• August 27, 2014

Campus Gun Bans Are Still on Solid Ground, Legal Experts Say

The U.S. Supreme Court decision on Monday that struck down handgun restrictions imposed by the City of Chicago was seen as a major victory for gun-rights advocates. Higher-education leaders, however, are optimistic that the ruling will not undermine campus bans on firearms.

The immediate effect of the Supreme Court's opinion is that campus gun restrictions are now open to challenge in federal courts, said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the University of California at Irvine.

But the Supreme Court made clear that an individual's right to bear arms does not undermine state and local government bans in public spaces, such as schools and colleges, said Mr. Chemerinsky, who spoke on a panel at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Attorneys that discussed Supreme Court actions affecting higher education.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., quoted the court's 2008 ruling that undid the District of Columbia's handgun ban: "We made it clear in Heller that our holding did not cast doubt on such longstanding regulatory measures as 'prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill,' 'laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.'"

"We repeat those assurances here," Justice Alito wrote in the opinion released on Monday in the case McDonald v. City of Chicago.

Another speaker on the panel here, William E. Thro, university counsel at Christopher Newport University, said future legal challenges to campus gun bans could make distinctions between institutions that are self-contained and those that are in the midst of suburban or urban settings where public and private spaces are less distinct.

Derek P. Langhauser, general counsel for the Maine Community College System, agreed that most campus bans would survive court challenges because the ruling is meant primarily to safeguard the rights of individuals to protect themselves in their homes.

However, if campuses run into problems defending firearms restrictions, it will be because they cannot point to specific authority from their state government that gives the institution or its governing board the ability to make those restrictions, he said.

One example of that kind of case is playing out in Colorado, where the state's Court of Appeals ruled in April that a lawsuit against gun restrictions on campuses could go forward. A lower court had dismissed the suit in deference to the University of Colorado regents' policy-making authority, but a unanimous three-judge panel of the state appellate court reinstated it, saying the campus ban appeared to violate state weapons law. "Had the legislature intended to exempt universities, it knew how to do so," the panel's opinion states.

The Board of Regents recently voted to appeal that decision to the state's Supreme Court.

Comments

1. vschwar1 - June 30, 2010 at 08:43 am

readers may be interested in our recent discussion of the advisibility of prohibiting guns on college campuses from a health and safety perspective. This is available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-schwartz/keep-guns-off-college-cam_b_573634.html

2. tbdiscovery - June 30, 2010 at 08:56 am

I'm pretty sure that those who already oppose guns on campus (and probably everywhere else) read the Huff Post frequently.

I think a solution would be to start allowing faculty and staff - who are legal permit holders - to carry concealed, and then take it from there.

3. physicsprof - June 30, 2010 at 09:08 am

What those who advocate prohibiting guns on campuses "from health and safety perspective" avoid to discuss is hard evidence.

- All public universities and colleges in Utah allow concealed carry for legal permit holders (since the beginning of 2006). There has ben zero gun accidents as a result.
- Colorado State U allows guns and enjoyed the decrease in campus crime over the last year while the U of Colorado prohibited guns and has seen increase in crime.

4. sanjaykapur - June 30, 2010 at 09:23 am

Just like the "Fat-free" food craze of the 1990's resulted in an obesity epidemic by encouraging the eating of high carb processed foods, Gun prohibitions have similarily resulted in high crime.

Criminals and the insane already have guns. The law abiding have no means of stopping them if guns are prohibited.

Every single high profile shooting in higher ed. would have ended early if the victims were armed.

5. dbmann13 - June 30, 2010 at 09:43 am

Physicsprof and sanjaykapur are making interesting insinuations, but they are only insinuations unless they can come up with facts and state them intelligently.

First: "there has ben [sic] zero gun accidents as a result..." and second: "Colorado State U allows guns and enjoyed the decrease in campus crime over the last year while the U of Colorado prohibited guns and has seen increase in crime." Physicsprof, your poor grammar and sloppy writing, as well as your lack of sources for your contentions render your insinuations to near bumpersticker status. Good thing you're not an englishprof.

And sanjaykapur, your over-the-top, superlative "Every single high profile shooting in higher ed. would have ended early if the victims were armed" is a contention of such ridiculous proportions - completely without evidence (such evidence isn't even possible) - that you come off only as a loudmouth.

I agree that had someone in any of those situations been armed and trained to a degree on how to use a firearm, most of those casualties could have been prevented. But spouting off like Charlton Heston and the other gun loonies doesn't help the case for allowing guns on campus.

6. sanjaykapur - June 30, 2010 at 10:00 am

dbmann13

My evidence is simple. The only way almost every high profile shooter has been stopped is by someone with a gun: The police. However they arrive too late. If the victims had guns, the whole issue would have been settled earlier. Look at the Fort Hood shooting: Trained soldiers were disarmed at their base and were killed. If they had guns, they could have easily stopped the shooter.

A lot of evidence exists that armed victims are not victims, however it rarely makes the news because the incident never escalates by the very presence of guns in the hands of the populace.

Until you can counter with any solid evidence that banning guns in higher education has any positive effects, your arguments are pointless.

7. maltz42 - June 30, 2010 at 10:06 am

dbmann13

In your rebuttal of physicsprof and sanjaykapur, you also cite no examples of such incedents they claim have not occurred. By your own standards, welcome to "bumpersticker status"

"I agree that had someone in any of those situations been armed and trained to a degree on how to use a firearm, most of those casualties could have been prevented." - Perhaps you misunderstand the argument here. Being "armed and trained to a degree" is exactly what concealed carry permit holders are! No one is saying issue everyone a gun at the door. Just allow people who are already going about their daily lives (off-campus) armed to stay armed while they are on-campus, too.

8. physicsprof - June 30, 2010 at 10:41 am

dbmann13 (#5),

True, many science professors in this country are foreign-born (myself included) and don't always double-check grammar in casual conversations. (I would be happy for you if you could teach and publish scholarship in the second language. Yet I find it appauling if you find it necessary to assault a person you disagree with, rather than talk about substance.)

Concerning CSU and CU police reports are available online (even English professors are allowed access), for CSU at
http://police.colostate.edu/pdfs/2009-Safety-Report.pdf
and for CU
http://www.colorado.edu/police/statistics/crime-reports.html
Some examples (2007 -> 2008 trend):

CSU campus, sexual assaults (4 -> 2), robbery (2 -> 0), burglary (14 -> 12), illegal weapon posession (2 -> 0).

CU campus, rape (2 -> 7), robbery (1 -> 3), total assault (31 -> 40), burglary (57 -> 44), total theft (419 -> 446).

No homicides on either campuse.

Concerning gun accidents on Utah campuses, I do not have time to dig out the statistics, but I happen to be a low-level administrator in Utah who communicates with campus police and generally is aware of campus crime in my state. Also, don't you think a single accident would be all over Brady campaign news and press releases? Besides, maltz42 made a good suggestion, if you claim that my statement about Utah is an "insinuation" only then why don't you prove me wrong -- point me to a single gun accident committed by a legal permit holder here. Show me your are above bumper-sticker arguments.

(And just in case, please forgive my grammar.)

9. livefreeordie2 - June 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

I read Schwartz' article. Pathetic. I mean, really pathetic! It's the same, tired crap that the anti-gun folks have been using for nearly 30 years. Replace "campus" with "Florida" and you have the same arguments that were used to try to stop concealed carry there back in the 1980s. Let's review the illustrious Dr. Schwartz's points:

1. It will lead to more violence and tragedy.
2. It won't make campuses safer and don't worry, they are already safe.
3. Students will mix their guns with alcohol and drugs. ("Put guns in the hands of drunken college students. . .")
4. Suicides will increase.
5. Deadly crimes will increase.

Schwartz and his colleague writers are either intellectually disabled or, more likely, being intellectually dishonest. Why? No one has ever suggested giving guns to all college students. Allowing concealed carry on campus means that those ALREADY trained and licensed to carry would be allowed to carry on campus. These people already have guns. They already carry guns. . .except while on campus. This isn't about changing who owns and carries guns - it's about changing where they can carry guns. The gun-crime rate among those licensed to carry weapons is tiny - almost negligible. And that's true in every state with laws requiring the issuance of a license to those who meet the requirements. They don't mix guns with alcohol or drugs and they aren't committing crimes. The hysterical predictions of people like Schwartz have NEVER materialized! NEVER! The typical line is, "It will be like the Wild West." No. It won't. That prediction has been issued dozens of times and has never come true. The truth is that places like Washington DC or Chicago, places that ban or severely restrict gun ownership and concealed carry, are among the most dangerous in the country!

To the best of my knowledge, these mass killings. . .mass shootings. . .have only ever occurred in "gun free zones." The fact that my campus prohibits weapons doesn't make me feel safe - it makes me realize that I and my co-workers are fish in a barrel for a nut with an axe to grind!

10. softshellcrab - June 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

I don't own protection handguns and don't believe in it. I do own a couple of hunting guns which I keep in my basement where they wouldn't do any good if anyone broke into my home. But I fully endorse the rights of those who want handguns for protection to have them. I am always shocked when liberals who want to so broadly interpret the constitution in every other area (e.g., reading a right to abortion into the language of the 14th amendment, which says nothing about anything even close to that), yet insist on reading the second amendment (the one they don't like) super-narrowly. Yes, the 2d amendment explains the "reason" for the right to bear arms as being the importance of militia's, or citizen army groups. But it then states unambigously that, as a result of such desire, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". How can those who read a "right to privacy" or teenage contraception without their parents' knowledge, or teenage abortion without parents' knowledge, into the 14th amendment, which doesn't seem to say anything about these things, come back and refuse to give import to the clear and unambiguous language of the 2d amendement?

11. phacker - June 30, 2010 at 11:28 am

I'd like to add that there are already many concealed weapon holders that carry on campuses around the country. Campus gun bans are generally exempted for concealed carry permit holders, yet are still enforced illegally due to ignorance of the local authorities. While the supreme court ruling will not void campus gun bans unilaterally, it will open them up to challenges by those who already carry legally by state gun codes, but are restricted by illegallay enacted campus regulations.

12. atana09 - June 30, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Interesting that although a certain amount of statistics have been provided by both sides, much of what drives the heated discourse is cultural in nature.

Academe within recent years has been a place where weapons are considered anathema to the purpose and persona of academic culture. The assumption being that the presence of a weapon will somehow and assuredly contaminate the aire of academe. Perhaps it is a fortunate ideal, albeit fragile ideal that academe in the US, has generally been a place where there was no need, actual or perceived for firearms to be present.
However scholars, artists, and the general intellectual elite of other eras would find this attitude incomprehensible. For example Albrecht Durer was an accomplished swordsman, and his interests in the matter went so far that he illustrated a book about how to protect oneself using such weapons. And professor Chamberlain obviously had a close familiarity with weapons because of that terrible day on the hill at Gettysburg.

What may be happening here, to the discomfiture of those who'd desire the continued idyllic isolation of academe from the iron reality of weapons, is a conceptual shift. Academe is no longer immune from the fears, and real and perceived needs for effective defense that the rest of our society increasingly holds to be essential.

13. tbdiscovery - June 30, 2010 at 01:46 pm

#12 is one of the best comments that I have ever read on the CHE site. Please become a lawyer for liberty.

14. douva - June 30, 2010 at 02:01 pm

The discussion thread on the aforementioned Huffington Post article is worth reading.

Here is another Huffington Post discussion on the subject:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/25/cu-gun-ban-regents-to-dec_n_625442.html (check out the discussion thread, not just the article)

Here is an interesting discussion from the Denver Post's message board:

http://neighbors.denverpost.com/viewtopic.php?f=98&t=15381879&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

If you want to learn the facts, statistics, and arguments supporting the legalization of licenced concealed carry (of handguns) on college campuses, visit this site:

http://www.CampusCarry.com

15. budgerber - June 30, 2010 at 02:03 pm

LeslieGerber

The comments thus far reveal just how pervasive the normalization of gun advocacy has become. When college professors seriously defend the right of students and faculty to bear arms on campus, we have certainly reached a new level of confusion and self-deception.

I take it as incontestable that anyone carrying a gun on campus is rightly perceived as threatening--and not "defensive." The distinction between self-protection and endangering others is completely meaningless in the real context of classes, locker-rooms, residence halls, and cafeterias.

Anyone who enters my classrooms with a handgun will be asked to leave. The Academy cannot do its work if the passion of true argument must be suppressed for fear that someone will start shooting.

Wake up, my brothers and sisters.



16. physicsprof - June 30, 2010 at 02:21 pm

Re: #15

"...we have certainly reached a new level of confusion and self-deception."

Here is to confusion and self-deception, an interesting example from the same posting:

"Anyone who enters my classrooms with a handgun will be asked to leave."

I am having hard time imagining a possible scenario and Professor Budgerber's response to it:
-- Someone openly carries a handgun into the classroom and sits through the lecture (well... anyone recalls ever reading about such a thing?)
-- Someone carries a handgun into the classroom and starts shooting (well, Professor Budgerber how exactly are you going to formulate your request then?)
-- Someone carries a concealed handgun into the classroom and quietly sits through the lecture (and how are you going to know?)
-- Someone carries a concealed handgun into the classroom and tells everybody about it (same as the first scenario).

"Wake up, my brothers and sisters".

Are you sure we are the ones who need to wake up?

17. 11196496 - June 30, 2010 at 02:45 pm

Prof. Gerber wrote:
'The Academy cannot do its work if the passion of true argument must be suppressed for fear that someone will start shooting." Something similar might be said of 'sueing'. In either case, the atmosphere of civil discourse in pursuit of truth is endangered, not just by the presence of firearms and potential legal opponents but by the fear engendered by such situations.

As a person once placed in serious danger of death by a deranged student until the student was twice subdued and removed from campus, I would not have felt safer if my university allowed firearms in the classroom(my arms or those of other students). More of a danger would have been the mayhem of a shoot-out between the deranged student and my so-called 'protectors'.

18. rekcahp - June 30, 2010 at 03:18 pm

RE #15 (Prof Gerber)

I take it as incontestable that any professor making statements like Prof Gerber is rightly perceived as threatening--and not "defensive." I can assure you have had students who have carried hand guns in your class.

To that end the statement "Anyone who enters my classrooms with a handgun will be asked to leave. The Academy cannot do its work if the passion of true argument must be suppressed for fear that someone will start shooting" reflects a general lack of understanding regarding the mentality and motivation of those who chose to legally cary a weapon. not to mention the points brought forward by physicsprof #16

I doubt that it will be firearms that will bring down academic culture and free discussion.

19. douva - June 30, 2010 at 03:20 pm

If you genuinely want to take an academic interest in the issue of licensed concealed carry (of handguns) on college campuses, here are the seminal texts from both sides of the argument:

---------------

In Support of "Campus Carry":

"Pretend 'Gun Free' School Zones: A Deadly Legal Fiction" by David B. Kopel - http://www.scribd.com/doc/30546045/Pretend-Gun-Free-School-Zones-A-Deadly-Legal-Fiction

The "Students for Concealed Carry on Campus Handbook" by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) - http://www.scribd.com/doc/16488074/Students-for-Concealed-Carry-on-Campus-SCCC-Handbook

WEBSITES:

CampusCarry.com - http://www.CampusCarry.com

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) - http://www.ConcealedCampus.org

---------------

In Opposition to "Campus Carry":

"No Gun Left Behind" by The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence - http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/pdf/reports/no-gun-left-behind.pdf

"Why Our Campuses Are Safer Without Concealed Handguns" by Students for Gun Free Schools - http://studentsforgunfreeschools.org/SGFSWhyOurCampuses-Electronic.pdf

WEBSITES:

Students for Gun Free Schools - http://studentsforgunfreeschools.org

The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus - http://www.keepgunsoffcampus.org/



20. rhancuff - June 30, 2010 at 03:34 pm

Campuses are down the list on gun organizations' concerns. They have more pressing priorities:

------
TOTENBERG: Herb Titus, counsel for the Gun Owners of America, agrees. He sees challenges as well to registration and licensing restrictions to age restrictions for gun ownership and to limits on the number of guns that can be bought at one time. But first in the pipeline of challenges, he says, will be the challenges to laws banning guns for those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors.

Mr. HERB TITUS (Counsel, Gun Owners of America): I believe that the prohibition against people who've been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence will probably be the area of litigation down the road.

http://www.podcasting.mobi/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=128172317

21. dbmann13 - July 01, 2010 at 03:24 am

Physicsprof and sanjaykapur,

Thanks for the clarifications. I'm not, as you appear to think, entirely against licensed carriers to be able to carry on campus. I was born in Colorado, raised with guns in the house, and have been shooting since I was 7. I currently teach in Georgia, which enjoys one of the most permissive gun ownership/carrying climates in the nation.

In addition, if you read my posting carefully, you saw that I did in fact agree that if there had been someone armed and trained in one of those classrooms, the casualty list ould have been far shorter. My objection to both your posting was simply that I thought they were sloppy - universal superlatives and unsupported conclusions do not a substantive argument make. You've taken care of that in your subsequent postings, however, and I applaud you for that.

I do think, however, that if we have universal carry permission on college campuses, we will have more accidents, more incidents of domestic and drug/alcohol-fueled violence that escalates to firearm use. That would merely be a reflection of our own society's violent nature. I do know that our campus and city law-enforcement officials are very much against unrestricted carrying.

I wonder if in Canada, where gun ownership is also very common, if the rates of gun violence are as high as in the U.S.? I'm betting they aren't.

Oh, the language thing? I'm a language professor and head of a modern languages, and I teach, research, and publish in three languages. Not speaking a language natively is no excuse for using it sloppily if you can do better, and physicsprof, you've certainly proven that you can.

22. livefreeordie2 - July 01, 2010 at 09:39 am

dbmann - "My objection to both your posting was simply that I thought they were sloppy - universal superlatives and unsupported conclusions do not a substantive argument make."

Fascinating. You say that and in the very next paragraph, you say, "I do think, however, that if we have universal carry permission on college campuses, we will have more accidents, more incidents of domestic and drug/alcohol-fueled violence that escalates to firearm use. That would merely be a reflection of our own society's violent nature." Based upon what data? What is the crime rate for CCL holders compared to a control group of the general public? Even factoring for age. In most states, it's illegal to mix carrying guns. What is the arrest (and, one supposes, revocation) rate for CCL holders for mixing alcohol and guns?

Your posting is "sloppy - universal superlatives and unsupported conclusions do not a substantive argument make."

23. physicsprof - July 01, 2010 at 10:11 am

Dbmann13,

There are two points in your last posting I want to address as it seems that you are open for a substantive discussion.

The accidents/more violence concern might have been valid, but note that the essential social experiment has already been conducted. As #9 above already pointed out after 42 states adopted various forms of CCW legislation the anticipated problems of the type you mention never actually happened. CCW holders undergo background checks and generally are quite responsible and much more law-abiding than the average citizen (statistics of crimes committed by permit owners are available upon some googling). They value the right (though interestingly, most of CCW never pack heat, but this is a different story) which you can easily lose over something like DUI or underwriting a bad check, so one might argue that mere possession of the right makes one more careful. Besides, most CCW instructors will actually teach you that diffusing from a potentially conflict situation is your best choice (and the thought of a civil lawsuit is always in the back of your mind, even if your actions are not punishable by the criminal law).

The other issue you raise, that of a gun violence, is in my view misguided. There is no such thing as "gun violence" -- do I care if I am shot or stabbed to death? To any reasonable person "gun violence" should never be singled out from the statistics of total violent crime. Making guns less available might lead to a decrease in gun killings but could well lead to the increase in the total number of murders (if you believe the research on the deterrent nature of gun ownership). "Gun violence" is a flashy soundbite of gun opponents but it is a moot (and probably hollow)concept.

Also be careful when comparing different countries as demographics play a big role here. Yes, Canada has fewer guns than US and less violent crime, but Switzerland has more guns and still less crime, while UK has fewer guns and more violent crime than US. Don't believe me on that last point? Here is the Daily Mail article about it:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html

Mexico and Russia have extremely stringent gun control rules yet criminals have little problem acquiring them.

Besides mere access to guns is not going to make people violent. Rates of murder committed by Japanese in Japan and Japanese in US are both very low and comparable. (And I leave this one unsupported by evidenvce -- day job is calling...)

Finally, #12 is an excellent post.

24. dbmann13 - July 01, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Physicsprof,

Thanks for taking the time to respond thoughtfully about these issues; I stand educated on all fronts by virtue of your persistence. I was piqued by your and a couple other posters' blanket statements, but I realize that my own initial post was not the best example of their opposite. And I do apologize.

And, as a lifelong gun owner and shooting enthusiast (but as yet not a licensed CWC), I understand that someone who has received that training and has experience with the firearm is of little threat to others, and could very well defuse of otherwise terminate a live shooter situation. And I trust your statistics; I think they are accurate.

However, I'm not so worried about the licensed carrier. I'm also not worried about guns on campus either; this is a senior military campus, after all. We even have a shooting range on campus. I'm worried about the other, untrained and perhaps even felonious individuals who, by a myriad of possible circumstances, could (and do) end up with the licensed carriers' guns and either misuse them or commit crimes of their own. On our campus, we have had a number of thefts of firearms from cars, and nobody can say what befell those guns. Drinking and domestic violence are already a problem on the campus, and I shudder to think of our dorms containing a bunch of guns that could be stolen and misused. But again, not by their licensed carriers, by others. And that is precisely the worry of our law-enforcement professionals.

Livefreordie2, you need to pay attention to this clarification, too. I don't need data to propose that a campus of 5,000+ students will reflect the society from whence it came. And here, that society is largely poor, uneducated, often given to violent behavior, and widely beset by alcohol abuse, meth addiction, and numerous acts of criminality that put many guns in the wrong hands. Guns in the right hands can stop a shooter or prevent a shooting, but I don't think those hands can prevent a very large percentage of what I'll now call gun-RELATED crime. Indeed, those guns won't make these people violent - so many of them already are.

As a side note, I've been on jury duty here three times. All three of the crimes involved felony menacing with unlicensed firearms by individuals who, by virtue of their criminal records and behavior in the incidents in question, have no business in possession of a firearm.

And finally, if Georgia universities are opened to concealed carry, will I get a license? You bet I will. But I still don't think will create a safer environment.

25. livefreeordie2 - July 01, 2010 at 03:58 pm

dbmann13 - I don't doubt that a campus will reflect the larger society - at least to some degree. Because it is a society of selected people, people one supposes that have made an effort academically or at least are capable of seeing the benefit of an education, the bell curve is skewed, I think, dramatically to the positive. Of course, there can be a Cho hiding in any group and as we've seen with Amy Bishop, we've moved from going postal to going post-doctoral. That said. . .

As I indicated above, this isn't about changing who can have a gun, only where. It's not about handing a freshman his books, an iPod, and a Glock. It's about permitting those who have already demonstrated that they are responsible and capable to do on campus what they do nearly everywhere else. Physicsprof was correct - those of us who possess a CCL and value our ability not just to defend ourselves, but to enjoy target practice at the range, are acutely aware of what a violation of the law can mean. But again, the point is that those members of your campus community that are "given to violent behavior, and widely beset by alcohol abuse, meth addition, and numerous acts of criminality" aren't likely to qualify for a CCL and therefore shouldn't be carrying a gun. Of course, if someone with those qualifications became angry with you, the chances are he or she wouldn't care about a license or even if they had obtained the gun legally. At that moment, if you have a weapon, it very well may be a safer environment for you. "Better to have a gun and never need it, than to need a gun and not have it. . ."

26. physicsprof - July 01, 2010 at 05:00 pm

"I'm also not worried about guns on campus either; this is a senior military campus, after all. We even have a shooting range on campus. I'm worried about the other, untrained and perhaps even felonious individuals who..."

Dbmann13, besides seconding what Livefreeordie2 (#25) wrote in the last paragraph about felonous vs law-abiding, I have to admit the issue of insufficient training has crossed my mind many times. (A little background here: I am still quite passionate about Olympic-type pistol and other bullseye style shooting and I train and compete whenever my schedule allows me to do it. We also have a range on the campus with a small student team whom we train and send out to participate in the Collegiate competitions -- with Georgia's Fort Benning venue actually being the main one.)

I stopped going to unsupervised public ranges (and even some action shooting events) after having loaded guns pointed at me by people who have never learned gun safety. In my state CCW does not requre a proficiency/accuracy test. Is it bad? I am ambivalent about it. On one hand I do not like to empower bureaucrats to decide on who should be given the means of self-defense and who should be not. On the other hand I am all for pushing people to learn guns and respect them. I also do not like the fact that some states have stopped recognizing our permits citing insufficient training requirements.
Yet, if you believe that there is such a thing as *sufficient* training, this piece of not-so-old news should make you smile (ok, don't worry, the cop will be fine):

http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/ct-met-uic-cop-shot-0324-20100324,0,7877942.story

Still, what I do not want is to be locked in a room full of "subjects" and with an "active shooter" but without the means to defend myself and get back to my family. The chance of such an incident happening to me is small, I know, but for somebody preaching self-reliance the very thought is quite unsettling. Ditto #12.

27. raza_khan - July 01, 2010 at 06:17 pm


What I fail to understand is why does it take another long drawn battled court case to come to U.S. Supreme Court to find out if carrying guns are allowed on campus or not.

The Justices (majority) could have simply solved the problem by writing where the guns can not be allowed - where state and local authorities override the right to bear and carry arms? I am always puzzled that the Justices know that they do not write complete rulings on such important matter.

Raza
_______________________________
Raza Khan, Ph.D., P.D.
Sciences Faculty
Carroll Community College
Westminster, MD

28. douva - July 01, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Raza, I don't think anyone seriously thinks the Supreme Court's ruling in McDonald v. Chicago will impact the ability of college campuses to impose campus gun bans. That has always been and likely always will be a matter of state law.

As for you question about why the Supreme Court didn't provide a detailed list of places where guns are and aren't allowed, the simplest answer is that that's not their job. Supreme Court rulings are typically as narrow as possible. As a general rule, the Supreme Court avoids issuing rulings that address areas outside the scope of the case being argued. That sometimes leads to an infuriatingly drawn out process, but it's that way for a reason. The court wants to allow the lower courts some judicial discretion. The try to provide guidance to lower courts, rather than create "one size fits all" laws that could potentially cause more problems than solutions.

29. jaeger1121 - July 02, 2010 at 06:06 am

California law has allowed weapons on campus for years by exempting anyone issued a valid CCW permit from all laws regarding carrying a concealed weapon on campus. To date there have been no mass problems as a result, other than California university and college administrators remaining ignorant of the relevant code until it is pointed out to them.

30. raza_khan - July 08, 2010 at 06:56 pm

@douva

Thanks for the clear explanation. It helps a lot in explaining things. What boggles my mind is that we know that SC do rule as narrow as possible. What puzzles me is that they rules based on the law of the lands. I am surprised that why they are not debated in the Congress more frequently and only held back till a SC nominee comes in picture. The laws of the land needs to be as clear as possible for an average person out there. I understand the point of judicial discretion for the lower courts but that puts a defendant in tight spot of long-drawn judicial process.

Raza

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