Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Concealed Carry 101
It appears that along with Intro to Sociology, Spanish 101 and Philosophy that Ohio is now considering allowing the concealed carrying of weapons on college campuses.
Ohio is one of eight states that are currently debating the issue following the Virginia Tech shooting. This is going to be one huge, uphill battle. Not to mention heated and ugly. As someone who lives and works in a college town, in Ohio, I have many issues with this. As someone who has spent a good deal of years on a college campus I have reservations about this.
I realize that not everyone who owns a handgun has blood lust in his/her mind, but....do we really believe that putting a weapon in the hands of often emotional, unstable, drinking and drug using college students in a bright idea? Now, I know that not every college student fits into that category either, but what scares me is that the ones who do will be the ones who are carrying the guns. There is not a week that goes by that there is not a major, or minor, altercation of some sort on one of the fraternity house properties. Just this week, with the 70 degree weather, as I drove through town there were students outside by the dozens drinking, one group had a hand painted sign in their front yard that read. "You honk, we drink". Would you like someone in that group be walking around later in the evening carrying a weapon and have them get pissed off because they thought that you had "disrespected" them? Not this citizen!
Weekly the police blotters are filled with the names of the underage drinkers and those arrested for simple fighting in the bars. Do we want these people to be able to concealed carry so that these minor issues become shootings and murders? Over something as stupid as who wouldn't turn down their stereo or who looked at my girlfriend? There are so many reasons why I do not want to walk around my town wondering who is carrying. I don't want my kid to be riding his skateboard around a campus where they will be carrying.
Now, I know that there are many other dangers in life and in a college town, but why do we want to add an element like a handgun to the mix? Mental health services are already busy enough as it is on college campuses. Young people sometimes go through many issues during the years they are away from home, maybe for the first time, nights of partying on their own. Roommates and the troubles that that brings, not to mention carrying them in to the dorms after your significant other tells you that they are breaking up with you.
I am not one to say that there are certainly many responsible gun owners and if people want to hunt that is their personal business and recreation, but I do not think that they belong on a college campus. Granted the Virginia Tech shooting was a tragedy, but how many others might have been injured with shooters who would have been shooting back during a time of great stress. If you ask any police officer they will tell you that the casual gun owner is scary because in times of stress they are apt to shoot quickly without much thought. They are not nearly as trained as the police. Even if they go to a range and learn how to point and shoot they still do not have the further training and mental acuity that comes with the training of the police and the like.
No, it is something that I do not like to hear about on my local campus and strongly urge Ohio lawmakers to think twice before allowing.