The Arizona Desert Lamp

“A Deadly Legal Fiction”

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 29 March 2009

Weapon-Free Zone

Via Volokh, a new paper is available on SSRN about gun control on campus. A sample quote:

The empirical data are indisputable that when 21-year-olds (in most states) or 18-year-olds (in a half-dozen states), exercise their right to licensed carry, they do not cause a crime problem.

The logical question, then, is whether the circumstances of campus carry make licensed carriers unusually like [sic] to misuse firearms. After all, college campuses, unlike other places, are places where a large number of young adults congregate, and perhaps young adults are more likely to perpetrate crimes when they are in the company of large numbers of persons in their age bracket.

The experience of Utah, Colorado, and Virginia provides not a shred of evidence to support this hypothesis. Perhaps young adults in the company of other young adults are more likely to drink lots of alcohol, or to engage in promiscuous sex. But they are not more likely to perpetrate gun crimes.

Read the whole thing here.

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7 Responses

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  1. Laura Donovan said, on 30 March 2009 at 2:49 am

    Interesting article, I looked through it on the link. I’m not in support of concealed carry on campus because it seems unnecessary. Do we really need students walking around with guns simply because of the rare psychopaths at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, and Columbine High School? I don’t think these incidents necessitate concealed carry. What other reasons would students have to carry guns on campus, anyway?

  2. Kyle Sandell said, on 30 March 2009 at 11:04 am

    You would have the same reasons to carry concealed as you would anywhere else in the country. When these “rare psychopaths” do their thing OFF campus, they are typically mitigated in a much more timely fashion. They just don’t make the national news because they don’t kill as many people.

  3. Ben Kalafut said, on 30 March 2009 at 11:38 am

    Ms Donovan:

    Most of the time, concealed carry is unnecessary, anywhere. But when it is necessary, it’s extremely necessary. To call it a matter of life-or-death is no exaggeration. At the very least, life-or-victimhood. And condemning someone to be the victim of assault or rape or something else by forbidding the only realistic means to self-defense is something you really ought to think twice about. People don’t just get over that sort of thing like it’s a cold.

    The possibly-psychopathic mass shooters are but one reason to carry concealed, and not even the biggest. The main reason is the ordinary mugger, rapist, or home invader. Remember that a student who is forbid to carry to the University is also effectively forbid to carry to and from the University. At other workplaces we can leave our firearms in cars–if we drive–and it ought to be such that such workplaces then incur strict liability should anything bad happen while we are unarmed. (They do not, but that’s a matter for another day.) But those of us who work at the U, and who walk or cycle–including grad students who work in labs at odd hours–have no such convenience.

    More than ninety nine percent of the time when we are on campus or headed to or from our workplace, we don’t need to defend ourselves against the criminal element. But when we do, we don’t just sort-of do or maybe do. It’s necessary.

    What need or reason is there for the ban? Best I’ve heard is that if the ban is lifted, the European ex-pats on faculty will be temporarily scared, so the ban shouldn’t be lifted.

  4. Ben Kalafut said, on 30 March 2009 at 11:42 am

    I missed something big here. You’re saying that if a Cho Seng-Hui was about to shoot someone seated next to you, you would have no need for a firearm? Or if he was about to shoot you? That’s what it means when you say these incidents don’t necessitate carry.

    Now some of us are studied in the martial arts and have a bit more of a chance, and a little bit of cojones does get someone a long way in that kind of situation, but there’s no better defense against armed or unarmed attacker than a pistol or revolver. The fountain pen I ordinarily carry sure isn’t going to help.

  5. […] of The Volokh Conspiracy, the libertarian law blog and proximal source of last week’s post on campus gun control, Volokh contributor and George Mason law professor David Bernstein will speak tomorrow at 12:15 in […]

  6. […] Lamp coverage of guns on campus can be accessed here, here, and here. Image courtesy of Flickr user SigEp NV Alpha ‘03 Tagged with: Concealed Carry, Guns on […]

  7. […] Lamp dispatches on the Second Amendment on campus can be read here, here, here, and here. Tagged with: ASUA Senate, Concealed Carry, Guns on Campus, Second Amendment […]


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