This Hartford Courant poll on the issue this week regarding students on two state campuses requesting the right to carry concealed weapons on campus show some surprising results (NOTE: I’ve been updating the chart below):
Guns on Campus?
Yes (5667 responses)
No (534 responses)
While my initial response to the question was pretty much that I didn’t trust kids with guns running around, I have to come back to the facts: that state law still requires one to be twenty-one years of age to carry, and it’s much, much harder to get a gun permit than it is to get a gun; that the ones who are intent on killing will always be able to sneak a gun in (and they haven’t been using small, concealable weapons!); that in many cases such as the fast-food restaurant massacre there was a woman who had left her gun in the car, whose father was killed along with many others, and who regrets deeply that she didn’t have that chance to prevent some of those murders. Thirty-two dead and twenty-five wounded by a single gunman at VA Tech–don’t you think a couple people firing back might have saved some lives? Or do you want him to stand there shooting people until he runs out of bullets?
While the shooting events on campus are relatively small compared to overall crime, the devastation in each event is total by the nature of the number of students and faculty that become sitting ducks for the shooter. Campuses safe? Well maybe, but why then are there so many ‘lockdowns’ of schools in the news lately as one of the first immediate steps taken following any form of shooting within running distance of a school?
I know this: I want to be able to carry a weapon legally to protect myself and others if necessary against the few nut-jobs out there that are depending on taking advantage of an opportunity and knowing full well that no one can stop them. I’ll bet the students at Columbine, VA Tech, and any of the few (but more than plenty to the victims’ friends and parents) schools that have seen the slaughter firsthand, wish that someone in the second row had had a weapon, aka, a chance to protect them.