Sunday, March 13, 2005

Packing a sack lunch. And heat!
from the mind of  Zeke_Wilkins.

In the latest edition of The Mast, the student paper of Pacific Lutheran University (my alma mater) had an article on the campus weapons policy. Below is the response I submitted for publication:

I recognize that PLU as a private institution has the legal right to ban firearms from campus; and when I'm on campus I comply with the conduct code. But it is important to ask: does this rule accomplish anything? The answer is "no": the university's stance on the concealed carrying of handguns not only fails to accomplish what it sets out to do, it actually causes harm.

First, the weapon policy fails to secure the campus. PLU had a no weapons policy long before the tragic shooting of Professor Halloway. This event, and other weapons violations, illustrate that rules will never protect the PLU campus from violence and weapons. Short of surrounding the campus with razor wire and having everyone entering campus pass through metal detectors, there is little that PLU can do to guarantee the safety of students, faculty and staff. Just as the "dry campus" policy fails to keep alcohol off campus, the anti-firearm policy is impotent to stop anyone from bringing firearms onto campus.

Second, the weapon policy unnecessarily infringes on the right to self defense. PLU prides itself in maintaining an environment welcoming of diversity, free speech and expression, and thoughtful inquiry. Yet when it comes to the issue of self-defense, the university seems closed minded: they require mandatory disarmament while unable to secure the campus from violence. It is immoral to force individuals to remain unable to protect themselves. Since it has been shown that there is a substantial benefit for women who carry handguns concealed, the reluctance of allowing eligible women from carrying seems especially unjust.

Third, the weapon policy actually fosters a criminally friendly environment. By declaring the campus a weapon-free zone, PLU announces to armed criminals that at least initially they will meet little or no resistance. Further, the policy creates a false sense of security and sets a dangerous precedence: that one can depend on others for their safety. Neither the police nor campus security can be personal bodyguards, and it is irrational and irresponsible to believe so.

Given that the current policy is useless; I encourage President Anderson and the Board of Trustees to reconsider allowing eligible faculty, staff, and students to carry handguns concealed. Holders of concealed handgun licenses are, as a group, some of the most responsible citizens around. Licensees take great care to always abide by the law, undergo thorough background checks, and are as competent as law enforcement officers; sometimes more so. In recent years both the Center for Disease Control and the National Academy of Sciences have announced that they have found a lack of evidence that anti-firearm policies save lives. Rather, it has been shown that areas that allow for the lawful carry of defensive weapons see a reduction in violent crime. It is with all of the above in mind that I call for an honest reassessment of PLU's weapon policy.


Blogger Dick Mansuetto said...

If one follows the logic, it makes more sense to have non-concealed weapons promoted. We all know that a defensive presence is very detrimental to law breaking. The parked police car on the highway retards speeding. Brandishing a side-arm would do the same. A potential criminal would think more than twice if he/she came upon an opportunity to do violence and, sprinkled among the crowd were gun toting students with obvious handguns strapped to their hip or under their arm.

5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concealed weapons a good idea for PLU or any campus? You're an idiot. How about learning how to solve problems without violence? I mean, it is an institute of higher learning, right?

Soon we're going to look like the idiots in the middle east toting guns where ever they go, firing into the air when we're happy, sad or indifferent.

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concealed weapons a good idea for PLU or any campus? You're an idiot. How about learning how to solve problems without violence? I mean, it is an institute of higher learning, right?

Soon we're going to look like the idiots in the middle east toting guns where ever they go, firing into the air when we're happy, sad or indifferent. Is that what you want? Why?

5:46 AM  
Blogger Zeke_Wilkins said...

In response to the comments from Dick Mansuetto:

Yes, Mr. Mansuetto, open carry of firearms does have a positive effect in lowering crime rates. However, given the current climate of irrational fear surrounding firearms it can be argued that it would be a hindrance to a learning atmosphere to have faculty and staff with firearms on their hips.

In the case of concealed carry, no one would know who was carrying and therefore the benefits would be enjoyed by even those who aren't carrying: the criminals wouldn't know who is an easy target and who isn't. Plus you are not causing a distraction in class. Some people might object by saying that they would be upset knowing that there is even the possibility that a classmate might be armed, but those folks are naive to believe that there classmates are currently disarmed.

In response to Anonymous:

Way to argue! You begin with a childish insult, move on to advocate an untenable position (that violence is never necessary to solve a problem), then you make a sarcastic (yet unwitty) remark, and end with a straw-man attack based on a false characterization. You manage to do all that without once actually engaging the thesis of my argument. For that you should be proud! I'm sure you'll tell some of your fellow Kerry-supporting friends you told me off and they'll give you some pats on the back.

First, for the record, I'm not an idiot. I have an advanced degree in Physics and my IQ is in the 98th percentile. I'm willing to wager I'm more intelligent than you.

Second, violence does solve problems: Communism, National Socialism, Fascism, and Slavery to name some off the top of my head.

Third, people licensed to carry concealed don't brandish our pistols or fire into the air or have a cop mentality or any other of that garbage that mindless liberals like to repeat. Honestly, you look tremendously stupid when you suggest that there will be mindless shootings if licensees are allowed to carry concealed. To be licensed in Washington State you undergo criminal and psychological background checks. Licensees are just as responsible as law enforcement officers, and most are more proficient with their firearms than the police are. My question is, how is it that you have so much faith in the police to protect you?

Fourth, I'd like for you to actually comment on the content of my post. I don't think you can, since you seem to be a weak-minded, anemic, sissy liberal; but hey, I invite you to intelligently articulate a rebuttle to my thesis.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

To the annonymous author of the above 'double post' (He must have filed down the firing pin on his mouse... now it's a double-posting death machine! Ban all assault mouses now!) he makes one assumption that is just not accurate. He assumes that the only force that can be exerted by a firearm is through the aim of the barrel and the pull of the trigger. This is absolutely naive. The threat of being fired upon is a force just as powerful to stabilize an out of control situation that can oftentimes end an altercation without any contact between the agressor and the would be victim. It is not the victim's responsibility to find the 'low violence' resolution to a crime that is being committed upon the victim, it is the victim's right to use reasonable force to protect his or her own safety and property. It seems as though showing a firearm is a fairly low violence method of doing so... much lower violence than a firm whack with a canoe paddle.

How is it again that carrying a firearm is violent? If anyone can explain to me logically how carrying a firearm is violent, I'll stand corrected. I carry a knife in my pocket at most times... a utility knife, but a potential weapon none-the-less. Am I being violent by carrying a utility knife?

8:32 PM  
Blogger cowgirlup said...

...not to mention, many of us drive potentially dangerous automobiles around in public every single day. Who says I might not decide to one day gun it while Granny's in the crosswalk in front of me? Why should I obey the laws I agreed to abide by when I received my driver's license?

10:16 PM  
Blogger George said...

Take a minute right now, and imagine all the cool things you will do with free up valuable time - how your life will be so much more better - and how your famly will change for the better.
free up valuable time

6:34 PM  

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