As I read the article explaining the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) and its mission to allow certified individuals to carry concealed weapons on campus, I became slightly disconcerted about a few of the points being made.
Primarily, the legal age to merely apply for a concealed weapons permit in the state of California is 21, which excludes all but a minute percentage of on-campus student living situations, avoiding most who “live in close quarters.” Secondly, as a stringent requirement to sustain the concealed weapons permit here in California, no one should be able to discern that a weapon is on the person carrying it. I realize that a massive revolver falling out of a backpack is a mere dramatization of the issue, but it does send a very pessimistic, inaccurate message.
Because of my familiarity with firearms, understanding of the state’s requirements for the permit process, and observations of campus police presence, I have to agree that, at least for Cal Poly, permission to carry concealed weapons on a college campus is not a stellar idea.
My reasons are as follows: according to the California Concealed Weapons Permit application criteria, “The mere fear of victimization or the desire to carry a firearm is insufficient (to obtain a permit).” As tragic as the assaults on college campuses have been, the number of people killed in proportion to the number of students that attend a higher educational facility is minuscule. Many, many more people are murdered with firearms outside campus boundaries on a daily basis than within them, so personal protection on a college campus would likely not fly as a reason to apply for a permit.
I must also point out that as a result of the training and interview processes for obtaining such a permit, the likelihood that someone who actually has a permit and is willing to use a firearm in an applicable situation is extremely small. Understand that the possibility of a deterrent to a shooting does exist within the SCCC’s proposition, but I have to agree with Taylor Moore in that most college students do not possess the familiarity, competence or other qualifying characteristics to obtain a permit in the first place. I don’t think, however, that the presence of concealed weapons would “just add fuel to the fire,” as weapons carried by permit-retaining individuals would likely go completely unnoticed, given the requirements of the permit issuance and retention.
My point is that the probability of a massacre being prevented by a student carrying a firearm is so unlikely, at least in this state with permit application requirements, that it is inapplicable to this campus. Besides, it is possible that those who have permits to carry already do so on campus, and everyone is simply ignorant of it, as it is required we should be.
Sean Graff is an architectural design junior and a guest columnist for the Mustang Daily.