17 February 2008

RKBA Campus Watch # 12.1

Things sure have been busy while I was gone. In the past, my graduate Alma Mater, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, hasn't shown up on radar regarding gun issues. At least, not in its campus newspaper, The Daily Beacon.

But in running a search through its archives, I found that this month has seen a debate revolving around Concealed Carry among those whose blood runs orange and white.

Therefore, I dub this iteration of the RKBA Campus Watch
The Volunteer Edition
The debate seems to have started February 1, with an article entitled, "UT campus should allow permit-carrying people to have guns." Written by a Sophomore in Finance, he expresses some concern about recent recurring attacks on campus. The author, who holds a CCW permit, puts forth the suggestion that licensed individuals should be allowed to carry their guns on campus.

Now, I want everyone to be aware of his approach to presenting the issue. He's not acting on some emotional response to a past campus shooting elsewhere in the country. He's focused on local problems. And the solution he offers, he presents from the instruction he got from the class he had to take prior to applying for his permit.

His key argument:

My handgun carrying permit instructor pointed out something very eye-catching and that is the fact that a person is less likely to go to a place where he knows someone else has a gun. By not being able to carry on the campus with a permit, the campus then becomes a prime place to attack someone, because those people who are going to do the crime obviously do not follow the campus guidelines for guns.

I think he could have worded this a little better, by saying that people with ill intent are less likely to go into places were the potential victims may be armed.

He even went so far as to conduct his own personal survey on the matter, and found opinion to be almost evenly split.

Published reactions were also split. Two of them, no doubt printed side by side, appeared four days later in the Beacon. The negative reaction came from a graduate student in computer engineering, and exemplifies the Finance Sophomore's observations of closed-mindedness among the antis.

It's not so much of a rebuttal as it is a rant. "Let's make it an integral part of campus life--pop quizzes where you have to clean guns! Hey, why stop there--let's throw guns out to the homeless, too! That'll stop crime."

It's amazing the depth of analytical ability that manages to get into the graduate school nowadays. Sheesh.

The positive reaction comes from a fellow who recently graduated from the Political Science department--again, stressing the issue of the state of campus safety, with adding additional comment about the rights of the citizen. Note that he was not advocating everyone carrying a gun, unlike the overboard reaction of the grad student above. That wasn't the stance of the original author, for that matter--only those who had taken the time to educate themselves about the responsibilities of carrying a concealed weapon for self-defense.

He said that guns are already around campus--carried by punk gangsta wannabes. Why should the good guys--those who put their guns away when the authorities says so--suffer for obeying the law?

A freshman in chemistry counter-reacts to this with more fear over "what if?" scenarios. What the boy needs to do is look at the results of what is.

Fact: Gun Free Zones are ripe targets for crime.

Fact: Concealed Carry deters crime.

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