Michigan Senators Want Guns on College Campuses12.21.09
“Universities shouldn’t be allowed to choose what parts of the constitution they think are good enough for them or not. It would be tantamount to saying illegal search and seizure can be allowed on a college campus.”
Sen. Richardville sponsors Senate Bill 747, which would give universities the ability to decide whether or not to allow concealed weapons on their campuses. Other senators want the bill to go even further, to get rid of all gun-banned areas in Michigan – hospitals, theaters, etc.
This reminds of me the part in the movie Tombstone, when the Earp Brothers – deputies of the eponymous town in Arizona – declare that no one can carry a gun in town. Naturally, it being the wild west, there was some rather vocal opposition, to which the elder Earp brother, played by the inimitable Sam Elliott, stated: “No one’s saying you can’t own a gun. No one’s saying you can’t carry a gun. You just can’t carry a gun in town.” (Forgive me if that’s not perfect as I’m quoting from memory but you get the idea.)
Concealed gun permits require the owner to be “21 years old, a U.S. citizen and a Michigan resident for at least six months, with some exceptions. Applicants must have a record clear of various crimes, a clean bill of mental health and complete a safety training course.” Of course, one could have a clean record up until the point he or she goes on a killing rampage in the middle of class so that’s not exactly preventing a massacre. Although, Richardville disagrees:
“One of the things that came up were the shootings down in Virginia Tech. The professor in that class was a CPL holder. His university did not allow him, because of a no-gun rule, to have his concealed with him. It was in his car, in the parking lot locked up. He was murdered and so were 31 other people.”
It’s that whole argument that if everyone had a gun, there’d be no violence because everyone would know that the other person is armed. This is a ridiculous statement. Just about everyone has a pair of fists, yet that doesn’t prevent two people going to fisticuffs to solve a problem. In fact, Richardville’s terribly misguided ideas might have no basis in reality if this study by the New Scientist has any merit, which says that “people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens.” Introduce those statistics into a population that is rife with underage binge drinking and raging hormones and you have a firestorm of death waiting to happen.
To be fair, there are other factors that aren’t figured in that study, namely that people who carry guns might simply be more apt to be in life-threatening situations independently of their decision to carry a gun. Regardless, this bill is dangerous and pointless.
Instead of worrying about making sure that college kids can carry guns to class, maybe more attention should be placed on mental health awareness programs, gun safety, and the possible perils within the college culture. Education and awareness would go a long way to curb violence rather than simply adding more weapons to the mix. Adding fuel to this fire wouldn’t cause a flame out, it’d just set everyone ablaze.