easy answer to the question of guns on campus
By Justin Siebenhaar
October 4, 2006 | A big stir erupted a couple weeks
ago among constitutionalists and pro- and anti-gun lobbyists.
The events that transpired at a Montreal university
when an armed gunman opened fire and shot numerous students
on campus have folks ready to throw the baby out with
the bath water.
One group that thankfully did not take this small
occurrence overboard was the Utah 3rd District Court.
For the past few years there has been an ongoing debate
about the liberty that law abiding citizens, who hold
concealed weapons permits, have to carry weapons on
campus at a state university. Many feel the events in
Montreal are sufficient to completely prohibit any weapons
from being on campus. Actually, due to the tone of these
folks, it appears they would prefer to see all weapons
The big issue here is over freedoms: the freedom to
possess and carry a weapon for protection. There are
certain countries that feel this is a freedom no citizen
should have; that it's bound to cause more problems
than it solves. Most would agree that those who pose
a danger to society should not be allowed to have access
to such weapons. And this is a principal our law currently
supports. However, to say that because some criminals
have taken lives with a weapon we should ban all ownership
of weapons is asinine.
There are a few problems with the ideals being espoused
by the anti-gun folks. What they either don't realize
or will not acknowledge is that the only people this
type of thinking hurts are those that abide the law.
Those that would use these weapons to cause harm to
others don't care if they can obtain the legally or
illegally. They are going to get their hands on them
either way. In fact, that is how most have obtained
them, illegally. The old logic goes that you can't argue
with a suicide bomber. One who's willing to give his
or her life for his cause is probably not going to be
very willing to compromise those believes. They're pretty
But those that posses weapons, and do so lawfully,
are less likely to hurt the public. The best way to
combat insane criminals with weapons is not to have
fewer weapons in the hands on sane people. We cannot
stop them from trying to hurt others, but we can stop
them from succeeding.
A smaller issue that affects us here in Logan -- and
particularly at Utah State -- is whether guns should
be allowed on campus. First, let's be clear what we
are and are not talking about here. We are not talking
about recently released ex-convicts walking around campus
with sawed-off shotguns and fully automatic M-16s. We
are talking about adults who have been certified and
licensed by the government to carry concealed weapons.
These aren't people who are going to pull out their
"piece'" and start blasting up class because they get
a bad score on a test or someone bumps shoulders with
them in the hall.
The point is that responsible gun carriers are not
the threat. They are more likely to be the solution
if these horrible events ever transpire at a university
near you. In fact, they are likely to be the only thing
that will save you when a deranged lunatic decides to
start shooting up Old Main, and you're caught in the
In the end there is a renewed need to have further
faith in the system which we espouse to believe in.
This country and its founding principles say that gun
possession is a right held by the average citizen who
upholds the law. A person is not less dangerous -- de
facto -- because he is not allowed to carry a gun on
university campuses. Nor is he more dangerous because
he is allowed to carry that weapon. Punishing the whole
because of the rash actions by some is overblown and
drastic. And in the end will never solve the problems
it's trying to solve.