Gimme that warm, fuzzy feeling…

Here’s another argument against the University of Utah’s ridiculous ban on legally concealed weapons. In this case, a student at Louisiana Technical College opened fire in a classroom and killed one student, while wounding another. The school already had a ban on carrying weapons of any type (here‘s a PDF of the policy, from the school’s Policies & Procedures page), so anybody who chooses to follow the rules is left at the mercy of those who refuse to do so. Once again, this gun ban only serves to make school administrators feel safer, though the reality is that a murderer probably doesn’t study up on school policy before going on a shooting spree.

6 thoughts on “Gimme that warm, fuzzy feeling…

  1. While a ban on carrying weapons, concealed or otherwise, doesn’t stop all people from carrying weapons on campus, it does reduce the number of weapons on campus. It would seem to me that the logic behind the ban is that the more weapons in an area, the greater the liklihood that someone, even reasonable weapon-carriers, is going to find an excuse to use one. There can be no arguing that carrying a weapon on one’s person changes that person’s demeanor and their thought process- for better or worse. Banning weapons will not keep a person intent on a masacre from carryying out their objective, but it will reduce the aggressive aura one finds in an area of high weapon incidence. As an important side benefit, banning weapons all but eliminates the incidence of accidental injury.

  2. Your argument suggests that there is an actual problem with concealed weapon permit holders using their handguns for unlawful purposes. Granted, that does happen, though extremely rarely. I don’t know of any particular statistics, but I’d bet that you’re more likely to get hit by lightning than to be injured by a concealed weapon licensee.
    A law (or rule) which has the sole purpose of keeping people from breaking other laws is ridiculous in itself. Seriously, whose idea was it to say, “Let’s make a rule that makes it against the rules to break the rules!” But under the disguise of a safety rule, it appears to me that banning concealed weapons on campus only serves to punish somebody for something that hasn’t even occurred (or may never occur), sort of like “guilty until proven innocent”.
    I feel that my right to defend myself outweighs the negligible safety risks posed by carrying a concealed weapon. I wouldn’t call the elimination of accidental injury “an important side benefit,” rather, it’s a miniscule benefit.

  3. Whether a law is enforceable or not has nothing to with the moral rightness of the law itself. Seems like you’re confusing the two here (would you support legalized abortion simply because the government couldn’t prevent illegal, back-alley abortions from occurring?)

  4. I never drew a correlation between the law’s unenforceability and the moral rightness of the law. The law is both unenforceable and morally wrong, but I didn’t say that the unenforceability makes it morally wrong.
    No law is 100% enforceable, but that doesn’t mean there should be no laws. It’s just that in this instance, the law serves to disarm otherwise law-abiding citizens, while doing little or nothing to prevent criminals from shooting those citizens. If a person is carrying an illegally concealed weapon, with intent to use it illegally, why should the legality of my self-defense be dependent upon which side of the campus property boundary I’m on?
    As a side-note, I know that you know exactly what my stance is on the issue, and I’m just curious–do you agree or disagree with it? It seems that whenever you leave a comment here (or elsewhere), you don’t tend to refute anybody’s opinion. Rather, you bring up technicalities that entice people to reaffirm or clarify minor points in their views (arguing for the sake of arguing, it seems like), but it’s not often that you bring up points that could shoot the other person’s argument down. Just an observation… =)

  5. I agree that concealed weapon permits are OK as a general rule, but I certainly don’t want guns on my school’s property (and I’m sure that 95% of my school would agree with me).
    You’re right that the law prevents no one with an intent to commit a crime from doing so (even those who wrote the law acknowledge this, I’m sure, so I don’t see why it’s relevant). You’re likely wrong, however, that the benefits that will result from allowing guns on school grounds will outweigh the negative effects. Here are a couple reasons:
    1. It’s extremely unlikely that a victime of a crime will be carrying a concealed weapon (so the deaths prevented by the law will be negligible).
    2. It’s more likely that the presence of guns on campus will lead to their use. For example, if a concealed weapons carrier flies off the handle (not probable, but far more so than the possibility of a crime victim carrying a concealed weapon), he/she will cause death. Laws that prevent those *without* prior intent from carrying guns onto campus reduce this risk to close to zero.
    Laws, generally, should be written based on utilitarian considerations. Here, it seems clear that the potential resulting benefit of a concealed weapons ban outweighs the potential resulting harm.

  6. I’d like to see some statistics that back up your argument. I’d be willing to bet that far more concealed weapon permit holders use their firearms to defend themselves each year than members of the same group use their firearms to commit crimes of any type. Unfortunately for both of us, such statistics are extremely hard to come by.
    It may seem clear to you that banning concealed weapons from a particular place will reduce the overall potential for death, but it seems like a matter of perception to me, unless somebody has some facts to back up their perception.
    By the way, I don’t know of any state that has more lax laws than Utah as far as CCW goes, yet we enjoy a very low rate of crime here. I’m not drawing a correlation here, but by your argument, the potential for firearm-related offenses should be much higher.

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