Student against concealed carry

March 5, 2011 Commentary Print Print
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To the Editor:

There is a movement to allow concealed carry weapons in campuses. The reasoning behind it is well intentioned.

It really stems from the recent spate of school shootings; and the idea behind it can be typified as a ‘sheepdog’ or ‘antibody’ defense.

With no one knowing who is armed and not, when a shooter does go onto campus, there might be someone armed to stop him before the time [of] the organized police response.

 

Okay, that’s the steps and the theory, how does it work out?

It depends.

In a single one-on-one situation where it is starkly obvious who is doing what, 99.9 percent of the time, the system works.

Someone smashes in the front door, home-owner pulls trigger, intruder down and injured, situation de-escalated.

In a crowd setting, however, like Tuscon, it is far harder to figure things out. When shots ring out, people freeze or run, if they even know what a discharged firearm sounds like in the first place.

This means, in the stampede and confusion, for the armed citizen to react, they have to pinpoint, identify, cogitate, draw, aim, fire, and hit the target, in the space of an instant or two.

It takes training. Long, hard hours in simulations to let most of that become muscle reflex, leaving more time for the armed citizen to cogitate upon the situation to decide the shoot/no shoot decision.

There is an inherent problem with the perception of CCW by everyone.

It does not work like a sheepdog. They are not the police. CLEET certification is not the same as a CCW permit, which is not the same as military weapons training.

Armed citizens might not be as well trained as the police or drill as regularly.

CCW is an emergency lethal response to imminent lethal danger. In a dynamic shooting situation, like a campus shooting or any other shooter in a populated public place, it is too dynamic for one CCW user to use the weapon proactively, and in an imminent lethal situation, the shooter probably already has the drop on you.

Instead of letting armed civilians into campus, how about taking a serious and long look at the security in place for the campus to begin with.

And then convert the oft overused “mall security” joke of the campus police to an actual police force, with an adequate response time, with the proper weapons, equipment, and training for the jobs at hand.

But letting armed civilians is cheaper, and less controversial – and therefore more politically expedient.

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