Students advocate concealed weapons
Story by Alexander Tenenbaum | February 21, 2008
With the Valentine’s Day shooting at Northern Illinois University, college students are seeking the right to carry concealed handguns on campuses across America.
The Facebook group ‘Students for Concealed Carry on Campus’ grew by more than 1,000 members in the 24 hours before this article went to print.
Steve Dogiakos, a University of Montana freshman business major from Illinois, is a member of the group.
“Quite frankly, I am living in fear,” Dogiakos said Wednesday. “I don’t know if someone is going to burst into Urey Lecture Hall or Cole Hall in Illinois and start shooting. I know people who were in that classroom, who had friends killed in that classroom.”
Dogiakos, 23, said police can’t do much to stop shootings like those at Virginia Tech and NIU, and it’s time for students to take some responsibility.
NIU Police Chief Donald Grady said on CNN that police arrived within 30 seconds of the report of the shooting.
“By that time, it was just a clean-up job,” Dogiakos said.
Jim Lemcke, director of UM Public Safety, agreed.
“Remember that in most cases, the damage is already done by the time police get the call, so folks have to prepare to respond and help themselves,” he said. “Is a bunch of kids carrying guns to class the right way to do it? I don’t know.”
Lemcke said force is sometimes needed to stop an attack, but he remained neutral on whether concealed handguns should be allowed on campus.
Since police can’t do much to stop or prevent school shootings, Dogiakos said, students and faculty who are already licensed to carry a concealed handgun should be allowed to do so on college campuses.
He said he would shoot a killer to stop a massacre.
“I would rather have that blood on my hands and that guilt than see my friends and my peers get killed,” Dogiakos said.
But Montana law prohibits all weapons from school buildings and university campuses, whether in plain sight or concealed.
Lawful gun owners in Montana don’t need a permit to carry guns in plain sight. But it is illegal to carry a hidden handgun without a concealed weapon permit. People caught carrying hidden weapons can face a $500 fine and six months in jail.
Since 1991, Montana state law has granted concealed weapon permits to applicants who have proof of gun training and clean criminal and mental health histories.
But even with a permit, people cannot carry a concealed weapon into banks, government buildings or bars.
Betsy Mulligan-Dague, director for the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center, said paranoia is motivating people to take up arms.
“If you carry a weapon, you are living in fear of something. It’s not good energy to live under,” she said.
She suggested other solutions to dealing with suicidal school shooters, like developing community and family support systems and improving mental healthcare.
“Violence is never an answer for violence. It just makes for more violence down the road,” Mulligan-Dague said.
Dogiakos said that most of the time, this is true.
“I would agree nine times out of 10 that violence begets violence, but the issue is that the massacre needs to be stopped, and now there is no way to stop it or prevent it or see it coming,” he said. “This isn’t a matter of retaliation or revenge. It’s a matter of saving lives.”
Newsweek reported earlier this month that Colorado State University has allowed concealed weapons on its campus for 10 semesters without incident, and since 2006 nine state universities in Utah have done the same.
Ben Dummer, a freshman in psychology at NIU, was in Cole Hall an hour before the shooting happened. He said he wishes his school had allowed licensed students to carry concealed handguns.
“When laws are made that ban students from carrying, you’re taking guns away from the only people that could help,” he said. “Obviously law enforcement doesn’t arrive in time with incidents like this.”
Dummer said concealed weapons wouldn’t distract from the learning environment because they would be hidden from view, and, in a situation like the one at his school, there would be the element of surprise.
“There were maybe 200 people in that lecture hall. If one of them had a gun, he’d just take it out and (the shooter) would never know what hit him,” he said. “I think 22 people were wounded. That could have been 3. Someone would have at least been able to do something.”
Carrying a weapon is an emotional response, Mulligan-Dague said, adding that this issue should be handled logically and rationally.
Dogiakos said rationality is irrelevant when you’re staring down the barrel of a gun.
“When faced with a massacring shooter, there’s no way to rationalize with this person,” he said. “The point of concealed carry is ending it as quickly as possible, with as little carnage as possible.”
UM President George Dennison said he doesn’t oppose the right to carry firearms elsewhere, but the university is different.
“It’s designed for interaction and discussion,” he said. “It’s sort of a protected environment, and it’s meant to be that way.”
Dogiakos said he would whole-heartedly agree if the university could guarantee protection.
“But as it stands, universities and university police can’t protect us in these situations,” he said.
Dennison said even if students were allowed to carry concealed handguns on campus, they wouldn’t be helpful in a school shooting.
“Anyone who fires a weapon in a crowded room is more likely to do more damage than good,” he said.
Dogiakos said that couldn’t be true.
“With 21 injured and six people dead, how could you do more damage? Accidental casualties would never amount to that,” he said.
Ryon Reich, a UM literature major from Illinois, said that all the arguments from concealed weapon supporters “just perpetuate the gun mentality.”
“It jeopardizes my comfort level and that of others,” he said. “With guns, it’s just more killing. You shoot him, he shoots you, and it just escalates. Police are there to protect you. We should live in a society that we feel safe enough to not have to carry a gun.”
Theo Johnson, a senior in resource conservation, agreed.
“You shouldn’t feel like you need a gun just to walk across campus,” he said. “I think our country is gun hungry, you know?”
This story has been viewed 1259 times.
Ryon Reich: I’d rather your comfort level be in jeopardy than my actual safety. You’re right that we SHOULD live in a safe society, but we don’t, so until then I’m comforted in knowing that I can adequately defend my life--or yours--from 50 feet away. If I shoot someone and they shoot me, how is it escalating? It’s over with in two seconds. If the person I’m shooting at is a criminal and my shots prevent a crime, then I’ve done society a favor. If they shoot me in response, then I’ve risked my life to stop a crime. The alternative (which is what is currently happening) is that criminals aren’t up against anyone who’s armed--police included since most of the time they arrive AFTER a crime--so they have free reign to terrorize someone (be it a shooting, rape, armed robbery, assault, etc.). What is this “gun mentality”? As long as criminals are able to obtain a firearm, I’d like to offer myself equal protection or at least the chance at adequate self-protection. Since licensees only account for roughly 1% of a given population, it seems that few people are waking up in the morning saying “I’m going to carry a gun”. Police ARE here to serve and protect, though they aren’t required to do so and aren’t at fault if they do (there are various Supreme Court and District Court cases to confirm this). Plus, like I said before, they arrive after most crimes have been committed. Even at NIU, with a police response time of 30 seconds, the shootings were over and done with by that time.
Theo Johnson: I wholeheartedly agree. I SHOULDN’T feel the need to carry a gun anywhere, let alone on campus, but the fact of the matter remains that homicide, rape, armed robbery, assault, and other violent crimes are preventable with the use of lethal force (lethal force doesn’t automatically mean killing someone. If a threat to my life--or yours--can be stopped without firing a single shot or leaving an assailant injured, that’s fine, as long as the threat is stopped).
Posted by Stephen J. Feltoon on 02/21/2008 at 10:07 am
Wait, Lemcke remained neutral when asked about concealed weapons on campus?
Posted by Jamee Greer on 02/21/2008 at 10:21 am
For more details about Conceal Carry on Campus, visit http://concealedcampus.org/
and check out the facebook group at http://umt.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2383535699
Posted by Steve Dogiakos on 02/21/2008 at 10:31 am
"Betsy Mulligan-Dague, director for the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center, said paranoia is motivating people to take up arms.
“If you carry a weapon, you are living in fear of something. It’s not good energy to live under,” she said.”
1. “Bad energy” is not an argument. It’s metaphysical straw man. Preparedness is not abject fear, although the advocate in this story does seem to have some fear, which I do not blame him for given his experiences.
2. Why contact anybody from the JRPC for this story? They do some good work in the community, but their opinion and influence over this decision is nonexistant. I detect a writer with an agenda fishing for sympathetic quotes, something fairly common at the Kaimin and UM J-school (part of the reason I left it. And no, I am by no means a conservative).
3. If the guy from the JRPC is so worried about “good energy” why doesn’t he consider changing the name of his organization. Jeanette Rankin was a pacifist and progressive, yes, but she also played on prejudice against immigrants (particularly the communities in Butte) in order to win votes from xenophobic elements of the population.
Just something you don’t hear in the reverential, almost cult-like descriptions of JR in Missoula.
Posted by Charles Copeland on 02/21/2008 at 11:46 am
I’m still on the fence about the Concealed Carry on Campus idea, but I agree 100% that something has to be done about this as soon as possible.
I think Ms. Mulligan-Dague is probably living in a bubble--of course people are living in fear and paranoia! No, it’s not a ‘good energy’ to live under, but when you have crazy people coming in your lecture hall and shooting random people, that’s going to be the natural feeling. While they will help in the long run, I find it hard to believe that improvement on support systems and mental health care are going to help students feel better NOW about having to go to class every day and worry about having to deal with this.
Posted by Vanessa Evans on 02/21/2008 at 11:47 am
I myself have been invited to this Facebook group yet immediately rejected the invitation. I am completely appalled that such an issue is receiving the press it is. Not to mention the standpoint the DIRECTOR of public safety has taken on this issue. The statement, “…folks have to prepare to respond and help themselves” insinuates Lemcke wants students to take measures into their own hands. So let me ask you this then, What is the point of public safety? All is hear is people complaining about tuition costs, think how much money we all could be saving in tuition and if we eliminated the public safety department since apparently it is my job to be responsible for my livelihood. If you are telling me I need to “prepare to respond and help myself” why do I need you?! By saying this, and correct me if I am wrong, you are stating you and your police force are not adequately trained and/or capable of protecting the student body. If the statement was strictly in reference to the response time of law enforcement, maybe we need to hire some more public safety officials. It reportedly took officers at NIU 30 seconds to respond to the shooting. I am curious to know if a student was present in class with a hand gun how long it would take for the student to process what was going on, fumble through his/her bag for the pistol, then get with a decent range to fire off a shot without getting shot him/herself or harming others. I sincerely hope I am misunderstanding this or you misspoke and if not that President Dennison and the entire population of UM understand the magnitude of the comment. Allow me to answer your question in which you responded, “I don’t know” to; a “bunch of kids carrying guns to class” will NEVER be the answer. As an EMT, I work with police officers every day in my volunteer work back home and I have the up most respect for them and what they do. There have been cases where if it weren’t for the officer first on scene to initiate CPR or to control the bleeding of a leg severed by a lawn mower the patients would be dead. Lemcke’s stance on this issue destroys all the respect I have for law enforcement.
Maybe it is because of my east coast upbringing and the lack of a “positive” presence of weapons throughout my life. Everyday at home I can turn on the 5 o’clock news and hear at least one story referencing gun violence. Whether it is about a serial murderer on the loose in New York City or 3 youths being shot execution style in Newark. Despite this daily influence, I would never consider carrying a weapon as an option or solution. I cannot begin to imagine the hysteria this would cause. We do not need heroes in these situations. Please explain to me how 2 or 5 or 15 guns depending on how many students in a class have one are going to be better then 1?
It is common sense that if weapons are present there is a greater likelihood for them to be used. How can you guarantee me a classmate who has a “bad day” and is enraged yet has a weapon on him because he is allowed concealed carry will not just pull out said pistol and do a little target practice in Urey lecture hall? Some may contest this statement be a little exaggerated, if so, you must analyze Steve Dogiakos’s comment made in support of concealed carry, “I don’t know if someone is going to burst into Urey Lecture Hall… and start shooting…” Law enforcement complete years of training to be allowed to carry weapons. When a bullet is fired from the gun of a police officer there is an extensive investigation following the shooting to assure it was justified. Will this quality assurance be carried out for students who whip out pistols and open fire? Some how I don’t think so. Elementary gun training and clean criminal/mental health records are certainly not great enough criteria to allow concealed weapon carry.
Virginia Tech hit home last year. There were two students who had graduated from my high school who attended VT. One was the brother of a girl who I went to school with for 12 years. Their mother was my Girl Scout troop leader in elementary school. The other was the daughter of the French teacher at my high school who lived a block away from me. Both from my town of 3,000 people where everyone knows everyone, the town was on edge waiting to hear that these two locals were safe. Having been on campus during a shooting, I do not believe either of these two would ever think of carrying a weapon. A close family friend, who attends the University of Virginia, is the roommate of the best friend of Reema Samaha, a victim of Virginia Tech. I have cousins who live in Littleton, Colorado who were in high school at the time of the Columbine shooting and who lost friends yet would never consider carrying a weapon a solution.
Call me an uptight east coaster or make fun of my accent but I will be the last person to believe violence solves violence or that guns can solve school shootings. I would also would like to send my sympathy to those who had/have any ties to the NIU or VT shootings and understand regardless of my stance on concealed carry, what happened should have never happened and has ruined lives forever.
Posted by Carolyn Isabelle Bogdon on 02/21/2008 at 5:44 pm
Carolyn: You say that it is “common sense that if weapons are present there is a greater likelihood for them to be used”, but I would direct you to the state of Utah. Since the fall semester of 2006, state law in Utah has allowed licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of all public colleges. Also, concealed carry has been allowed for several years at both Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO) and Blue Ridge Community College (Weyers Cave, VA). This has yet to result in a single act of violence at any of these schools. Numerous studies*, including studies by University of Maryland senior research scientist John Lott, University of Georgia professor David Mustard, engineering statistician William Sturdevant, and various state agencies, show that concealed handgun license holders are five times less likely than non-license holders to be arrested for violent crimes. (http://www.concealedcampus.org/arguments.htm)
You also say that you have a “lack of a “positive” presence of weapons throughout your life”, and yet your expertise elicits that “elementary gun training and clean criminal/mental health records are certainly not great enough criteria allow concealed weapon carry”.
The fact is, in Montana it IS enough. And besides that, that’s not the point. Those people are already eligible for concealed carry. I want them to be able to do it on campus, too.
You claim that “everyday at home I can turn on the 5 o’clock news and hear at least one story referencing gun violence. Whether it is about a serial murderer on the loose in New York City or 3 youths being shot execution style in Newark. Despite this daily influence, I would never consider carrying a weapon as an option or solution.” And yet, the studies are quite contrary to what you say:
“Unfortunately, an almost perfect inverse correlation exists between those who are affected by gun laws, particularly bans, and those whom enforcement should affect. “ – Don Kates, Pacific Research Institute
“I would never consider carrying a weapon as an option or solution. I cannot begin to imagine the hysteria this would cause.” People are allowed to conceal carry all over Montana right now. Utah and Colorado universities allow concealed carry on their campuses. NIU doesn’t. Virginia Tech doesn’t. Where is the hysteria?
“Please explain to me how 2 or 5 or 15 guns depending on how many students in a class have one are going to be better then 1?”
One might have just as easily told Edward Jenner, the man who discovered in the late eighteenth century that the cowpox virus could be used to inoculate people against smallpox, ‘It is inconceivable that any logical person would believe that the answer to disease is more viruses.
Posted by Steve Dogiakos on 02/21/2008 at 7:07 pm
Thanks for your response, I really value it. Especially when you have sources to back you up. Although some are bias to your argument… :-)
Put aside your thoughts or your point of view, what are your thoughts about the comments made by public safety? I realize it may be hard to put aside the fact Lemcke is supporting you but how safe does that make you feel?! Since you cannot currently carry weapons on campus, how does his lack of accountability make you feel?
In reference to the other campus’s allowed to bare arms, none of these schools have had shootings to conduct the impact of said handguns so I really do not feel they add too much validity to the argument.
I realize guns may not have had the impact on my life they have yours but I did research Montana gun laws. One of, if not the most liberal states on gun laws. One of the MAJOR reasons Montana has consistently been in the top 5 states with the highest suicide rates. In my opinion, this “training” is FAR from enough. Fact is it is enough but I don’t feel it is. My dad, who lives in NJ, went to Alaska for a fishing trip but got a rifle permit because others on the trip were hunting. All he had to do was watch a video which was sent to him and was granted said permit. I am assuming that concealed carry permits are a little harder to get at least I hope but none the less not nearly the training law enforcement goes through.
In response to your last quote, if a patient has cancer, do we give them AIDS?
All in all, I would be much more uncomfortable knowing every other student has a handgun then the possibility one may have one.
Posted by Carolyn Isabelle Bogdon on 02/21/2008 at 8:37 pm
Carolyn, you have committed a fallacy of logic by attributing a cause and effect relationship when there is merely a correlation. You cannot demonstrate a link between Montana gun laws and suicide rates. Heck, Japan has MUCH higher suicide rates than the USA, but with draconian gun control. Those determined to commit suicide will do so with or without a gun. I gun is sure convenient for the purpose, but there are plenty of other effective methods, proven by my Japan contrast example.
Also, why can’t you accept the large amount of convincing data on legal concealed carry in this country?
Posted by Carl Ballinger on 02/21/2008 at 8:57 pm
Thank you, Carl. Well done.
The idea that people bent on killing themselves will not do so unless a gun is handy is as flawed as the idea that anyone contemplating a school shooting will consider the legality of the implement they use to carry out such an atrocity (school shootings have happened in many nations with strict gun laws- look up the shooting in Aberdeen, Scotland).
Blaming the protection of one’s natural right to self defense for suicide rates is a sad distraction from the real heart of the matter: a decrepit mental health care system.
Posted by Charles Copeland on 02/21/2008 at 9:09 pm
Charles, not to mention gun control advocates use gun suicides in their greater “gun violence” statistics, which is dishonest. I have yet to hear any of them make any coherent argument for why they think college campuses should be different than any other public place as it related to CCW.
Posted by Carl Ballinger on 02/21/2008 at 9:20 pm
Carolyn, I’m sorry, but if you believe that the police are obligated to protect you, you’re wrong. Various Supreme Court and District Court decisions have been issued which state that the police are not liable for damages if they don’t respond to a crime--in essence, they’re not required to protect you. Folks DO have to be prepared to protect themselves if need be, because you can’t fight crime passively otherwise. There’s an easy balance between doing EVERYTHING by yourself and SOLELY relying on the police, and the line between vigilantism and an appropriate response is a fat one and not easily crossed. Police do a great job most of the time. They do investigative work that I would never want to do, but when when seconds count, they are still minutes away.
NIU did report that police were on the scene within 30 seconds yet a half dozen people still managed to die. If a licensee took 31 seconds to respond, then we would still be no better off (but no worse off), but if (s)he responded in <29 seconds and even one life was saved, it would be that much better (think of the Colorado church shootings).
As a former EMT, I too understand the service and dedication that police officers go through, and I don’t think anyone was implying anything bad about them, but I have emails from various police officers that concede that they can’t be everywhere at all times to protect us. Let me reiterate: they are great at their jobs, but they have no obligation (except what’s written in their job description) to serve and protect and aren’t liable if anything happens to you because they were too slow responding.
Yes, gun violence is prevalent, and our media would have us thinking the streets are covered in blood, but next time you read or hear about a shooting, find out if the person had a CCW license. You don’t restrict the freedom of speech just because some people might yell “fire” in a crowded room, likewise you shouldn’t take away a personal choice for self-defense just because a few people use firearms illegally. It is because of those same news stories that I carry a firearm and I’m sure it is the reason that millions of others do too. I don’t judge you for your choice, in fact I applaud you exercising your freedom of choice, now why can’t you respect my choice, especially if I’ve never committed a crime with a firearm (nor one that would disqualify me from carrying one)?
Don’t think of it as 2 or 15 guns in one classroom with everyone playing hero. Think of it as 2 or 15 people choosing to protect themselves, because when class is over they go about their lives. Maybe someone will try to mug one of them, maybe someone will try to rape one of them. Why should you push your values of self-defense on others? If they choose to shoot a rapist in the chest instead of being a victim and calling 911 when it’s all over with, more power to her! Right?
Common sense that an increase in weapons leads to an increase in violence? According to whom? In October of ‘07 I went to a gun rights convention. At one point, one of the speakers asked who had a gun on them. Honestly, more than 75% of the room raised their hands. Not a single crime was committed that day; no one got drunk and shot everyone; no verbal quarrels turned into bloodshed. It is the increase of CRIMINALS with guns that would potentially lead to gun violence.
How can I guarantee you that the student having a bad day won’t misbehave? That has nothing to do with legal CCW on campus. A license to carry is NOT a license to own (if you even need the latter), in fact I owned a gun for months without having a CCW license. So clearly that part has no bearing on the CCW debate because you’re talking about general gun ownership.
LEOs may complete extensive training, training beyond what a licensee will ever need (seriously, why should I learn how to clear a building?) but once it’s all said and done with, they’re only required to recertify with a firearm ever six months in Ohio. Some may train more, but some don’t. After millions of CCW licenses have been issued with relatively few revocations, how can you say that a simple background/mental health check isn’t sufficient?
The last thing that we want is vigilantism or increased violence. Carrying a concealed firearm is a personal choice of self-defense, and personally, being a weak, overweight, slow fellow, I like knowing that I may not have to sprint if need be (though if I can run away and live, that’s ok!) or get close with a knife, or pray that my assailant’s not high on meth so that peppers spray won’t affect them.
Posted by Stephen J. Feltoon on 02/21/2008 at 9:32 pm
So how about prevention?!? Why can’t we/you spend all this time and energy on PREVENTING said situations rather then reacting. Would it not solve everything to just eliminate school shootings all together? I think so. Then no one has to be carrying these weapons. Do not for a SECOND tell me these are not preventable. One way, stricter guns laws (I know NONE of you want to here this but if there were no guns available there would be nothing to shoot with!) and secondly and most importantly how about we look at the profile of these killers.... Are there any who HAVE NOT shown a history of being repeatedly “bullied” and singled out?! How about we have some respect for one another and not commit such acts of hate. I beg you to argue that.
The variables in a situation of a rape are COMPLETELY different. I understand the correlation you are trying to make BUT you simply can’t equate the two. I am a women. I am also a sexual assault advocate on campus. Majority of rape victims had they had a gun in there pockets would not use it. I can say this because I have spoken with MANY survivors. Women tend to naturally be more passive anyways so couple that with the fear of a 250 pound man beating the living shit out of you, “I have a gun in my purse” (which is most likely out of reach at this point) is not the first thought. ANY women can tell an attacker, “I have HIV.” or “I have herpes.” as survival mechanisms. Those who do, almost always scare the attackers off yet the percentage of women who actually use this technique is miniscule. I know this is COMPLETELY off topic but the last thing I will say on this is that the VAST majority of rapes (over 75%) are someone the victim knows. 38% are friends, 28% are intimate partners. You will have me hard pressed to believe that you would shoot a spouse or friend....
Common sense that an increase in weapons leads to an increase in violence… How is this NOT common sense?!!? As aforementioned, if there are no weapons there can be no shootings, right? common sense to me!
And Carl you ABSOLUTELY can draw the connection between easy accesses and higher suicide rates… Studies have CLEARLY proven those who are suicidal will plan to commit suicide using a specific plan wether it be overdosing, by hanging, via a gun. If this specific mean becomes inaccessible, the research shows, they WILL NOT resort to another mean. And where you ask is this information coming from? Ironically enough, the text book for the UM class HHP 184 and is further substantiated by the Association for the Prevention of Suicide.
Also a side bar- please don’t ask me to respect or listen to your belief is you are getting you information for COMPLETELY bias sources, obviously stats are going to be completely misconstrued.
And dont ask me to not think of it as 15 guns.... It impossible not too! Think of the mess you would have if 15 kids in my class of 300 in Urey lecture hall all stood up to shoot an attacker… You cannot convince me that every single one will fire off but one shot and nail the shooter....
My main point to all this is PREVENTION. What are we as a society doing to prevent a problem.... Why not just not smoke in the first place instead of smoking then having to find a cure for lung cancer. Why not just not go tanning instead of having to treat skin cancer? Why not just have protected sex then have to find a cure for HIV?
Posted by Carolyn Isabelle Bogdon on 02/21/2008 at 10:52 pm
So, now that all your other arguments are addressed, it makes perfect sense to change the course of the discussion completely.
And as a sidebar - you don’t have to respect or listen to my/our FACTS that are from “biased” sources. It is completely understandable to not want to hear the facts in an argument.
Your main point of prevention is a great idea. When you solve outright world peace, a cure for cancer and a cure for AIDS/HIV; please, by all means, give me a call.
Posted by Steve Dogiakos on 02/21/2008 at 11:04 pm
Carolyn, unless you’ve devised a way to eliminate all guns and the means with which to make one, you’re just wasting your breath. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns.
More guns DOES NOT equal more gun violence!!!! How does THAT not get through to you? Violence comes out of violent tendencies! As for rape (I know that most are acquaintance rape...even though I’m a male, I’m not immune from rape, and I will shoot--and kill, if necessary--anyone who tries to rape me or someone else, I don’t care if they’re my brother!), the MAJORITY of women wouldn’t shoot. The MAJORITY of women don’t have their CCW license. How are you not comprehending that CCW is a personal choice and not for everyone? Continuing with this example, if a woman has her CCW license and is carrying, then she’s most likely in the proper mindset that she’ll shoot to save a life. If ONE crime can be prevented by allowing me to defend MYSELF (or even you!) isn’t it worth it?
You talk about suicide again but you clearly didn’t read my previous post on it. YOU DON’T NEED A CCW LICENSE TO OWN A GUN. So if someone’s determined to do it through a firearm, they don’t need to have a CCW license in order to follow through with it so that’s a moot point!
It’s clear that you’re not even receptive to what supporters of this are saying, so I wish you the best of luck in trying to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Posted by Stephen J. Feltoon on 02/21/2008 at 11:09 pm
"Common sense that an increase in weapons leads to an increase in violence… How is this NOT common sense?!? As aforementioned, if there are no weapons there can be no shootings, right? common sense to me!”
As mentioned by someone else earlier, you’re bringing into the mix arguments against weapons all together which is an entirely different topic altogether from Concealed Carry on Campus.
Also, according to a study of violence rates in a conceal carry state (Utah) from 1992 - 1997 by the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, murder rates decreased overall after 1995 (when Utah laws made it easier to obtain a concealed carry permit), assault rates decreased at an accelerated rate, and the unintentional firearm injury rates decreased despite a 17-fold increase in permit holders, which indicates that responsible individuals carry guns.
Posted by Steve Dogiakos on 02/21/2008 at 11:12 pm
Please do not tell me that I am not receptive to supporters nor am I in any way trying restrict your rights. I am entitled to my opinion which disagrees with yours. That does not in any way make me “not receptive”. If I were to be not be receptive, I would not be debating this issue. I would walking around with my head held high believing that I was right and f everyone else. I totally value your opinion and your feedback, hence my continued participation. Also, I was not at all trying to go off on a tangent, only responding to PREVIOUS posts that brought these up.
Sources such as CCW.com or a gun rally naturally are going to be biased. Likewise should I go to a anti-gun web site and provide info from there, I would not expect you to accept it. That would never fly in a classroom. The statistic you last provided to me is a perfect example of unbiased research. I have no choice but to take that as fact.
It is awfully pessimistic of you and rather impulsive to just jump to a solution without exhausting all means of prevention. Again, are you saying we should just bomb a country when they piss us off rather discuss a solution? Should we just drink the days away knowing there will be a cure for us when we develop liver cancer?
At this point I am playing devils advocate. I understand your points. I really do and I have a much better understanding and respect you for it. You have yet to completely convince me but I am much more a believer at this point.
Posted by Carolyn Isabelle Bogdon on 02/21/2008 at 11:33 pm
On one side of a sidewalk, my county and state governments trust me with 31 rounds of ammunition (or more, if I wanted). Walking across the street to campus, I approach the area where I could become a felony. Nothing about me changed, just my location. The same people that AREN’T getting drunk and killing everyone in movie theaters, restaurants, malls, and banks are going to continue to NOT get drunk and kill everyone on campus. And why would they?
When I cite facts, I cite facts from as independent or true a source (like real life) as I can and try avoiding citing biased sources.
Should murder, rape, armed robbery, assault, etc. be stopped? Absolutely. Having a degree in psychology, I’m a firm believer of helping people out, but that way’s never going to perfect and I’m going to leave that to people with higher degrees than I have. You can’t cure everyone, and while that’s not a reason to give up completely (I haven’t) it’s still a reason to be cautious.
Do you wear a seatbelt? If so, is it because you’re a bad driver? Is it because you’re pretty sure you’re going to get into an accident? Is it because there are other bad drivers on the roads? I don’t know about you, but I wear a seatbelt because G-d forbid I get into a crash, I want to be protected. A firearm protects me from individuals hell-bent on causing me injury or death. Why should schools be arbitrarily placed on a list of “gun-free” zones, as if using such a label makes it so?
Toting the means with which to defend yourself isn’t a sign of surrender, it’s a sign that you realize that the world is full of bad people and that, while I may do everything I can to make it a better place, I can’t cure everyone or make violence go away, not alone. I’d rather carry my gun every day and not need it, not once, than to be without one day and have that day be when I need it most. It’s a personal choice of mine and as long as I use firearms safely, legally, and responsibly, why should you possible care where I take it with me?
Posted by Stephen J. Feltoon on 02/21/2008 at 11:44 pm
I would assume that people illegally carry concealed weapons to class already. I would rather the people that actually follow the law to have this opportunity, as one might conjecture that they would have better judgment in a situation that might require a weapon. I would be in support of a change in the law that allows concealed weapons so long as they are in some sort of required holding device, like a holster, and not just shoved in an interior jacket pocket or backpack or where-ever else they might be. Also, the weapons should be required to remain concealed at all times in their appropriate receptacle. As much as I might feel protected by knowing people have guns, I would feel very antagonized if someone were to get anywhere near to pointing one at me.
Posted by Sean Schilke on 02/21/2008 at 11:44 pm
I will address some of your response point by point.
<<So how about prevention?!? Why can’t we/you spend all this time and energy on PREVENTING said situations rather then reacting. Would it not solve everything to just eliminate school shootings all together? I think so. Then no one has to be carrying these weapons. Do not for a SECOND tell me these are not preventable. One way, stricter guns laws (I know NONE of you want to here this but if there were no guns available there would be nothing to shoot with!) and secondly and most importantly how about we look at the profile of these killers.... Are there any who HAVE NOT shown a history of being repeatedly “bullied” and singled out?! How about we have some respect for one another and not commit such acts of hate. I beg you to argue that.>>
I certainly agree we should do everything we can as a society to prevent such events as the shootings at NIU and VA Tech, but you are living in a fantasy world if you think we can eliminate them. It is a fact that college campuses have statistically much lower violent crime rates than the nation at large. However, there will still be school shootings like this. No touchy-feely intervention is going to eliminate it; the human brain is just too complex to predict or prevent all of them. Stephen already said it well; no amount of gun legislation is going to prevent criminals from having guns. Gun bans in the UK and Australia have proven this. All of the data and statistics are on our side, but as you said you have “common sense.”
<<Common sense that an increase in weapons leads to an increase in violence… How is this NOT common sense?!!?>>
“Common sense” is nothing but your intuition, but history and emperical research says the opposite is true every single time.
<<And Carl you ABSOLUTELY can draw the connection between easy accesses and higher suicide rates… Studies have CLEARLY proven those who are suicidal will plan to commit suicide using a specific plan wether it be overdosing, by hanging, via a gun. If this specific mean becomes inaccessible, the research shows, they WILL NOT resort to another mean.>>
Though not germane to a CCW discussion, statistics on suicide do not support your contention. You certainly have not demonstated a cause and effect link between Montana gun laws and Montana suicide rates. Can you even show that a higher percentage of Montana suicides are by gun than the average?
<<My main point to all this is PREVENTION. What are we as a society doing to prevent a problem....>>>
Actually, there is strong evidence that CCW does exactly that.. prevent violent crime. Violent crime decreases in EVERY state after they passed CCW laws. I agree we should do whatever we can to prevent violent crimes, but that is not mutually exclusive with allowing Americans the basic human right of self defense when our societal attempt to prevent violent crime fail.
Posted by Carl Ballinger on 02/22/2008 at 6:35 am
I’m completely offended by the characterization of CCW holders as wild-eyed loonies that’s being offered up by opponents of this idea, and the Kaimin.
I would like for these people to find for me ONE incident in which a CCW holder carried out a killing spree.
This idea of gun-owners being wild eyed lunatics is perpetuated by media stereotype, and it’s amazing how people who are rightfully offended by stereotypes of blacks, gays and other minority groups in media are so quick to embrace similiar characterizations about what is overall an extremely ethical and responsible group of people.
The vast majority of CCW holders are people who were raised around guns, and taught a fearful respect for the fatal consequences of treating them like toys. Despite the crass characterization of the Kaimin, it is gun rights opponents, not advocates, who take their firearms education from corny flicks like “Rambo.”
I can’t think of one shooting spree taking place at a gun show. I can’t count high enough to recall exactly how many of these incidents have occurred in “gun free zones.”
Posted by Charles Copeland on 02/22/2008 at 12:51 pm
The Montana Shooting Sports Association has provided an analysis of the Montana university system and firearms issues at:
This may help focus this ongoing discussion.
Posted by Gary Marbut on 02/22/2008 at 2:26 pm
to all those who have left coments and those who just read them i am a vetren from dessert sheild in the 90s if you dont think that honest law abiding citizens should have the right to carry a gun openly or conceled just imagian this for the females out there you are walking down a dark street for one reason or anouther and a man aproches you and semands that you give him your money but then also demands that yu take off yur clothes and he is armed with a wepon of some sort would yu just let him rape you if there was a way to stop him eather by your self or by some one that may be caring a gun and if you cant imagian that them imagian its yor mother or your sister in the same situation and for you men imagin its your wife girlfriend sister cousin what would you me i would rather know that there was some one out there that could have stoped it
I FOUGHT FOR THIS COUNTRY AND FOR THE CONSTATUTION FOR ALL YOU PASNY ASSES THAT HAVE THE RIGHTS THAT YOU FEEL FREE TO SHIT ON SO YA I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THIS COUNTRY GO TO SOME SORT OF CARRY LAW AND SEE IT LIKE THE CONSTITUTION WAS MENT FOR IT TO BE
Posted by mike ladner on 03/03/2008 at 3:37 pm
Thanks for that well-reasoned argument, Mike Ladner. Fascinating that one can write so much without so much as one period to interrupt that beautiful trainwreck of thought.
But Ladner does bring up one fascinating prospect, that of a man “semanding” your money. I don’t know how one “semands” but it certainly sounds like a critical plot point of a CSI episode. “There’s semand all over this carpet!”
Posted by Fred Stapleton on 03/03/2008 at 10:01 pm
it was suposed to be demands most pople that read or would read it would understand that smart ass
Posted by mike ladner on 03/04/2008 at 2:51 am