As conservatives, most of us support the 2nd Amendment and the right to self-defense. As such, many of us promote campus carry for licensed students for the protection of ourselves and others. There are many anti-gun activists out there who make claims that have no basis in truth when it comes to campus carry. These are some common arguments from the left and why they’re nonsense.

1) “Campus Carry would cause an increase in violence on campus.”

There is a common misconception that allowing students to carry in campus buildings would increase the amount of violent events on that campus.

A 2001 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics detailing where inmates obtained firearms to commit crimes showed 39.6 percent of guns were obtained from family members. 39.2 percent obtained their gun illegally from a street level or black market source. Gun control legislation can’t fix this. 

Economist John Lott, who is noted for his publications on firearm statistics, published a report about this on July 27, 2016. This report showed that the number of concealed carry permit holders increased 190 percent, while violent crime reduced by 18 percent, and murders decreased by 16 percent from 2007 to 2015. While the increase in concealed carry permits may not be the causation of the decrease in murder and violent crime, the data does suggest that there may be a correlation.

2) “Violence isn’t the answer!”

Most concealed carry permit-holders are not interested in violence. That’s why they carry in the first place. Their gun is for their own protection. 

Yes, prevention is a fine tactic. Teaching people that gun violence is bad is a good start. However, it should be pretty clear that shooting people is morally repugnant. If someone is murdering people point-blank with a firearm, they’re already ignoring the law and general humanity. We live in an imperfect world filled with imperfect people. You can’t stop evil from existing, but you should be able to protect yourself from it.

3) “A gun might go off by accident.”

People who get concealed carry licenses should be comfortable with firearms. It is not the right choice for everyone. They should also understand firearm safety, care, and etiquette when carrying in public locations. 

Despite this, guns sometimes discharge on accident. If someone carrying their gun is being responsible, then this typically shouldn’t be a life-threatening issue. Think about it. If that gun is in its holster, then it is pointed at the ground. If it is in an improper place, then the chance of it discharging increases. There are, of course, examples of people carrying their gun in an irresponsible way and a discharge happens. For instance, in 2014, a professor at Idaho State University was carrying in his pocket, unholstered. The gun fired, and shot him in the foot.

Of every single firearm death in the United States, less than one percent were accidental according to the 2017 edition of Injury Facts from the National Safety Council

4) “I stand with the rights of people who choose not to carry a gun.”

Presumably, the person making this argument is talking about the right everyone has to life. People with concealed carry permits are not infringing on the right to life that non-carry students have. Murderers are the ones who don’t care about another’s right to life. Responsible gun owners who choose to defend themselves with concealed carry are attempting to maintain their own life if the unthinkable should ever occur.

A gun is not choosing to kill people. A person abusing a gun is the one making that decision. If they are that intent on murdering other humans, banning firearms won’t stop those murders from happening. Allowing students to carry may save a life or two.

5) “Mace, taser, or self-defense training are just as effective.”

For some people, these might be great options in certain circumstances. In fact, you should only consider concealed carry if you are comfortable with guns and have, or are willing to, put in the time to learn how to be a responsible gun owner. 

Mace or other defense sprays are only effective at a certain range. That range shifts depending on the brand or formula of the item you purchase. In addition, sometimes they can have negative effects on the person spraying it, or even take up to 15 seconds to work. 

Tasers work unless the person trying to attack you is more than x amount feet away from you or even wearing thick clothing.

Unfortunately, mace and tasers are often banned on most of the college campuses that ban guns. 

6) “Class discussions sometimes get heated. I don’t want someone to shoot me if they disagree”

Eight states require public universities to allow concealed carry in their campus buildings. These states are Texas, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. An additional 19 permit their public universities to choose to allow concealed carry on their campuses. Four more require public universities to allow concealed carry, but restrict where students can carry.

Not a single one has had a student shoot another over a heated discussion or an ideological disagreement. Just to expand on this, both Virginia and Texas allow concealed carry in their legislative chambers. I’m guessing their discussions get more heated than your Poli-Sci 101 lecture. Yet, once again, not a single shot has been fired over a disagreement in either chamber.

Abby S