Weapons on Campuses--Some New Thoughts
I am a college professor in Florida where they lock you up for a long time for carrying a weapon on any campus. Even our recent bill allowing permit holders to keep their weapons in cars does not apply to campuses--carrying/storing there is verboten.
I've read the other thread on carrying on campus and our campus also had an event where for a couple of days (maybe a week?) students with permits wore empty holsters visibly to show their numbers.
Even though I'm a licensed permit holder and would carry a weapon to work if I could I have to confess to some concerns about generally opening up campus carry rights but I also have an idea I'd like to float.
My concern is essentially that while campuses are target rich environments for wackos with a death wish they are also innocent backstop rich environments for untrained good guys in a high pressure situation. Florida has two paths to CC permits--military service or attending a REALLY limited class. The classes are about 4 hours, and I think that most people attend them at gun shows. I don't think that either path effectively prepares permit holders for gunfights in a crowd.
As a former Airborne and Ranger qualified Infantry officer and combat veteran I think that I had a higher level of small arms experience than most military members but pistol training is an afterthought and strictly limited to static target engagement. (I know, others may have had different experiences.) I have also observed gun show classes (which do not require any shooting or gun handling in Florida!!) and some of them are a joke. Last weekend the guy was haranguing a large group in a noisy auditorium and I would be willing to bet that those in the back couldn't even hear. I was standing closer to the speaker than those in the back row and I couldn't.
So what to do? I'd like to see a program similar to that adopted for airline pilots. Allow individuals to carry after being trained, really trained. Armed competent civilians are the most cost effective source of security in environments with lots of people (targets), low densities of attack, and difficult policing challenges. I'd take the course. I'd even pay to take it. Edit: I meant to imply here that the training would be for the right to carry on campus. I do not advocate in any way restricting existing rights to carry elsewhere.
I know that some will disagree violently with my thoughts on the preparation of the average permit holder to open fire in a crowded environment. The potential arguments are numerous and it is an emotional issue. But you must admit that the paths to carry permits (at least here in Florida) just don't address the training needed to be effective in a campus shooting. Concealed Carry in Florida is geared toward self defense and defense of home and auto.
Last edited by lwestatbus; January 3, 2009 at 10:22 AM.
Reason: Clarify a statement