One of my good friends is a retired high school assistant principal, and he once told me that the dumbest idea in the entire history of American education was the notion of middle school. I would agree with him except for the fact that the stupidity of middle school, as far as I am concerned, has been eclipsed by the stupidity of campus carry, which is so dumb that it can only be regarded as the penultimate proof that the lunatics have taken over the asylum, at least in the eight states where carrying guns on college campuses is now law.
The latest state which has passed such a measure is Georgia, which if the Governor signs the bill, would allow anyone 21 years or older to walk around Georgia Tech, University of Georgia or any other college campus in the peach state with a concealed gun. Last year the same effort failed because Governor Deal had the good sense to forego singing a similar measure and news reports indicate that he has expressed concerns about the new bill as well. And the fact that Deal is a Republican doesn’t mean he’s going to roll over and play dead in front of the NRA and their conservative allies because the Governor just vetoed a ‘religious freedom’ measure that was supported by the same gaggle of jerks and dopes that want all Georgia college students to be able to walk around armed.
Why do I say that campus CCW is the dumbest educational idea since the invention of middle school? First of all, despite hysterical propaganda from a bunch of libertarian students known as Students for Concealed Carry (libertarians tend to be hysterical about everything) there is simply no truth to the idea that college campuses are places with high or even modest levels of crime. And despite the fact that colleges tend to underreport minor offenses, other than vandalism which often accompanies too much drinking, a lot more students have defaulted on their loans than commit any kind of serious or violent crime. In fact, even when it comes to sexual assaults, it turns out that the rate of these crimes is higher among women who are not enrolled in college as opposed to women who are students at the time the rape occurs.
I would be opposed to CCW on campuses no matter what the crime rate for the simple fact that qualifying for Georgia concealed-carry does not require any training at all. Go to a probate court, pay a fee, pass a NICS-background check and you’re good to go. The idea that college students who, like all younger people, tend to be impulsive, should be walking around with a lethal weapon without first demonstrating judgement and competence at least equal to or exceeded by what is required from every cop is simply too dumb to be accepted or even considered as a legal norm.
And it’s not just the students who might lack experience and common sense. Our friends at Everytown who have been fighting campus-carry laws with their usual combination of grass-roots organizing, advertisements, petitions and social media plugs, sent out a press release today which carried the story of an accidental shooting at a college campus at Idaho State University. Except the shooter in this case was a member of the faculty whose gun went off while he was lecturing in class, which resulted in this dope shooting himself in the foot.
Now I always thought that the role of college faculty, in addition to being experts in a particularly discipline or field, was to behave as role models for students simply because they have had experiences in the world that college kids are just beginning to comprehend. So what’s this idiot who shot himself going to do the next time the class meets? Show up in a wheelchair displaying his bandaged foot? No doubt he’ll still be carrying his gun. After all, it’s his 2nd-Amendment right, right?