Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Friday, January 7, 2011

School supplies

Next up, kids will actually be allowed to carry guns on campus if some have their way. Why not? Along with their computers, notebooks, iPads, iPods, iPhones and all the other stuff they carry in their backpacks, they would be able to also carry guns. If you click on the link, you will see a great cartoon that pretty much says what this is all about.  Backpacks are going to be heavier than ever. Oh- unless a student wants to carry a gun around in their pocket, on a hip holster, or wherever else on their person they choose to carry it. So, if there is any kind of pick-up game on campus or intra mural sports events like the ones my kids took part in, where does the gun go? What about fraternity and sorority parties, replete with alcohol? Having a gun at that sort of event makes a lot of common sense. I occasionally visit the college campus of the local university in my city for events, classes, etc. It's a great place. I love the energy of it all. When I am there during a time when classes are letting out or beginning, it's pretty crowded as well. I see students walking or running to classes to get there on time. What if a gun falls out of a pocket or a holster? As you know, these things have and do happen. I blog about them occasionally.

Watch for bills about requiring public 2 and 4 year colleges to allow guns on campus coming to a state near you. There are bills proposed now in Texas, Arizona, Florida and Kansas. It should tell us a lot when almost uniformly, college presidents are opposed to any measure that would bring guns onto their campuses. I would trust their judgement more than I trust that of legislators bought and paid for by the NRA to know how things work on college campuses.


  1. I don't know of anyone pushing to allow public school K-12 students to carry firearms at school. I, like some people, would not be opposed to staff being able to carry. I also would not be opposed to HS students being able to leave hunting guns in their cars.

    The college debate is different, mainly because it involves adults. I know the reasons our local university has given against carry are absolutely nonsense.

  2. THere's a couple of important distinctions to be made here...
    First, the legislation our there is to allow persons with a legal permit to carry to do so while in school. (Age 21+)
    Second, this would only apply to public colleges.
    Private colleges are not subject to the proposed laws.

    I know we don't see eye to eye on this, I know I'm not going to change your mind, and you're not going to change mine, but all it takes it one law abiding citizen with a legal gun to stop an active shooter.
    If a responsible, law abiding, college student has a permit to carry, I see no reason why that right should only be extended when he is off campus.

  3. Clarify the proposed legislation a bit.

    "Permitted" carriers will be allowed to carry weapons on campus in accordance with existing state laws. The excludes most college students...since they're under 21.

  4. JOan,

    This is a subject near and dear to my heart.

    So please tell me your objections to having a 23 year old Air Force Veteran who was trained on the M-16 and handguns carry concealed at a community college?

    I was trusted by the government with the lives of 76 pilots and 6 million dollars worth of equipment.

    Shouldn't that indicate that I was mature enough to carry?

    If you object to that...tell me the objection to a 39 year old carrying on campus?

    See, both are me.

    I started long before concealed carry become the law but under the law I still wouldn't be trusted on campus. 1 foot away from the property line, yep. On campus - No.

    Is that common sense?

    I worked full time, owned my own car, paid all my own bills, lived in my own apartment; kept myself fed and healthy and out of debt during the 16 years it took me to get my degree.

    What you are really saying is you don't trust people like me.

  5. It's interesting when college presidents, etc actually learn what is happening by real shooters. This one is getting his CHL with his wife... tomorrow. Enough said... you'll see more of this.


  6. So this topic is all about barely literate gun owners imposing on enlightened leftist academics? That's remarkably insulting. And you folks wonder why dialog is difficult, and our goal is your political destruction.

  7. On the other hand, all it would take is one "law abiding" student or professor with a gun accidentally shooting someone or shooting someone on purpose. And you are right. you won't convince me otherwise on this one.

  8. Sebastian- I don't know how you got that from what I said.

  9. Thanks anon. The article is well written and very reasonable- at least until he got to the part about garbage in garbage out. Then I changed my mind. "From conversation, I believe he will consider actually carrying on campus himself when it becomes legal to do so." It was a good idea for the college president on that campus to take the time to learn something about guns and shooting. He may or may not decide to carry on campus from the comment.

  10. No sir, I am saying that I don't trust many college students with guns in large groups where there is alcohol or other activities that some college students engage in. I don't see a need for guns on campuses. It's as simple as that.

  11. Concealed carry has been allowed on state college and university campuses in Utah since 2007. I was a graduate student at the University of Utah and carried in classes both as a student and an instructor. I am currently a professor at a large university. I think I can speak with a good deal of authority on the subject of carrying on campus (considerably more than college presidents without a similar knowledge of firearms or experience with concealed carry). Concealed carry on campus by properly licensed adults would be a great step forward for the safety and security of our college campuses. I would have no problem with the students in my classes carrying. Indeed, I would be quite heartened if they are willing to step up and take responsibility for their own protection.

    "I am saying that I don't truss many college students with guns in large groups where there is alcohol"

    Then by all means prohibit people from carrying while drunk, but leave those of us who choose not to imbibe to carry in peace.

    "I don't see a need for guns on campuses."

    I think it is quite blind not to see a need for concealed carry on campuses after Virginia Tech or Northern Illinois University.

  12. Common sense is not a commodity only poseesed by anti-gun people.

    Although I've not been a college student for some time, sometimes I go out and tip back a few drinks. I often go to the gym, though pick-up basketball games are a couple decades behind me. So what do I do with my gun?

    It's simple ... if I'm going to have drinks I don't bring it. If I'm going someplace it can't be secured I don't bring it. If something comes up that I'd like to participate in but I have the gun ... I don't do it or I find an adequate place to leave it locked up -- there are responsibilities that come with carrying a gun, and we all know them and/or are taught them when we get our licenses. And being responsible is common sense.

    But in any case ... when someone's version "common sense" conflicts with facts, which should we go with? Here are two facts:

    1. Campus carry is legal in Utah and Colorado and has been for many years. No issues.
    2. Campus gun bans did not save one single life at VTI or NIU or any other college that had a shooting -- though students with guns did arguably end a mass shooting at the Appalachian Law School, also in VA).

    (NOTE: Here in Colorado we allow guns on all campuses but CU -- court case is pending with CU)

    And this works because college students aren't all drunken, drug using, irresponsible idiots.

    For one thing, you have to be 21 to get a license to carry, and that eliminates all but the older students. Many of whom are veterans of the military and carried weapons in a war zone for years.

    And if you want more proof ... a few years ago 20/20 did an anti-gun hit piece on the concept of guns on campus. But if you read my analysis here, their experiment ironically proved that guns on campus is more likely to SAVE lives than to endanger them in a mass shooting (in several instances the defenders hit the shooters, which would have probably been enough to stop the shooting, and in no cases did they hit a non-shooter student even though 20/20 made sure several ran in front of them).

    Now that I've put your fears at ease by explaining that only older students can carry guns, and it truly is possible to carry them responsibly ... isn't it just common sense that the lives of our students are more important than your dislike of firearms? The debate about an armed citizenry can go on and on and maybe someday you'll win ... but as long as guns are so freely available, should we be denying that empowerment to protect lives to adults just because they are also college students?

    If CCW on campus saves just one life, isn't it worth it? And it isn't it just common sense that saving lives is more important than making points in a political battle?

  13. Again, Chris- you guys who carry in public assume you could save the day with your guns. There is no proof that that could happen. I see it differently. Who will know who the bad guy with the gun is and who the good guy with the gun is? It just won't necessarily work the way you imagine it to work.

  14. Stephen- I didn't see the 20/20 experiement the way you did. There is no way of knowing that someone with a permit to carry would be in the particular place where a shooter happens to be, first of all. Unless you mandate that eveyone over 21 carries a gun, you have no way of knowing whether someone with a gun will be in the right place at the right time.

  15. ANd there's no proof that 'gun free zones' have stopped a single spree killing either. It just doesn't work the way you imagine it to work.

  16. Conversely, the criminal/lawbreaker has no idea on a concealed carry campus that someone is carrying, making it a much harder decision to carry out a spree murder on campus.... It's called deterance, and it is why spree killer who make poor location selection, tend to off themselves when met with armed resistance....

  17. To all who have commented on this- your scenarios are no more compelling or relevant than mine. We will have to agree to disagree on this one. I am trying to prevent accidental shootings and guns being in ALL public places which is just not necessary. Most people agree with me. I know you will ask for stats on that one. I don't have time right now. I have a life beyond my blog and I hope you all enjoy the week-end with or without your guns. I intend to do the same.

  18. If most people agree w/ you, why haven't the laws been repealed in the 48 states?

  19. Joan,
    My personal beef with gun bans on campus centers more around the somewhat ambiguous borders of the campus in some areas I am in. For instance, I've walked down this one street before where I was 90% certain that I was legal on the side I was on. Yet if I crossed to the other I think I would be "on campus" and now I've committed a possible felony without really being sure about it and certainly without any intent to harm anyone in any way.

    The general logic about banning carry on campus is also faulty. However, the faults in the logic doesn't seem to matter to you and yours because as you said, you're trying to eliminate all carry every where at all times. Or was "I am trying to prevent accidental shootings and guns being in ALL public places which is just not necessary." an incorrect wording?

    As to the various scenarios, isn't it already illegal in pretty much every state to carry while intoxicated, from any substance? Even if not, could I not get drunk and do something stupid regardless of what the law is today? Have there been many reports of that happening? Have there been any reports from the states that have already allowed this of "blood in streets"?

    I hope you have a good weekend as well.

  20. Because our elected leaders have been taking huge campaign donations from the NRA and because the NRA has scared the pants off of our elected leaders. It's as simple as that. Follow the money and the power.

  21. Atrius- do you think someone will take their gun out of their holster or bring it to their car if they have drunk more than they should? I doubt it. It's too late once the bullet is fired by someone who has had too much to drink.

  22. Joan, drinking and shooting isn't a huge problem. Drinking and driving is.

    But drinking and driving is getting smaller, thanks largely in part to education.

    The four rules of gun safety and common sense keep people from shooting each other accidentally, which is what you are all about.

    Since the people who WOULD be legal to carry pistols on campus would have to be over 21 and have passed multiple background checks (one for the purchase, one for the license) what threat do you think that they would pose?

  23. A)If there really was a majority belief on this, the money from the NRA wouldn't matter.
    B)That you think people can't be responsible bothers me. Your DEFAULT position is that everyone is idiots. And your DEFAULT position is wrong because many states allow carrying in places that serve with no problems. We have history on this and carriers are rarely the problem despite the claims your side like to make.
    C)As I recall, that ABC hit piece even allowed the "shooter" who was a trained officer, to know where the concealed carry person was.. which means he wasn't really concealed to the shooter.
    D)Many of the LEO's that I talk to have no problem with concealed carry, including on campus because those who are defending themselves will generally have their weapon back in the holster when it is all over. The LEO's I talk to say that they can tell the difference between someone threatening and someone simply defending. It is the political supervisors above them that are elected or hired by the mayor that tends to have problems. Talk to cops.. Not those riding a desk.

  24. Joann;

    The merits of concealed carry is not being debated seriously anywhere except Illinois and Wisconsin. Everywhere else it is the law and it isnt going away (and judging by WI's election results it will be the law there soon). You wont win that one anytime soon (if ever).

    Alcohol, poor behavior and potential accidents from poorly trained firearms handlers are no more likely on a university campus than anywhere else.

    These arguments are just those you trot out against CCW in general. You lost that one, get over it and apply CCW uniformly.

  25. Sebastian did a pretty funny clutching-at-the-pearls thing there, japete. You didn't say anything like he said you did.

    Let's imagine the pro-gun dream. Guns freely allowed on campuses. Sooner or later there would be a VA Tech kinda situation which one of the good guys stops early on. But by the time that happens, we'd have had a number of accidents and a number of those good guys going bad. We'd have a big increase in gun theft, which would lead to trouble on and off campus.

    In other words, guns do more harm than good. The pro-gun guys know this that's why they get so antagonistic and defensive.

  26. Mike,
    Every time the restrictions are loosened certain people predict endless disaster and proverbial blood in the streets and it keeps not happening. Further, what's magic about college campuses that make them in any way unique?

    I presume you meant to ask whether or not I think a person will put their gun away, in whatever manner is best, if they've had too much to drink. I don't know if they would or not. People still drive drunk so I'm sure there would be some minority of people who will do stupid things. You can't legislate away stupid. As it is already illegal, in most places, to carry and drink I don't see how another law will make it any different. If some people are going to carry and drink regardless of the law then they probably won't let the magic of a property line stop them either, will they?

  27. We have done a very successful public education campaign in our country about driving drunk. We have reached a point where we have not eliminated the accidents, of course, but where people know they need designated drivers in a group or they take a cab if they want to drink at a party and not drive. There are punishments for driving while drunk while, in most states, having a gun while drunk, assuming you haven't shot anyone, are mostly low fines and a slap on the wrist.

  28. in most states, having a gun while drunk, assuming you haven't shot anyone, are mostly low fines and a slap on the wrist.

    Yeah, if you call a felony which also makes you a prohibited person for life a "slap on the wrist," sure. Criminal trespass while intoxicated while possessing a weapon is Misconduct Involving Weapons in the Third Degree, a Class C felony -- at least in Alaska. If someone carried on campus (or anywhere out of the home), was drunk, and didn't leave immediately when told to do so then it'd be a felony. It is also MIW if you transfer the firearm to someone else who is intoxicated, so if you show off your gun to your buddies while drunk -- felony.

    If you don't commit criminal trespass or transfer the firearm, it is still MIW IV to carry drunk. That's a Class A misdemeanor, which is a $10K fine and a year in prison. Other Class A misdemeanors include DUI and assault IV. A $10K fine and year in prison is not exactly a "slap on the wrist" like a traffic ticket.

    Maybe your state is different, but at least in Alaska, there are serious legal consequences for carrying while intoxicated.

  29. "Maybe your state is different, but at least in Alaska, there are serious legal consequences for carrying while intoxicated."

    As there should be. It's bad enough that many gun owners abuse alcohol in the privacy of their own home. When it spills out onto the street, it should be met with the severest punishment, part of which is permanent suspension of gun rights.

  30. Who will know who the bad guy with the gun is and who the good guy with the gun is?

    Ironic that you ask this, in light of the Arizona shooting, we know at least one anecdote where a CCW guy didn't shoot an innocent who was holding a firearm (didn't even pull his firearm although he was prepared to) and when the police arrived, they didn't shoot the CCW. How did they know he wasn't the bad guy?

    It doesn't work out the way that you think so, either, Joan.

  31. I think I heard that the CCW man had his gun put away by then having decided not to use it against the one of the men who subdued the shooter who took his gun and was holding it. The man with the permit almost shot one of the subduers because he was holding the gun. Luckily for him, he didn't pull the trigger and luckily for the man who subdued the shooter that he dropped the gun or the police would have shot him. Those are the kinds of things that happen in chaotic moments like this. It could have easily turned out otherwise and then would not have been so good,Anon.

  32. "it could have easily turned out..."

    But it didn't. You can keep making fanciful stories, but that isn't what happened. His firearm NEVER left the holster. He took the safety off... identified the guy.. made a decision.. and didn't draw.

    You guys keep saying that a)we will shoot up the place at the first chance b)that we will shoot innocents and c)that the cops won't know who the bad guy is (or at least, that was the question that you posed).

    You answered your own question... The good guy will have his firearm back in the holster once the situation is secure.

    You do realize that police officers go through this as well with undercover police officers. The number of plain clothes cops, without a badge to identify them, being shot is rather tiny... I doubt it is even one a year. Why? Training perhaps. Many of us get that training or better on our own. Why? Because we own every shot. Police officers can get away with a bad shoot. We can't.

    Take it for what it's worth, but I sincerely believe that you are wrong on this point that humans can't make the decision not to shoot.

    We really don't want to shoot someone so we have to push ourselves to make that decision. You must think we are all psychopaths and that is a little disheartening. My biggest fear is that I will be in that situation and hesitate.. because I'm human and don't really want to take a life. THIS may be what gets me killed... Of course, if that happens... your side will have a big story about it.. some may even cheer that a gun guy is dead.. "serves him right"... etc...etc.. And that is a little disheartening as well... The cheering for other people to get shot.. or shoot themselves.. while claiming that gun death is the goal (and I know.. you personally haven't said that.. but some you let post here, I know, have.) I'm looking at you MikeB

  33. Really anon, do you think through what you are saying in your comments? " We really don't want to shoot someone so we have to push ourselves to make that decision. You must think we are all psychopaths and that is a little disheartening. My biggest fear is that I will be in that situation and hesitate.. because I'm human and don't really want to take a life. THIS may be what gets me killed... Of course, if that happens... your side will have a big story about it.. some may even cheer that a gun guy is dead.. "serves him right"... etc...etc.. And that is a little disheartening as well... The cheering for other people to get shot.. or shoot themselves.. while claiming that gun death is the goal (and I know.. you personally haven't said that.. but some you let post here, I know, have.) I'm looking at you MikeB " To suggest that I or any on my side, would "cheer" when someone gets shot or shoots themselves is just a crazy thing to say and makes you feel better, I guess. Did you forget that my sister was shot to death?? Did I cheer for that one? This is just a stupid uninformed statement that hardly deserves the space here to publish it but I publish some of these to show my readers the nonsense that comes from your side whenever I write anything. The mere fact that you said it here says more about you than it does about Mike B or anyone on my side of the issue.

  34. So I should link to the comments from those who are anti-gun who have said "I hope he shoots himself" or something like that? Are you actually denying that others haven't said that?

    And again, that is all you draw out of my comment? Not that police are trained to not shoot before they identify the situation.. and others can learn those same techniques? It's like you only focus on one sentence when people reply to you. No wonder we are frustrated.

  35. Yes. In answer to the 2nd I don't reply to all because sometimes questions are meant to provoke me and the answer is obvious. Of course you guys never take only one thing I say and run with it. No wonder I'm frustrated