The debate over gun control is taking place, right in my own back yard. For the past week, not a day has gone by that the day’s issue of The Technician hasn’t included arguments pertaining to the the ban of firearms on campus.
I guess it really started even longer than a week ago, when a few letters to the editor, printed in the Campus Forum section, started to bring some attention to the issue, and gained a few responses. But the reaction was rather minimal.
However, after last Friday, matters became somewhat less simple. In that issue, two articles on the topic were published, as I detailed: a balanced article discussing the formation of the campus chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and an editorial lambasting the idea with frankly unoriginal and trite arguments.
And so it’s been, back and forth, each day bringing more articles and letters in the paper, until today I found it amazingly devoid of any commentary on the subject. It’s a been a fun ride so far, and I don’t think it’ll be over just yet. I know that I personally am planning to research the claims of a staff columnist who is currently punctuating the debate with his article stating, essentially, that statistics are meaningless in this argument.
It’s been a good run, though, because the arguments so far seem to closely mirror the debate as I’ve seen it played out elsewhere.
- 2 April: Fairly straightforward coverage of the argument in favor of concealed carry. Includes mention of Appalachian Law School shooting where students who retrieved guns from their cars stopped a shooter.
- 3 April: A letter commending the previous day’s letter and stating quite plainly that if you would like to rely on the police to protect you, that’s your choice, but the author would like to be able to choose to protect herself.
- 4 April (the day of the SCCC article): Author expresses sympathy for people who feel threatened and think they have to carry a concealed weapon. Recommends that police are sufficient protection and that “justice” should be left in their hands.
- 7 April: Four letters all taking the editor to task for being alarmist and biased. Perhaps favorite part of the whole debate: “People who are actually mentally stable will not only have a way of protecting themselves, but also will be the ‘first responders’ in the growing fad of mass murders on college campuses. I read where one student said it would be ‘frightening’ to know that people were walking around with concealed firearms. My first thought upon reading that was that the scariest horror movies are ones where the victims have no way of defending themselves.”
- 8 April: One author states that pepper spray is an adequate compromise between guns and defenselessness. Another takes the editorial cartoonist to task for his portrayal of a 7-person shootout in the library, given that only 1 in 100 people are licensed for concealed carry.
- 9 April: Police are good enough protection and carrying a gun around on campus is “not necessary.” Concludes with, “Your job as a student at State is to get an education. If you want to protect campus, join the police force.”
- 10 April: One author: we wouldn’t need guns if we were all just better people. Another praises the methodology of an article presenting research and studies to back up its claims. A third defines and invalidates two logical fallacies being used in the argument against concealed carry.
Summarized this way, we start to see trends. The argument against is based on relying on the police, while the argument in favor is largely just asking for the option to protect oneself. As I said, relatively consistent with the real world.