In the Echo’s recent article on the proposed legislation to allow the carrying of weapons on campus, a variety of critics voiced their concerns. As a supporter of this bill, I would like to address those points. First, to Police Chief O’Dell, who said, “Say you have a situation where officers are pulling up and everyone has guns. There’s no way of telling who the bad guys are.”
It seems Chief O’Dell believes that situation would be better if only the “bad guys” had guns, which they could freely use to harm or threaten the innocent. I fail to see what makes that advantageous. Further, I see no reason he couldn’t apply the same protocol he would in a non-gun-free zone; namely, halting everyone and then sorting out the facts.
President Martin, siding with the police chief, said, “We have a great police department and there’s no need for this.” However, my email inbox, which is filled with “Timely Warnings to the Community,” shows the police are not everywhere at all times. In the case of open-carrying, seeing a holster will certainly make a potential mugger less likely to attack the carrier. For both open- and concealed-carry, being in a position to exercise self-defense is much better than resigning gun-ownership to those who commit crimes.
Finally, Violetta Shuman also shared her opinion: “Anything can trigger someone to get upset. Who is to say they won’t shoot?” Well, the facts say they won’t. The National Center for Policy Analysis reported study findings that people licensed to carry concealed weapons are actually 5.7 times less likely to commit violent crimes than the general public (13.5 times for non-violent). I don’t shoot people out of rage for the same reason I don’t punch people with whom I disagree.
Self-control doesn’t fly out the window once you own a gun. Furthermore, her prediction that “violence would increase drastically” doesn’t match the fact that supermarkets, downtown areas and businesses aren’t barraged with the bullets of open and concealed-carry gun owners who frequent them each day. Such knee-jerk reactions to guns have no place in crafting well-reasoned legislation.