I am probably going to regret writing a gun post, but… here goes.
You haven’t heard about the gun dorm? Well, back in August, the University of Colorado announced it was segregating students with concealed carry permits in dorms of their own on its campuses in Boulder and Colorado Springs. This, after the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that struck down the school’s ban on people bringing guns on campus. So now, a student 21 years or older who has a permit may be armed in the dorm or even in class, though not, for some reason, at a school event requiring a ticket.
Recently, The Denver Post decided to count the number of young gunslingers who wanted to live among their own. How many kids had rushed to take advantage of this opportunity?
Let’s just say there is not a waiting list. The Post reports the number of kids who opted for the gun dorm is zero. A big, fat goose egg.
Sounds like college kids have more sense than adults in positions of authority. The NRA is one crazy step away from fighting for guns in high schools… possibly issuing a gun permit with every birth certificate.
It’s no secret (at least if you’re one of my faithful readers) that we considered gun culture/laws when choosing a college for our son. Arizona, Florida and Texas schools weren’t even considered in the Pandora household. Guns in bars, Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia? Well, that’s a good mix. What could possibly go wrong?
And where are my rights to go out for a drink without worrying that a disagreement over a bar stool could result in my dodging bullets. And gun owners have no right to demand that I put my faith in their judgement. Yes, there are responsible gun owners, but to pretend that all gun owners are responsible – especially after a few drinks – is more than crazy. It’s reckless and dangerous.
Speaking of reckless and dangerous… allowing guns on college campuses and in dorm rooms is an accident begging to happen. Guns at a kegger, anyone? Because, lord knows, college kids epitomize moderation. Not that they’re supposed to. Part of the college experience is learning to moderate your new found freedom; to learn how to study, get enough sleep, and when to have fun without Mom and Dad’s rules.
It is also a period of big emotional changes. For most kids it’s the first time they will live on their own. It can be very difficult and challenging. It can be very stressful. Suddenly kids are not only responsible for their grades, but also for feeding themselves, doing their laundry, living with different personalities, their dating life – or lack of dating life, handling a bully, a bad break up, putting themselves to bed and getting themselves up, homesickness, etc. That’s a lot.
Fortunately, my son is doing very well at college, but it’s been stressful for him (and me!). College throws a lot at you all at once, and many kids go through bouts of depression. Why would any sane adult think tossing a gun into that mix was wise? I guess it’s because gun violence doesn’t exist on college campuses. Oh, wait…
Leonard Pitts Jr., of the Miami Herald, continues:
As has happened with conservatism generally, the gun-rights movement has lurched hard to the right in recent years, has alienated reason, ostracized compromise and fetishized guns and gun ownership to a point that seems psychologically unhealthy.
I couldn’t agree more with that statement. I will not have guns in my home. That’s my choice, but before certain gun owners come on here telling me that my feelings towards guns is due to my lack of familiarity and understanding of guns, I’ll remind you, that as a cop’s kid, I grew up with a guns in my house. So I’m very familiar and understand guns.
That said, almost every time a gun owner discovers my feelings about guns I end up hearing the same thing. What if someone broke into your house? What if someone tried to mug/rob/rape you? What about carjackers? What if someone like Jared Loughner walked into your neighborhood meeting?
That’s a lot of fear, as well as a lot of expecting the worse. Frankly, it borders on paranoia, and paranoid people shouldn’t own guns.
Obligatory disclaimer: I know responsible gun owners (some who comment on this site. Hello, Miscreant!), but the one thing that separates them from the paranoid, psychologically unhealthy gun owners is they don’t lead with their gun. Responsible gun owners aren’t defined and enhanced by their weapon. They don’t try and convert anyone, or force their lifestyle choice on anyone else. They own a gun, but they’re fine if you don’t; they even – gasp – understand. Responsible gun owners are usually for reasonable gun laws and are some of the loudest critics of lax training requirements for guns.