Concealed carry shouldn’t be allowed at Mizzou

The assumption that it will combat crime is fatally flawed

A gun was accidentally discharged on the loading dock of Mizzou’s popular cafeteria, Plaza 900 last June. Despite the fact that no one was hurt, imagine the amount of room we would allow for “accidents” if concealed carry were to come to Mizzou in 2017.

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri colleges should expect to have concealed carry on state campuses within the next year, due to the Republican super majority in Legislature, as well as the new Missouri Republican governor.

Some make the argument that allowing concealed carry on campus will not only allow citizens to exercise their right to the Second Amendment, but it will also potentially be able to combat the increasing amount of sexual assaults and crimes on/around campus.

These assumptions are fatally flawed.

And although I respect those that believe the Second Amendment is necessary to be protected,  I believe that the risks associated with concealed carry heavily outweigh the benefits.

The United States has a very long way to go in the realm of gun control laws, and knowing just how easy it is to obtain a firearm in my local area, it’s scary to think what would happen if the firearms brought on campus were in the hands of the wrong person.

Our country is unfortunately not a stranger to mass shootings. From the 2015 San Bernardino attack, to the 2016 Dallas and Orlando nightclub shootings, the United States has more mass shootings than in any other country in the world. AJ Willingham of CNN wrote in a frightening article, “While the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, it had 31% of all public mass shootings.”

I can still remember being back home in Virginia the day of the Virginia Tech shooting in April of 2007. I will never forget the story my AP United States History teacher told me about one of her former students being brutally attacked and killed on campus that day, and the amount of pain the student’s family and school suffered from as a result of her loss.

Fast forward from 2007 to just yesterday morning, when an Ohio State student, albeit not with a gun in hand, brutally attacked 11 passerby’s with a butcher’s knife.

Imagine the amount of more lives he could have taken if there was an assault rifle in his hand as opposed to a knife.

At the end of the day, the risks outweigh the benefits of bringing concealed carry to Mizzou. According to a Harvard study conducted by David Hemenway, “women would almost never successfully ward off a would-be rapist with a firearm.” The study demonstrated that out of over 300 cases of sexual assault in the NCVS data from 2007-11, not one perpetrator was effectively stopped by a firearm.

Further, imagine what would happen if the person committing the sexual assault would have a permit to possess a firearm on campus. Some could argue that concealed carry could lead to an increase in sexual assaults across campus.

In fact, Evan Defilippis and Devin Hughes in an op-ed for The Trace find that this just may be the case. According to the article, “One examination of data from the Clery Act, which compiles information about crimes committed on or near college campuses, found that in Utah and Colorado crime rates actually increased in each state after campus carry was enacted.”

The authors wrote that the study proved that since the carry legislation was passed in Colorado, the rate of forcible rape increased in 2012 by 25 percent in 2013 by 36 percent. The conductors of the study also found that in  Utah, campus rape increased nearly 50 percent between 2012 and 2013.

Although it’s important to remember that correlation does not necessarily equal causation, it demonstrates an opposite effect of what supporters of concealed carry on campus believe would happen if firearms were to be allowed on campus.

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Of course there are many responsible gun-owners in this country who have no intentions of harming anyone with their weapons. However, as we’ve seen many times before, it only takes one person to “snap” to take dozens, and in some cases even more, lives.

There’s also the issue of a gun going off accidentally, like last June. Is it worth it to risk your life, and potentially that of lives around you?

And lastly, there’s the issue of students committing suicide on campus due to depression, stress or anxiety.

Imagine what we would be allowing if we were to allow thousands of more students to bring their own concealed weapons legally on campus. I, for one, am terrified of what could happen to those already tremendously suffering from life-threatening mental illnesses.

I am sick and tired of seeing the headlines. I am sick and tired of seeing thousands of innocent lives lost to these incidents each year. And I know I am not the only one.

Now, more than ever, is not the time to be urging for concealed carry.

 

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