A lot of the debate around campus carry seems to center around this idea that a college campus is like Hogwarts—a magical place where Chancellor Dumbledore can cast a spell to magically make crime disappear from campus. It’s just one of many fantastic claims anti-gun (and increasingly anti-self-defense) activists are making when it comes to right-to-carry permit holders lawfully carrying on a college campus. Other examples include:
“If we allow guns on campus then irresponsible college students will be drunk and armed.”
“If we allow guns on campus then a student could get angry in class and shoot his or her classmates.”
“If we allow guns on campus we’ll encourage a culture of fear and intimidation.”
That’s all nonsense. The only thing that campus carry legislation does is broaden the areas where existing concealed-carry holders are legally allowed to carry their firearm. It doesn’t change who is eligible for a concealed-carry license. It doesn’t allow anyone to drink and carry a firearm.
As it turns out, in Texas it is already legal for concealed-carry permit holders to carry their firearms on a college campus. They just can’t enter buildings. Have we seen any concealed-carry holders wander through campus with guns on their hips and a beer in their hands? Have we seen any concealed-carry holders get into angry arguments with students on the Quad (much less whip out their gun)? Are college campuses currently places of fear and intimidation?
Okay, maybe that last question wasn’t phrased accurately. Are college campuses currently places of fear and intimidation because of concealed-carry holders?
The answer to every one of those questions is “No.”
Fact is, there are plenty of college students (not to mention faculty and staff) who are perfectly capable of being safe and responsible with firearms. Dozens of colleges and universities have competitive shooting sports teams. And seven states already allow campus carry without having seen any issues from students, faculty, staff or visitors.
I’ve also heard the argument that, because campus carry can’t protect people in every situation, it shouldn’t be the law of the land. Of course, anti-gunners have been using the “If it only saves one life” argument for years, but they don’t seem to recognize that they are now arguing that individual lives don’t matter. They also don’t seem to want to acknowledge students who have used firearms in self-defense, including UCF student Sable Nehme just a few months ago.
The reason we see these hyperbolic hypothetical situations from opponents of campus carry legislation is that the truth isn’t on their side. History isn’t on their side. Critical thinking is supposed to be taught on our college campuses, but you won’t find much evidence of it in the arguments of the anti-gunners.
Even their Hogwarts fantasy doesn’t hold up. Don’t forget, in the “Potterverse,” evil ultimately did come to Hogwarts, and the students were forced to defend themselves. Fortunately they were taught from their first year how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts using their magic wands.
Those same wands could have been used for practicing the Dark Arts, of course. But that didn’t stop the adults from teaching their students how to be safe and responsible with them. Actually, there’s probably a whole different blog post on “Harry Potter And The Right Of Self-Defense.” Good thing I’m doing this weekly!
In the meantime, campus carry laws are progressing in Texas, Nevada, Florida and elsewhere, thanks to your efforts! Be sure to tune in to NRA News Cam & Co weekdays for the latest on these and other top Second Amendment stories.