You gather your things for a normal school day. You grab your books, your laptop, and … your gun? Gun rights advocates say everyone, including students, have the right to defend themselves, while pro-gun control advocates believe lack of guns on campuses is what keeps everyone safe.
Advocates of the open-carry bill, believe that to bear arms is a Constitutional right to be taken advantage of by all. Many agree that one way to exercise freedom and participation in the democratic system is to openly carry a weapon or conceal by choice.
Members of society who support open-carry on college campuses also support this idea because it’s easier to get to a weapon in emergency situations. Could this also be a concern if the gun owner isn’t fully trained on using his gun?
As with anything, misuse and abuse can happen. Most states that allow for open carry do not require any type of weapons training for their residents. If a person is legally eligible to carry a weapon, they may do so regardless of whether they know how or when to use it.
This can lead to a variety of accidents. Misfires can occur due to weapons being dropped, weapons falling out of holsters, weapons being carried with rounds in the chamber and the hammer cocked, etc.
Research has shown that, right-to-carry gun laws have proven to be linked to an increase in violent crime. A study by Stanford University points to an increase by 8% in aggravated assaults directly linked to the right-to-carry-laws.
Erick Faatz, an English professor at Snow College, shared his thoughts about having concealed carry on Snow College’s campus.
“At a professional level, I do not support minimally trained civilians carrying concealed weapons on campuses with the intent to use them in the case of an active shooter on campus. My main reason is because of potential collateral damage to innocent bystanders. Under the stress of an active shooter on campus situation, I feel that only very highly trained individuals would be able to effectively protect those under attack. There is a high possibility of an undertrained individual harming or killing bystanders rather than an active shooter.”
Faatz continues, “From a more personal perspective, I would not want the responsibility of intervening against an active shooter on campus. I would not want to seriously injure or kill any human being and doing so to a Snow College student(s) would be devastating to me.”
There are many pros and cons to outweigh when it comes to deciding whether concealed carry would be beneficial to college campuses. Mulling over all sides on the argument of open carry, one may wonder, is there really a right or wrong side?