Saturday, October 01, 2011

Not wasting a blog comment

A court in Oregon has recently ruled that the state cannot ban licensed concealed carry on campus.  This worries Baldr Oldenson, despite the complete lack of problems in the few other states that allow it.  Baldr is irregular about which comments he chooses to allow on his blog, so rather than wasting the effort, I've used my comment as a basis for a post.

He writes:
 Among college-aged people (ages 18-30, to include most grad students), 81.5% of homicides and 46.5% of suicides are by firearms.  Homicide and suicide are the number 2 and number 3 causes of death in that age range (behind unintentional deaths, where firearms are about 1%) (based on CDC WISQARS data for 2008).  Percentages increase if you drop the age to undergrad ages (18-22), and the difference in ranking between accidental and homicide drop dramatically.
This definition of 'college age' includes the peak criminal and gang years.  Criminals account for most of the non-suicide gun violence, it is misleading to lump them in with college students.

Yes, those are schools that have had shootings. It's true that no one was allowed to carry a gun and "play Wyatt Earp" (to quote myself from this post) and shoot the bad guys. However, I would counter that in mass shootings that have happened outside of university settings, including on military bases, no one intervened in any of them, either, despite the ability for citizens to carry guns. In other words, allowing guns on campus isn't likely to stop the shooters, but it definitely will increase the likelihood of homicides and accidents by students. In colleges all over the nation, the rate of gun-related crimes is far lower on-campus (in those gun-free zones) than in the surrounding city.
Mass shooters tend to choose places where they think resistance will be minimal. Mass shooters almost always give up or suicide once someone else shoots back.  And when someone intervenes quickly enough, there's not an opportunity for it to be a mass shooting. Most of the benefit of concealed carry is not in criminals getting shot, it is in criminals not being assured of harmless victims.  Unless accompanied by unrealistic increases in physical security, banning guns in 'sensitive' areas is likely to make them more attractive to mass shooters.   The mass shooting at a military base that he refers to is evidence for my point rather than his--On a typical base the only legal loaded guns are on the gun range or carried by security.  In the  Fort Hood incident, nobody could shoot back until an armed civilian arrived. 

But accidents happen every day, and there are plenty of violent and reactive people out there.  Where there are guns, there are gun crimes and accidents.
In general, proponents of expansion of licensed concealed carry keep predicting minimal issues and a slight drop in crime, while anti-gun activists keep predicting severe problems, even when similar measures have not been a problem in other states.  Once enough time has passed to judge these predictions, one side is consistently more accurate than the other.

1 comment:

  1. Hendrick2:58 PM

    Too bad the progressive bloggers are so against allowing opposing viewpoints on their blogs. It just shows how weak their arguments are, and is against the spirit of the First Ammendment and a Free Marketplace of Ideas. But most Totalatarianists have been against such ideals, so no big surprise.

    It also says much about your character and ideals, that you are willing to let your ideas stand up to public scrutiny. Great blog!