THE ISSUE: Recently, the University of Texas was forced by the Texas legislature to allow concealed carry of firearms on campus. Here, two of The Daily Tar Heel’s Editorial Board members debate the efficacy of allowing concealed carry on college campuses.
See the other viewpoint here.
I could argue that more guns carried, particularly on campus, equals more crime and death, but the evidence does not support that argument in a satisfactory way.
First, Texas is not the first state to experiment with allowing the concealed carrying of weapons on campus. Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin all have similar provisions on their books. The empirical data on gun control laws, particularly concealed carry “shall issue” laws, and their effect on crime rates is murky at best. The law as it stands in Texas will legally allow very few students to carry guns legally anyway due to the minimum age, required education and costs associated with these and the firearm itself. However, certainly faculty, staff and alumni are not so restricted by cost or age. In fact, based on the law as written, theoretically University of Texas could see more guns carried by faculty, administration, staff and alumni on any game day than those carried by students.
But the effect on crime may be beside the point. The reasoning behind this law’s passage is arguably not anything to do with crime. Depressingly, it most likely has more to do with the cynical political jockeying around guns and our rights to them that continues to fester in American culture. This positioning around guns for political points, now on Texan campuses in addition to those of other states, grinds on in its tedious and utterly predictable way.