider it, either. After all, it’s the law in a number of states already and has been for several years.


Yet despite that fairly large body of evidence that allowing the lawful carrying of a firearm on campus doesn’t reduce safety, some people will claim it does.

Like a retired police detective from Arizona, who makes the dumbest argument possible.

What’s missing from the emotional and public discussion about allowing students to arm themselves on college campuses is what actually happens in a shooting. Bullets can and do go everywhere.

On average, police officers hit their target half of the time or less.

In a Mesa officer-involved shooting I investigated in the late 1980s, two officers fired at a stationary target. The man was 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighed more than 200 pounds. He’d thrown a knife in the general direction of one officer 20 feet away. The other officer was in the opposite direction 25 feet away.

The officers fired 17 rounds. One hit the subject, while the rest ranged vertically from one inch off of the ground to 6 feet, 1 inch high and horizontally over 12 feet. I can only imagine where the 16 rounds could’ve gone if the shooting happened on a college campus or in a congested neighborhood?

While the Arizona State Senate sells their idea of enhanced safety by allowing persons with concealed weapons permits to carry a gun on a college campus, they’re oversimplifying the reality of possessing a CCW permit.

In Arizona, a CCW permit requires not much more than paying the fee and filing the application. There is no requirement to demonstrate any kind proficiency with a firearm. Having been in the military, and possibly having qualified with a rifle, isn’t a qualifier to carry pistol.


Of course, the author also pulls the whole “the police might think you’re the bad guy” argument as well, which is fine. That can and does happen.

However, the idea that people might miss being sufficient reason to keep lawful gun owners from being able to carry their firearms on campus is ridiculous. If missing is a problem, then maybe we should ban police from college campuses as well.

After all, the author just made a clear case that the police miss.

What? That’s absolutely ridiculous?

Of course it is, but no more ridiculous than the entire argument. After all, it all hinges on the idea that it’s better for a good guy to get killed than for him to potentially miss and, maybe, hit someone else.

The truth is that if we’re looking at a situation where it’s so crowded that this is a real possibility, we’re also likely looking at a potential mass shooting. Is it better to have another Virginia Tech than to risk the potential stray shot?

I honestly don’t think so.

Frankly, neither do a lot of other people. Thankfully.


Look, if you want to oppose campus carry, that’s your right. However, you need to make a much better argument than “someone might miss” and using police statistics to justify keeping regular folks disarmed.


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