The Armed Campus in the Anxiety Age


Ian Bogost, a college professor at Georgia Tech, published an article “The Armed Campus in the Anxiety Age” in The Atlantic (2015) where he argues that the intense pressures and anxieties college students currently face make guns on campus a dangerous proposition. Bogost sites many “what-if” factors but also references increased test scores currently required for college acceptance, new environment anxiety, and a tough job market following graduation as factors that lead to students having an increased level of stress while attending college. The article is written in order to persuade readers that a college student’s psyche is under an intensive amount of stress and that by adding guns into the mix, students may lash out, underperform, or be limited in expressing themselves. Due to broad speculations and emotion based facts provided in this article, it is clear that the author’s primary audience are those already  apposed to firearms on a college campus.

I personally struggled with this article and thought that it was incorrect and out of touch with reality. It wasn’t the fact that Mr. Bogost was anti-concealed carry that made me go cross eyed at certain points, that side-effect came from his arguments and logic that attempted to supported his agenda. Throughout the article, the author made contradictory statements that attempted to paint a picture of the modern college student in a very inaccurate light. On one hand, Bogost demeans the college aged generation to nothing more than fragile cry-babies who could not fend for themselves. It almost seems that Bogost is trying to win an Oscar for “best drama” when he expresses that the mere idea of a concealed gun on campus for these students is the equivalent to “terrorism”. On the other hand, he expresses that these same college students are volitile and immature beings that could erupt and go on a killing spree at any moment. He states that if students were allowed guns, students may shoot at each other if they do not share the same viewpoints in a classroom debate. I have been in college (minus my four year Army break) since 2009. In that time I have seen many arguments and heated discussions between students, but never once has one ever remotely escalated to becoming a violent confrontation. The biggest flaw of this article was that the only evidence for anti-conceal carry on campus was essentially belittling those from the age of 18-22 and saying that they were not “mature enough” to handle a firearm safely. My reply, “Hey Mr. Bogost, those are the same age of individuals who are out there fighting for your freedom of speech. Should we take their guns away too?”



Bogost, Ian. “The Armed Campus in the Anxiety Age.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 9 Mar. 2016. Web. 08 Feb. 2017. <;.



3 thoughts on “The Armed Campus in the Anxiety Age

  1. I actually read this article, too, and had the same exact response that you did. I honestly felt offended because I am more than capable of handling myself in stressful situations, but he was clumping all of college students into this one category, which is extremely unfair. I think this author has as a lot of personal struggles in terms with guns and weapons because the article is almost accusatory, and it doesn’t make sense for someone to get so heated over something if there isn’t an extreme personal connection.


  2. I also with both you and Ella that to me it sounds like this author does not know college students. His thoughts about college students I found are extremely offensive. I find it interesting that it sounds like his audience is directly to college students, but yet he is offending them in his article. It’s also frustrating when authors use “what-if” factors instead of facts and statistics.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s