What I Think About When I Think About Conceal and Carry On A College Campus


  1. I think about the staggering number of people on a college campus—15,000, 30,000, 50,000.
    1. Who are the good guys?
    2. Who are the bad guys?
    3. How can you tell the difference?
  2. I think about rape, already rampant on campuses (read Jon Krakauer’s MISSOULA), with the added bonus of a perfectly acceptable firearm to intimidate the victim.
  3. I think about questions to ask teachers:
    1. Do you want to carry a gun? Do your peers?
    2. Where would you keep your gun in the day-to-day—office, desk drawer, briefcase, purse, suit pocket, under the dais?
    3. How do you feel about standing exposed before a roomful of students carrying concealed firearms?
    4. How will you feel when meeting alone with a student in your office, with the door closed, if you think he/she is carrying?
  4. I think about skill and ability with weapons.
    1. How do I know you’ve had enough training?
    2. How do I know you’ve had any training?
  5. I think about those huge dimly-lit freshman lecture halls with their skinny desks stacked tight like dominoes—200 or 300 or 400 kids, panicking and shooting each other in the dark.
  6. I think about mental stability.
    1. How do I know if you are on meds, legal or otherwise?
    2. How do I know if you are off your meds?
  7. I think about the big scary guy in my British Lit class who openly despised us, his classmates, and the professor and how terrified we all would have been if he’d been encouraged to carry a firearm.
  8. I think about sitting around waiting for class to start and watching students pass around and compare their guns.
  9. I think if you have proven yourself to be skilled under stress with a weapon (ex-military, law enforcement), carrying a gun is absolutely reasonable. The way an air marshal is licensed to carry a gun on the plane.
  10. I think about drunk young boys, pissed off.
  11. I think about drunk young boys, spouting off.
  12. I think about drunk young boys, showing off.
  13. I think about the brilliant sweet depressed kid in my class one winter semester who told us he’d considered jumping like John Berryman off the river bridge but changed his mind after the long bitter-cold walk. I think about how glad I am he did not have a firearm.
  14. I think about heated class discussions. About who will and won’t feel free to voice dissent.
  15. I think about carrying a gun becoming “cool,” like having the latest cell phone.
  16. I think about a dorm-full of insecure, stressed-out, broke, exhausted, homesick, lonely 19 year olds. With guns laying around.
  17. I wonder how many of the people demanding conceal and carry on college campuses have spent any time recently on a college campus.


What Do You Think About When You Think About Conceal and Carry On A College Campus?


23 thoughts on “What I Think About When I Think About Conceal and Carry On A College Campus

  1. livetransform

    I think it’s time to finally start banning them, not because of the instruments themselves but because the people who love them are just plain getting out of hand.

    1. Laura

      Let’s ban cars too. After all, it’s not human error that cause fatalities… It is the cars themselves.

      1. lisahgolden

        The sole purpose of a gun is to create destruction of one kind or another. A hole in a target or a hole in a person or a hole in an animal. A car has many purposes. The first of which is not to aim it at something and cause destruction.

      2. livetransform

        This is very true, although of course the metaphor itself was a complete non sequitur. I specifically mentioned the people who want guns and how pretty much all of them are the last people who should ever get their hands on one.

  2. amyg

    A few weeks back, toward the beginning of school, I asked my daughter how her day had gone. “Usual beginning of school stuff,” she said, “We had a fire drill and did intruder drills today.” She’s in 6th grade and the matter-of-fact way she talked about the intruder drills – how she and her middle school classmates have to be instructed on how best not to get shot while sitting at their desks. It’s beyond words. It’s beyond gut-wrenching, or heartbreaking, or horrifying. It’s beyond our wildest fears as parents.

    1. Teri Post author

      From a parent/teacher for The Washington Post:

      “We live in a time where, as parents, we exert unprecedented control over our children’s surroundings. We put helmets on our kids before they ride a tricycle in the driveway. We limit their screen time, their sugar, their exposure to plastics. But how do we live with the risks we can’t mitigate? We live in an era where a day at school or a trip to the movie theater may end in disaster.”


  3. Laura

    I think about one of my sons being able to defend themselves, and others, in any of the above situations.

  4. lisahgolden

    I think about the young man who knew better than to draw his own weapon at the most recent campus shooting for fear that he would be thought The Shooter and the other man who rushed the shooter and how both made decisions based on their personal safety and the safety of others.

    When will there be enough guns for this fantasy of more guns = more safety? When actually is it enough? Because we should be reaching critical mass, don’t you think?

  5. jennyrecorder

    I think I am glad my children go to universities in a country where owning a gun is strictly regulated and most people will never see or touch one in their lifetime

  6. HemmingPlay

    Reblogged this on HemmingPlay and commented:
    I’m sorry to stick current events in here, but I spent 26 years on the university campus around 35,000 hormonal hung over teenagers, and this one spoke to the kinds of thoughts I and lots of others around me had.

  7. donnaeve

    Lisa, the other night I heard there are 300 million guns in the U.S., almost one per person.

    For me, I’m all for being aware, for thinking it out, i.e., what would I do if…? A half-assed plan is better than none. But then again, I have no clue how I would act if confronted by anything that’s happened of late.

    Something I thought about was, in the 50’s, schools showed students how to put on a gas mask, conducted black outs, and taught how to duck and cover – should nuclear war break out. Sometime in the 60’s and 70’s I believe, it was about “stranger danger,” and close behind that came the need to sift through candy at Halloween to find what’s safe, and then it was learning about predators on the internet, and on and on.

    I see no end, and when I say, I see no end, I mean, criminals will always figure out a way to be criminals. They don’t obey the laws today, they won’t tomorrow. Those with mental health issues, that’s a sticky wicket because of HIPPA laws. And then…there are those who know someone’s in trouble (mentally) and don’t say anything, or do anything. (I’m referring to the parents here)

    1. Teri Post author

      Awareness, yes. I’m not pro-gun but I’m also not anti-gun. And in this post I was just thinking out loud about campus conceal and carry and HOW it would actually work or not in the day to day.

      I believe there is a conception that all liberals want to “take guns away” from responsible gun owners. And yet I have never once heard a liberal or democrat say this. I know responsible gun owners and I appreciate them!

      To Laura’s point above about wanting her sons to be able to defend themselves and others, I say YES, but only because I know Laura and I know her boys are kind, thoughtful young men who have been raised with the best gun training and sense of honor and responsibility in their home. I would feel safe knowing either of them were “carrying.”

      But the rest of the kids on a college campus? I don’t know them and there are thousands of them and I have no idea how they were raised or how they would use or manage owning or using a weapon. That’s what terrifies me.

    2. Teri Post author

      That said … Picture several people with guns drawn and the cops showing up and having no idea who the shooter is.

      1. donnaeve

        Exactly. I believe I’m in the same lane as you on this in that I’m not pro/anti, and all I can do is think and suppose and wonder. And I also think some of what you said is the very reason why no one can seem to figure out what the hell to do. And around and around it goes.

  8. Bill Jackson

    As an Ex Military member, I think about the fact that right now, the only ones who are carrying on campus are those that do not care about breaking the law.

  9. jhat84

    Reblogged this on jihatfieldblog and commented:
    During my first year as a graduate student, my professor or one of my fellow students, brought up how we felt if students were allowed to bring a firearm on campus or in the classroom. My professor’s answer was “The day they allow firearms on this campus is the day I no longer teach at this university.” This professor had everything to lose if she left, being someone who had tenure, and she would still rather quit her job than lose her life to one person who decided to open fire, no matter their reason.
    Yes, being in college is scary when there are a million things that can happen to you, but that’s nothing new. Colleges have never been safe. To bring a firearm to campus is simply lighting a fire and hoping you can control the flames.

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