16 February 2008

RKBA Campus Round-Up #12

Been away for six, seven months, and that means I have missed a whole semester's worth of Campus Editorials.

After doing the bit on Yale this morning, I figured I'd give the good 'ol Badger Herald a look-see. If ever there was a campus rag that regularly publishes gun-related student op-ed pieces, it's them.

And, so, I dedicate this edition of the RKBA Campus Watch to the Badgers, whose mascot's red sweater (I well remember the Cold War, despite the juxtaposition the MSM did with "Red" and "Blue" in 2004) and marching-to-the-left orientation is not lost on me.

Still, surprisingly, there was a pretty balanced representation of pro and con articles that were put out in the Fall semester of 2007. The leftists drone on with their stats to justify their fears. The gunners try their best to educate them. But the left keep coming back with the same tired, recycled points and figures that have been debunked for years.

Anyway, let's have a look at what the Herald put out since June 21, 2007, shall we?

First article...Sept. 27, 2007...starts off on a pretty positive note. For the President of UW's College Republicans put in a very sensible article about the right to Concealed Carry, and used an example that shows the sensibilities of the court system. Seems a pizza delivery fellow got robbed four times while at work. Twice he shot perps in self-defense. While he was cleared of any murder or assault charges because it was clearly evident he acted in self-defense, he nonetheless faced concealed weapons charges. It took the fourth mugging to get a ruling in his favor.

This isn't lost on the article's author. She quotes the state constitution, which allows for gun ownership specifically for the purposes of security and defense. But the way the courts see it, you have to survive violent attacks several times to show you have a security/defense need.

And, that, Mr. Xan White of Fail University, is the sort of death coming from a misinterpretation of law that I was talking about.

Good article, Sara. I hope your Dad got you a H&K for your 21st birthday, in at least .40, with 2 boxes of good practice ammo, and a box of Cor-Bon for carry.

I would that the rest of the articles were as reasonable, but unfortunately, Ivory Tower cluelessness reasserts itself the next month by a student who has wasted his academic career in that less-than-useful field of study known as Political Science (we'll see you behind the counter at the Chick-Fil-A come next September, bud).

His tack attempts to draw on "world opinion"via his travel experiences in Europe, which entails all the crime you could experience this side of the Atlantic, only without gun violence. Then he goes on to sing the praises of Europe, with its alleged lower gun crime rate than the United States, based on a 1998 study from an organization focusing on Epidemiology. Now, what germs and guns have in common is anyone's guess, apart from the title of a book by Jared Diamond, but then again, liberals have been known to make crazier connections in the not-too-distant past (Bush and Hurricanes, for example). But I digress.

But what about the rest of the crime you can enjoy in Europe, or the rest of the world, for that matter? The United States doesn't rank in the Top Ten as far as homicide is concerned. But according to GunFacts 4.2, p. 57 (hence the previous link), four European countries are in that list. And that comes from a U.N. study focusing on international crime.

Europe ain't safer--you'll get molested all sorts of ways, but hallelujah, it won't involve a gun!

T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month, but it seems that October 2007 was the thoughtless-est month, at least in the town of Madison. A week after Mr. Europhile published his article, a Sophomore in English puts in her two cents' worth.

Her lament: that background checks are no guarantee of future mental stability.

Blink. Blink.


I don't think I have to say much more about that one. But I wonder if she would be as willing to be denied furthering her academic career on the grounds that her degree is no guarantee of future ignorance.

Fast-forward five days later to another Op-Ed by another Political Science major. Now, this guy seems a little smarter than the last one--he's backed up his hobby degree with something more practical--a degree in Sociology, which is something I can respect. Social workers are some of the more harder working, less-thanked selfless individuals I have ever known.

His article tends to reflect the sort of compassion you find in potential social workers--concern about children. Unfortunately, he makes the gross mistake of putting a lot of the blame on inanimate objects. And he isn't just talking about guns--he's talking about 2A as well, and how "accessible" it makes guns to kids.

However, there has been no correlation between gun availability and crime. Again, I turn you to GunFacts 4.2, page 19. As far as school shootings are concerned, it seems to be largely an urban phenomenon--rural areas have more ready access to guns, yet school shootings are nowhere near as common (pp. 17-18).

Personally, I'd blame it on a lack of supervision and parental involvement in the kids' lives. I had access to my Dad's guns (he kept a 1911 in the foyer closet), but had tasted enough discipline to know better than do something stupid or thoughtless with them.

It's kind of hard to tack down the next guy's position. A freshman in Computer Engineering points out the pros and cons of both sides, but swings towards the anti-side of Wisconsin's Concealed Carry debate. He shows some promise in that he has looked into what both sides have to say, but unfortunately, seems to have taken in too much of the assumptions that riddle the antis' thinking. Those assumptions all too often tend to be rooted in fear.

Take, for instance, his concern over the number of concealed guns making more guns accessible. Concealed carry in Wisconsin would be by license, and licensing is governed by certain criteria a person has to meet. It does not guarantee that everyone and their uncle would be carrying a gun. A right is not a requirement. You can easily decline to exercise it.

Then, there are concerns over "loopholes" in reciprocity. This, too, is taken into consideration by the powers that be.

But whatever his concerns are, most of them seemed to be based in the erroneous assumption that all guns will be used for criminal activity. And the overwhelming number of guns not used in crime simply does not justify that fear.

And, winding down 2007, a November article from another Political Science major--linked with History--which means that, unless he's going for a teacher position, going to grad school, or taking up a career writing books, he'll probably wind up behind the same Chick-Fil-A counter as Mr. Europhile, but as his shift manager.

Still, his training in history leads him to look deeper at the background of the Second Amendment--and unlike most of his other PoliSci compadres, and definitely most of his detractors in the comments section--finds it to assure individuals of the right to keep and bear arms.

No doubt there's lots more to dig up on other campuses elsewhere...watch this blog for more!

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