The Purdue Student Senate is set to vote on whether they will allow law abiding citizens and students to carry concealed firearms on campus. Given the tragedies in the past year, it only makes sense that such a topic would be brought up. However, gun right activists have been saying allowing licensed individuals to legally carry firearms in one more place than they do already will not cause problems.
Those against such a change worry students will be less safe because they will be around firearms. Some are concerned if you upset one of these law abiding individuals, they will pull a gun or use it for intimidation purposes. Another outcry is by allowing this to pass, you are enabling mentally ill persons to carry firearms on campus, and they will use it for a horrific purpose. The last two are points are almost as bad as the argument against same sex marriage that humans will want to marry animals next. They are all unfounded. Those who wish to cause harm do not and will not care whether a concealed firearm is allowed on campus or not.
Let us take a moment to think about this, shall we? The individuals that would be allowed to carry concealed firearms on campus would only be able to do so if they have a state issued conceal and carry permit. If they do not have a permit, they are already breaking the law. What steps do you have to go through in order to obtain such a permit? It varies state by state, but in Indiana, you must fill out an online application giving information about yourself, schedule an appointment with a licensed agency to get your fingerprints taken, pay a fee based on what type of permit you want, and wait 4-8 weeks. During this time a criminal background check is done. If you pass, you are issued a card in the mail which enables you to legally carry a concealed handgun everywhere except for federal buildings, schools, school buses state buildings, riverboat casinos, and private businesses which do not allow them.
Since most universities are “gun free zones” dangerous individuals already know they have nothing to fear in someone shooting back. Such is the case with every recent tragedy. The movie theater in Colorado did not allow firearms on its premises, Sandy Hook had a sign on the door, the story of Virginia Tech could be different had the students been allowed to be armed. The state of Utah allows its law abiding citizens to carry concealed on college campuses, and has a horrendous shooting incident ever occurred there? The answer is no. The reason this is the case is because nobody knows who is carrying and who is not. Individuals who desire to cause harm to others will be less inclined to attack a place where others will be able to stop them. Multiple studies have been done, and they have found criminals and convicted felons are more afraid of encountering an armed victim than law enforcement. In fact, guns are used 3 to 4 times more often in self defense than the actual commission of a crime.
The Purdue Police Department does a sound job of working to keep students safe, but they cannot be everywhere. Crime deterrence works best when good people help to ensure the laws are followed. Allowing properly licensed individuals to carry concealed on campus will only reinforce the notion of a safer campus.