In Michael McGrady’s article “In Colorado, carrying guns on campus is no longer controversial” posted on the website titled “Red Alert Politics” in November 2015, he argues that the majority of students and faculty in Colorado are starting to focus on other pressing issues that effect their daily lives and are caring less about legislation surrounding concealed carrying on college campuses. He provides evidence to this claim by interviewing multiple students and faculty members of college campuses, and reveals that their interests have drastically shifted off of the issue as opposed to how much emphasis was placed on the topic in years prior. McGrady is writing this article as an informative report on the situation surrounding colleges in Colorado, but provides selective interviews that suggest he may be trying to persuade anyone who is anti-carry that the argument is no longer valid. Due to the selective interviews that are very pro-carry and the downplaying of the other side of the argument, McGrady is writing to not only pro-carry individuals to reaffirm their beliefs, but also to anti-carry individuals and trying to convince them that the entire argument is a thing of the past.
I found this article useful due to it’s geographic context that brings this issue home for a reader who attends Colorado State University. This article really articulated the most important point that many pro-gun advocates believe to be true and that is “only good guys follow the laws, bad guys do not.” Throughout McGrady’s interviews with students who attend CU this message was expressed and I believe it to be the most solid, common sense argument for the pro-carry side of the argument. However, red flags immediately popped up in my mind when I saw that he interviewed students from the University of Colorado, a University well known for being a very liberal and anti-gun school, who saw this as a menial issue. This, combined with the article being posted to a website with the title “Red Alert Politics” and having many of the side links that were very conservative in political nature, made me suspect that there was large amounts of bias throughout this article. Although I am not questioning the authenticity of the quotes collected from the individuals that were cited, I question the validity of taking these selected quotes and making an argument that these few individuals represent the ideals of the entire campus. Besides the bias shown, I think that this article was a very good report on
the opinions of college students and faculty members who are pro-concealed carry on college campuses.
McGrady, Michael. “In Colorado, Carrying Guns on Campus Is No Longer Controversial.” Red Alert Politics. Red Alert Politics, 27 Nov. 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://redalertpolitics.com/2015/11/27/colorado-carrying-guns-campus-no-longer-controversial/>.
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. <https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/03/campus-carry-anxiety-age/472920/>.
This post is not associated with any article in particular but more of a personal inquiry. I know that anyone in Wyoming who is legaly eligible to purchase a gun can concealed carry without a permit or background check. However, according to Wyoming Statue 6-8-104, a person can not carry a concealed weapon at:
(vi) Any school, college or professional athletic event not related to firearms;
(x) Any college or university facility without the written consent of the security of the college or university
I contacted the University of Wyomings Police Department for clarification. According to the officer I spoke with, a student must meet with the Chief of Police and argue as to why he/she wants to conceal carry on campus. It is solely up to the Chief of Police to grant permission to the student to conceal carry a firearm or to deny their request.
The link to the full statue can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/management/upload/wy_6-8-102.pdf
Jade Reindl and Jean Cocco, students at Florida State University and University of South Florida, argue in their article posted on CNN in 2017 titled “Say no to guns on college campuses” that students, faculty, police, and parents are all opposed to concealed carry on college campuses and that only the gun lobby is the one promoting the idea. They support this claim by providing data of polls taken from Universities across the country and quotes taken from interviews of those who are anti-concealed carry. At the time of the articles release, the state of Florida was pushing through pro-concealed carry legislation and the authors wanted to speak up against and persuade the public to see that this legislation should not be passed. These authors were primarily speaking to those who were registered in Florida and could act immediately against these legislations, but also to anyone in the United States who could effect similar change using their voting rights.
I thought this article was particularly intriguing due to its claim that the only individuals who were pro-concealed carry were the gun lobbies. This was an interesting stance that I had never heard before and have not seen sufficient evidence to prove. Although the article did point to various polls and surveys that showed individuals were largely anti-concealed carry, many of which did not have a working link to fact check, it did not have any data to point to the gun lobbies as the acting opposition. The article did quote a Nevada legislator who was pushing forward to legalize concealed carry on college campuses, but did not say whether or not she had ties to the gun lobby or not. Also, the former NRA President was quoted in the article but the way the text read, it almost seemed as if the authors had taken a piece of the individuals words and fit it conveniently into their narrative. I did really appreciate the data this article provided in support of the anti-carry claim because many of the authors I have read who argue the same side do so strictly on emotion-based logic. However, I question the legitimacy of the claim that the gun lobby is the one solely responsible for supporting a students right to concealed carry on a college campus. I am perfect evidence for this as I am a supporter, and I have nothing to do with the gun lobby.
Reindl, Jade, and Jean Cocco. “Say No to Guns on College Campuses (Opinion).” CNN. Cable News Network, 26 Feb. 2015. Web. 06 Feb. 2017. <http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/26/opinion/reindl-cocco-campus-no-guns/>.
In Sara Lipka’s article “Campaigns to Overrule Campus Gun Bans Have Failed in Many States” (2008), the author investigates both those who support and those who oppose students being able to conceal carry handguns on college campuses. Lipka interviews professors, students, lawmakers, and police in order to get the view point of all stakeholders involved in this issue. The purpose of this article is to take a fresh look at the entire topic after one year of one of the most deadly college campus shootings occurred at Virginia Tech and it is in response to current legislation pushes in certain states that allows students to carry on campus. Judging by the amount and identity of first hand interviews and accounts, Lipka’s intended audience for this article are students and faculty members of Universities as well as parents whose children are currently in college.
I think this article was a perfect way to begin to look at the whole concealed carry on campus issue, especially since it was exactly one year after the Virginia Tech incident. It gave a fairly unbiased account of both sides to the argument and cited specific areas that these debates are currently taking place. Although the text in the article puts more of an emphasis on those who are trying to appeal anti-gun laws currently in favor of more students being able to carry on campus, the author does not specially take one side of the argument over another. The article related to me on a personal level when speaking about the former Marine who was attending college and personally felt safer carrying a firearm for his own protection. Formerly being in the Army myself, I too conceal carry my pistol on campus and it makes me feel more comfortable than if I were not to. Another strong part of this article was when Lipka gave the Policemen’s opinions on why they were anti-concealed carry. Rather than approach it from a position that solely talks about how other people may become uncomfortable with students carrying guns, the Policemen gave a compelling argument of individuals with a lack of training that could cause more harm than good. If Lipka would have included data in this article of surveys or statistics that favor one side of the argument, this would have been even a better foundation for one to look at both sides of the issue. However, I believe this is a good starting place for many to get first exposure to the controversy and is especially helpful since it provides both sides of the argument from first hand stakeholders.
Lipka, Sara. “Campaigns to Overrule Campus Gun Bans Have Failed in Many States.”The Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 18 Apr. 2008. Web. 03 Feb. 2017.