Almost 98 percent of the people responding to an online survey by an Arkansas newspaper support the idea of legally-licensed people being allowed to carry concealed sidearms on college campuses in the Natural State.
The unscientific poll is being conducted by the Madison County Record in Huntsville. At last check, the results were running 97.9 percent in favor of all colleges allowing carry permit holders on campus. Another 1.6 percent of the respondents favor allowing a college or university to decide that issue for their specific campuses.
Only a dismal 0.5 percent of the responses oppose the idea of legally-armed citizens carrying on campus.
The newspaper’s managing editor opposes the idea apparently because back in October 2008, two students at the University of Central Arkansas were killed in a drive-by shooting at the university.
While many self-defense advocates might argue that it is situations just like this, or the car-and-knife terror attack at Ohio State University, that justify carrying a defensive sidearm, Managing Editor Preston Tolliver writes this:
“There are a few reasons how the bill could be disastrous for a university. While the bill’s sponsors claim that knowing a person might be carrying a firearm could deter a would-be shooter from doing damage, it could also encourage them. If a person with ill intent knows where to find a gun – whether at home in a safe or forcing it from a person’s waistband – it could spell tragedy.
“Additionally, a person with a concealed carry permit – while some training is required – they don’t have nearly the training to neutralize a threat as a local police force. And when you have someone who tries to eliminate that threat in a room full of people, it could mean more harm than good. For example, a 2015 study by the Violence Policy Center found that between 2007 and the time of the study, there had been at least 722 non-self defense (sic) deaths ‘attributable to individuals with legal permits to carry concealed weapons,’ according to a New York Times article. The point is, accidents happen, and in a chaotic atmosphere like that, I would rather entrust my life to an officer trained to handle the situation than a well-intended person with less training.”
Terrorist or criminal attacks do not happen on a pre-arranged schedule, meaning that an armed police officer is not likely to be present when they occur. The Ohio State case, where a campus officer fatally shot the perpetrator, was so rare an anomaly that it made national headlines.
Likewise, terrorists, lunatics or drive-by thugs don’t call ahead to warn they are coming.
So, this boils down to a question that the gun prohibition lobby – which Tolliver refers to as a source of information – is fond of tossing out: “If it saves just one life, isn’t it worth it?”
Apparently, 97.9 percent of the respondents to the newspaper poll think so.