I love StumbleUpon. You just hit a button and bam! Right there! It's a random Web site.
And so, on a lovely Sunday afternoon, I started stumbling around looking for something, anything, on which to write a column. Thank goodness that the gods of stumbling looked down on me happily that day.
I came across a Web site entitled "Concealed Campus" (concealedcampus.com) that advocates the ever-controversial move of allowing concealed carry permits (that is, the ability for a person to carry a hidden firearm) on college campuses.
This issue has gotten some legs lately, especially in the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy. The argument generally goes like this: if one person had been armed, the rampage could have been stopped in its tracks. The counterargument tends to go along the lines that there was one person armed and he did a lot of terrible things.
It's a sticky issue for sure. Here in Geneseo, the only people we see with guns are University Police officers, and even this provoked some serious backlash when it was first instituted. It's interesting to note, though, that now we're used to the police having firearms, and nobody really worries about it anymore.
Honestly, concealed carry on America's campuses seems like an excellent idea to me. All of the arguments against it hinge entirely on the idea that people are going to "go crazy" or make stupid decisions while drunk, high or angry. They're going to take their guns to the bars and what do you know, somebody's going to end up dead because he was flirting with so-and-so's girlfriend.
The fact is, that probably won't happen. Concealed carry permits (indeed, even the pistol permit you'd need to get first) are extremely hard to get. For example, my father owns a revolver. This is a .22 caliber, six-round revolver that he bought for trapping. The extensive process he had to go through simply to buy the gun involved testifying before a judge, a background check and a waiting period. He doesn't have a concealed carry permit, which require classes, more testifying, more paperwork and more waiting.
In the end, the people who get concealed carry permits are people who are unequivocally qualified to have them. According to the aforementioned Web site - which I'll happily admit is biased - 1 percent of the population of states that allow for concealed carry permits actually has one and carries a gun.
That's one person in every 100. On our campus, that's about 50 people.
So why the fear mongering? It should be obvious that those who get a permit are those who will bear it responsibly and safely. And, if you can prove that you can do something safely and responsibly, why shouldn't you?
It's the right of American citizens to "keep and bear arms." Why shouldn't those who wish to meet the (stringent) requirements in order to exercise their right be allowed to do so, on campus or not?
Aaron Davis is a junior Poli-Sci major who has the right to bear arms. Anyone know where he can procure a bear?