University of Minnesota Students Making Effort to Allow Students and Faculty to Carry Firearms

Brace yourselves because the sky is about to fall. A group of students at the University of Minnesota are urging the administration to allow students and faculty to carry firearms on campus:

A string of robberies on the U of M campus late last year escalated on Nov. 11, when the campus went into lockdown because of an attempted robbery at gunpoint, and the suspect got away. A month later, in December 2013, there was another armed robbery on campus.

U of M freshman William Preachuk believes things could have ended differently if he’d been able to pack heat. “I would believe that I have the right to defend myself; I have the right to protect others as well as myself only if the situation allows it,” William Preachuk said.

Preachuk signed a petition Monday that will be sent to the Board of Regents asking to be allowed to conceal and carry on campus.

Susan Eckstine with College Republicans is a permit holder and trained in using a gun. “If I was able to carry a firearm here on campus I’d feel a lot safer to protect myself from a life-threatening situation,” Eckstine said.

As usual advocates of gun control are playing Chicken Little. The most common argument against allowing students and faculty to carry firearms on college campuses is that those areas are high stress environments where emotions run high. This is an interesting argument because I don’t understand where its basis lies. While college campuses are indeed high stress environments and emotions often run high the rate of actual violence is relatively low. Fist fights, stabbings, beatings, and other forms of violence remain low enough on college campuses that when they do occur they are major news items. The linked article mentions that there have been a few robberies near the University of Minnesota campus. Those robberies were big news here in the Twin Cities precisely because such violence is rare. So I’m at a loss as to how allowing students and faculty, who are a pretty peaceful bunch judging by the current lack of regular violence on college campuses, to carry firearms will turns campuses from peaceful spots to veritable war zones.

If the high stress environment of college campuses inherently bred violence then we would already be seeing a great deal of violence. It’s an absurd variation of the “blood in the streets” argument made by gun control advocates whenever a state was planning to pass or further liberalize carry laws. The sky will not fall if college students and faculty are allowed to carry firearms because, as it turns out, college students and faculty members are rational human beings. That means a vast majority of them understand concepts like violence and recognize when it should be used and how much should be used. They’re not likely to pull a gun on a drunken student who is getting overly aggressive but have the option of meeting deadly force with deadly force in a life threatening encounter.

A particularly disturbed anti-gun individual on Facebook made an absurd claim that I want to bring up just because it made me laugh. The individual, who we will refer to as Steve (because that’s his actual first name), said “This will cause a trickle effect and allow weapons of mass destruction into other areas where they shouldn’t be.” Wow. According to his logic allowing students and faculty to carry discriminatory weapons will somehow cause a trickle effect that will result in allowing them to carry nondiscriminatory nuclear and biological weapons. That’s a long leap of logic that is so absurd that it’s barely worth addressing (as I said, I merely brought it up for entertainment value). But it is interesting to see how far advocate of gun control will stretch things in an attempt to argue their case.