Colorado State University (CSU) was one of the few schools that allowed students with concealed carry permits to carry on campus. Last Friday, the CSU Board of Governors voted to ban concealed carry, despite overwhelming support for concealed carry from the university’s student government. In doing so, the CSU Board of Governors ignored the tragics lesson taught by just about every mass shooting that our country has suffered:
One argument against allowing concealed carry on college campuses is the idea that a gun ban will deter school shooters. This idea is laughable. The individuals who are bent committing a school shooting are already willing to break the law against murder, and often plan on committing suicide immediately after killing as many innocent people as possible. As such, school shooters are simply not deterred by a gun ban. Instead, only the law-abiding, non-murderous students obey the ban, since they don’t wish to risk a gun possession conviction that could derail their academic careers and land them in prison. The net result is that the school shooter is still armed, and their victims are defenseless. This is precisely what has happened at college shootings from NIU to VA Tech, with tragic results.
Another argument against allowing concealed carry on college campuses is the idea that armed students will use their guns to settle petty disputes, leading to wild-west type shootouts over the last cheeseburger at the cafeteria. This idea represents nothing more than an unfounded fear that has not materialized despite the dramatic rise of concealed carry over the last two decades. Every day, millions of Americans (including college-age individuals) lawfully carry concealed firearms for self defense purposes. Statistics make clear the fact that those concealed carry permit holders simply do not open fire at the drop of a hat, and are instead more law abiding than the average person – or even the average police officer.
A third argument against allowing concealed carry on college campuses is the idea that an armed student will be unable to effectively use their gun to stop a school shooter or other violent attacker. This idea is as popular as it is unfounded, having even made its way onto ABC’s 20/20. The problem with this idea is that it is simply unsupported by the facts. As an example, this college student used his handgun to single handedly stop a pair of armed home invaders who were preparing to rape the women in the house then murder the 10 students. He managed to retrieve his handgun from his backpack and fire on the robbers, killing one and causing the other to flee. Similarly, this university student used his gun to defend himself against a pair of armed home invaders who brandished a gun and threatened his life during a home invasion. Indeed, even younger individuals have successfully used a gun for self defense. This 16 year old used a gun to to fatally shoot an armed home invader who was advancing on him, while this even younger boy used a BB gun to fend off two home invaders.
Moving past armed students to self defense in general, it is clear that many crime victims are able to defend themselves against criminals who seemingly have the upper hand: This man managed to shoot 2 armed robbers in self defense, despite being choked by the robbers and held at gunpoint in his own home. This homeowner managed to get his gun from a drawer, despite the fact that a criminal was holding a knife against him. This elderly man managed to grab a self defense gun, despite being shocked with a stun gun and beaten by a 24 year old man. This man managed to draw his concealed carry handgun and shoot an armed robber in self defense, despite the fact that that robber was standing behind him and pointing a shotgun at his back. This jewelry store owner managed to grab his gun from under a desk, despite the fact that two robbers were in his store, one of whom had a gun pointed at him. This pawnshop manager managed to shoot an armed in self defense, saving himself and his teenage employee, despite the fact that a gun was being held to that employee’s throat. I could go on with many more examples, but the point should be clear – armed self defense works. By banning concealed carry, the CSU Board of Governors has merely ensured that any future school shooters will have a monopoly on firearms, while their defenseless victims will be unarmed and vulnerable.