The following is an unpublished opinion written in response to this opinion by John Johnson of the Campaign to Keep Guns of Campus.
In his reactionary attack on firearms, John Johnson offers only tired arguments. He notes that the college years are volatile and drug and alcohol abuse are more prevalent on college campuses. He implies that allowing concealed carry on campus by licensed adults who are allowed to carry firearms virtually anywhere else will suddenly inject weapons into a drug and alcohol infused atmosphere of irresponsible kids.
What Johnson won’t admit is that the current laws do nothing to actually keep a weapon off campus. Criminals have proven time and time again that weapons bans don’t apply to them. Further, any individual caught engaging in the aforementioned drug abuse would lose their permit. In other words, even if concealed carry were allowed on campus, it would still be illegal to bring a sidearm to a frat party.
Johnson correctly notes that large scale shootings are rare. But concealed carry isn’t just about mitigating the next Virginia Tech Massacre. It’s about legalizing self defense on campus. Armed robberies are far more common than mass shootings. Concealed carry allows defense from all types of criminal threats against one’s life, not just mass shootings as Johnson suggests.
Johnson further implies that if concealed carry were allowed, shootouts would replace common arguments. Gun control advocates said the same thing about disputes over parking spaces before the original concealed carry laws were passed. It wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now. Repeating this talking point won’t change that.
Finally, if campus carry is so detrimental, perhaps Johnson can explain why the Colorado State University Student Government voted 21-3 to keep concealed carry on campus when the school’s Board of Governors proposed stripping away this privilege.
To learn more about concealed carry on college campuses, visit Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
Full Disclosure: At the time of this publication, I am a member of the national board of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization comprised of students, faculty, and other concerned members of the community and dedicated to legalizing concealed carry by licensed individuals within the boundaries of college campuses.