Fight fire with fire.
This old adage might find a new place on college campuses in Kansas.
A new bill in the Kansas House of Representatives proposes that individuals with concealed carry licenses should be able to brandish weapons in government buildings, which includes state owned universities. Another cliché comes to mind – you play with fire, you get burned.
Are we missing something here? True, most gun carrying Americans safely use their weapons, and, true, good people with guns have the potential to thwart acts of violence. We believe that it is not worth the risk to allow guns on campus.
This new legislation adopts the same philosophy of mutual deterrence adopted by the U.S. and Soviet Union during the Cold War. The ensuing arms race was seen as a means to prevent nuclear war. For the most part, it worked. Neither side launched. But it also created the incentive for other countries to join in the race. One spark would ignite a cascade of launches.
Substitute bullets for warheads and people for countries, and we find the status quo. We should not be willing to risk a potentially brutal standoff because of miscalculation or accident between armed citizens.
The Cuban Missile Crisis is an example of how thinkable violence is. It should give us pause in engaging in a similar, albeit smaller, posture.
Proponents of the legislation cite recent school shootings as examples of when armed and informed citizenry could have prevented such tragedies. These “what if” scenarios are a useless thought exercise without factual basis.
Campuses are relatively safe places, but a few disgruntled students have frightened us into reactionary mode. There is no guarantee that allowing guns on campus would do anything beyond creating a wild west like atmosphere.
Instead, there are measures beyond weapons that could protect students at ESU from a potential Virginia Tech style incident.
We should not forget that our foremost priority is the safety of students, faculty and staff. The increased likelihood of misfires or bloody quarrels make a concealed carry bill shortsighted and ultimately disastrous.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 20:16
Fight fire with fire.