Obedience Can Kill
As is common in our modern society, the government has laws and regulations in place for our safety. Many of these laws are well thought out and effective. But what happens when these same laws hamper our own ability to protect ourselves? Our obedience to the law can kill us. I firmly believe that my fellow students and the faculty of my college should have the ability to protect themselves from those who would do them harm. Students and faculty with a legal right to carry concealed weapons should be allowed to continue those rights on the campuses of colleges and universities across America. As stated in the 2nd Amendment of the Bill of Rights, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The fact of the matter is that our right to bear our arms is infringed. Our government has taken our right to bear our arms on campus. Normally this would not be an issue other than a debate of rights. But, with the rise of shooting rampages and campus violence the matter has become a life-and-death issue for many. An organization called Students for Gun Free Schools has released an essay with several concerns. The essay complains that: Allowing concealed carry permit holders to bring handguns onto college campuses would raise a host of public safety concerns for institutions that have a legal duty to provide secure environments for their students, faculty and visitors. As noted in a 2007 report by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, there are four reasons why gun violence would be likely to increase if more guns were present on college campuses: (1) The prevalence of drugs and alcohol; (2) The risk of suicide and mental health issues; (3) The likelihood of gun thefts, and; (4) An increased risk of accidental shootings.(2008, p. 2)
While all these concerns are natural worries that should be considered, let me point out that between the 12 colleges that allow conceal carry on campus and one hundred semesters between them there have been no incidents of students brandishing or using weapons while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there have been no suicides linked with a student’s conceal carry weapon, there have been zero gun thefts, and not a single accidental shooting (Students for Concealed Carry on Campuses [SCCC], 2009, p. 3). These arguments against CCDW (Conceal Carry Deadly Weapon) on campuses are directed at students of the wrong demographic. The SGFS (Students for Gun Free Schools) failed to consider that people who will be carrying firearms on campus are out of the danger zone of what the SGFSs argues to be an issue. The SGFS uses a study by the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University that states, “[N]early half of America’s 5.4 million full-time college students abuse drugs or drink alcohol on binges at least once a month” (2008, p. 2). What the SGFS fails to tell us is that: Since the age limit to obtain a concealed handgun license in most states is 21, it seems only fair to note that a three-year study by The Task Force on College Drinking, commissioned by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), found that ages 18 through 21 is the period of heaviest alcohol consumption for most drinkers in the United States, that college students under the age of 21 are more likely than older students to binge drink and have alcohol related problems, and that the average levels of drinking drop off significantly by the age of 23. (SCCC, 2009, p. 3)
The SCCC goes on to support the previous statement with a quote from Dr. Robert D. Foss, an authority on alcohol studies at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC): “Almost everybody misperceives how much college students actually drink. When people are asked to estimate it, they almost always way overshoot the reality.” Dr. Foss continues with,...