The UNC shooting kicked up a hornet’s nest in North Carolina.
Students have been pushing for gun control ever since, all generally ignoring all the breakdowns in gun control that took place in the murder of a UNC professor.
And, for the most part, they’ve had the media momentum, largely because it’s the media and they love a good gun control story.
But the truth is that the story could well have played out differently in some other states. After all, the victim might have been armed in those states, thus allowing him to defend himself.
Students wouldn’t have been terrified in the lockdown, wondering if they were just being herded together to die if even some of them had been able to carry a firearm on campus.
And at least one North Carolina lawmaker isn’t afraid to say it.
A day after UNC-Chapel Hill students and gun control advocates protested this week at the state legislature, a top Republican leader said Thursday that their requests are likely to go nowhere — and that if the legislature does react, it would more likely be to further loosen gun rules.
A day after the campus was locked down while police pursued a suspect now charged with pointing a gun at someone at an on-campus bagel shop, House Speaker Tim Moore said there’s little chance of the GOP-controlled state legislature passing a “red flag” type of law to allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from people with mental illness or those who are otherwise judged to be a threat. But he did question the state law banning guns on school property, suggesting that maybe the legislature would consider ending that.
“A number of students said, ‘Why do they have to be unarmed, when there’s clearly a way that bad guys can get on the campus?'” Moore said. “It’s a gun-free zone. And that clearly is not working.”
He reiterated that more gun control is not what he and fellow Republicans see as the solution to gun violence.
“You’re not going to just snap your fingers and get rid of guns,” Moore said Thursday. “That’s not reality. Criminals are going to have guns, and the best solution to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Unsurprisingly, a lot of Democrats bristled at the suggestion.
It’s not that they had new arguments, either. Instead, they trotted out the old, tired arguments we’ve seen take place in every state that eventually adopted campus carry.
Democrats were incredulous at the suggestion.
“So more students at frat houses, and that are drinking alcohol and things of that sort, have more gun access?” Rep. Robert Reives, the top House Democrat, said when asked about Moore’s comments. “And that will make campus more safe? That’s his proposal?”
Well, it damn sure won’t hurt.
This particular boogieman gets trotted out whenever campus carry gets brought up, but 11 states currently have some form of campus carry. Guess what we don’t see on those campuses? We don’t see drunken frat boys shooting up their neighborhoods.
It’s just not happening, and we’re talking about a list that includes Georgia. The University of Georgia is one of the top party schools in the nation, and as a public university, campus carry applies there. If there was going to be a problem, it would be there.
And yet, it’s not.
Couple this with the fact that barring guns on campus for everyone clearly didn’t stop the homicide at UNC and we’ve got zero reason to continue such a prohibition.
The UNC shooting might have still happened if campus carry were on the books there. I won’t pretend otherwise. There’s no way for me to know if the professor in question would have opted to carry a firearm or not.
But we do know that he never had the option and now he’s dead.
Gun control didn’t help. If you’re going to change the laws in response, then you might as well change them to something that might make an actual difference.