An Evaluation of the Arguments of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and the Possible Impact of Concealed Weapons on College Shooters and Victims

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, or SCCC, are advocates in favor of concealed weapons on campus. The article is written to inform a very large audience about why concealed weapons should be allowed on campus. The article first starts out with SCCC’s reason why they are for concealed handguns on campus. “Current school policies and state laws against concealed carry on campus serve only to stack the odds in favor of dangerous criminals.” (Students).

However, Students for Gun Free Schools or SGFS, doesn’t agree. Debate starts when SGFS first brings up the statement that “Concealed handguns would detract from a healthy learning environment”, making students feel uncomfortable not knowing who is carrying a concealed weapon. (Students). On the contrary, SCCC states that only 1 out of every 100 students is actually licensed to carry a concealed firearm. They then describe different scenarios of how minute the number of people who possess a firearm. Furthermore, SCCC defends their notion describing that giving the ability for college students to equip themselves with a concealed firearm would not change the laws that are already concrete.

“Allowing concealed carry on college campusus would not change the rules about who can purchase a firearm or who can obtain a concealed handgun liscense… would not make it legal to carry a handgun while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Chnaging the rules would simply allow the same trained licensed adults who carry concealed handguns, without incident when not on campus, to do so on campus.” (Students). SFGS then states how allowing hidden handguns on campus wouldn’t deter potential shooters on the campus. However, Ernest D. Wooton, who spoke at the SCCC National Conference quoted, “If we don’t try it, are we going to know?” The SCCC backs the statement with details on how hard it would be for an unstable person to go on a shooting spree if the concealed handgun holder ends the spree before it begins (Students). SFGS then inclines how concealed weapon holders are not always law abiding citizens.

However, SCCC states “Concealed handgun license holders are five times less likely than non-license to commit violent crimes.” (Students). The statement is further backed by background checks and extensive state and federal finger printing which all concealed weapon applicants go through to prevent mentally unstable and convicted criminals from obtaining a license. The final argument concludes how concealed weapon holders are not required to go through Law Enforcement Training because they’re not Law Enforcement Officers.” (Students). The only class a concealed weapon holder needs to attend is on how to use the gun to stop immediate threats of serious injury or death. With the conclusion of the article, SCCC points out that “SCCC simply seeks to take the advantage away from those who seek to harm the innocent.” (Students).

With an organization being this small and young, the ethos involved in the paper wasn’t so much as their credibility, but the credibility of sources used to push their arguement. The SCCC credits themselves as Students for Concealed Carry on Campus which “was created in the wake of the April 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech.” (Students). With being such a young organization, the SCCC has maintained “unpredicted media attention and public support.” (Students). They attain such attention by being thoroughly aggressive in their statements and saying how it is. SCCC announces the SGFS arguments, then throws their argument back into their face. “This attack on the positions of SCCC brings few, if any, new arguments to the table and relies instead on the well-worn arguments put forth by groups like Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.” (Students).

Along with strong testimonies SCCC’s size is so large that “Louisiana state representative Ernest D. Wooton, spoke at the 2008 SCCC National Conference in Washington D.C.” showing they are growing quickly with increasing popularity. (Students). To do maintain this popularity however, SCCC uses facts and common sense from sources such as the “FBI” and other miscellaneous sources which make it hard for contenders to argue against the SCCC.

With strong points, popularity, and facts on the SCCC’s side, they incorporate one more aspect of rhetoric. The use of pathos is a strategy used very much by the SCCC. Using catchy phrases such as “Tossing academic standards of research and citation to the wind” and “astoundingly naïve leap in logic”, criticize the SGFS and make the opposing side look illogical to the reader. Along with criticizing opponents, relationships the author makes position the reader in different perspectives and situations that one would encounter. They create a relation to the audience by stating how a 105 lb. woman can defend herself against a potential rapist off campus, but not being able to do so on campus. Another statement made by the SCCC describes how individuals that are likely to be criminals wouldn’t care about a license. “An individual engaged in criminal activity is typically not concerned with the prospect of committing a misdemeanor on his or her way to commit a felony.” (Students). SCCC makes typical common sense statements like these to show how inferior the SGFS’s statements are, and causing the reader to feel strongly towards SCCC’s opinions.

If one were to develop a question that would narrow the window of research needed to make a good analysis of the debate; the question would have to be “What are the laws for concealed weapons in the city which the college resides?” The logistics behind this question is if the city approves or disapproves of the concealed weapons. That in itself should be the determining factor of whether college students are allowed to have them or not. “After all, what are college campuses but, essentially, large, affluent neighborhoods?” (Students). Just because the college itself has more young adults and different rules, doesn’t mean the college can float away from the laws which the city enforces. Colleges are still part of the city which means it follows the city laws.

If the city allows the firearms to be wielded within the city, then technically there should be no difference on college campus. The question is not only logical, but also very important. The importance of this question is that it may or may not save lives when dangerous situations occur. Virginia Tech school suffered many losses when Seung-Hui Cho went on his shooting spree. This tragic event could’ve been prevented if the campus wasn’t a gun free zone, or allowed concealed weaponry. “After a combined total of one hundred semesters, why haven’t we seen any negative results on those twelve campuses? There is absolutely no verifiable evidence to suggest that allowing concealed carry on college campuses makes campuses any less safe; therefore, reason dictates that current school policies and state laws against concealed carry on campus serve only to stack the odds in favor of dangerous criminals who have no regard for school policy or state law.” (Students).

With the lives of students at stake upon the issue, makes this one of the most important questions to ask. Just think, if there would have been a concealed weapon carrier the day Seung-Hui-Cho went on his shooting spree, would more lives been saved, if not all of them? It’s a question that needs to be answered before more lives are taken in such tragic ways.

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