College Dorms For Young Guns

Filed in National by on December 5, 2012

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.

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A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (15)

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  1. Jason330 says:

    The NRA needs to keep paying millions in executive salaries, so they can’t take “yes” for an answer. In order to raise money they need to continue to find places that restrict gun ownership, so yes – they will certainly be pushing for guns in high schools at some point in the near future.

    Since the NRA is completely unchecked by reason or rationality, I see us moving from universal gun access to some kind of mandatory gun ownership system in 50 years.

  2. meatball says:

    My college dorm had a walk in gun locker in the basement as well as a game cleaning shop. Neither my parents nor I thought anything was wrong with that at the time (1988).

  3. V says:

    Here’s the thing meatball, U Co already had similar stuff in place (gun lockers and places for hunters to keep their equipment)for hunters on campus before the conceal carry dorm. The dorm is just for people who feel the need to have guns with them at all times.

  4. Joanne Christian says:

    Couple of things:

    1) If you have permit to “conceal” why would you sign up for a dorm exposing that?

    2) In Arizona you can have a gun in a bar, as long as it is in the open on the “table”–otherwise in Walmart the holster is just fine.

    3) Neither 1 or 2 is the lifestyle I’d be comfortable with, but have lived elsewhere in the US where the gunrack loaded in the cab of the pick-up, was as common as a pocketbook on the passenger seat. And they were responsible. But I know both sides and the other side is so painful.

  5. Jason330 says:

    If you are walking around with your heart and head full of so much fear that you think you need a gun on a college campus – you ain’t living.

    I pity the fools.

  6. fightingbluehen says:

    I would tell them I had a gun even if I didn’t, just so I could live in the empty dorm.

  7. bamboozer says:

    As a musician the idea of guns in a bar, any bar under any circumstances, is insane. I’ve seen pool cues, billiard balls, broken bottles and chairs used as weapons in some rather viscious bar fights (yes, the worst were in country bars). Adding guns to the mix is begging for trouble. And yes, the NRA will continue to try and get universal access for guns. That is except my personal favorites, the supreme court and congress. Why should politicians and judges be denied the joy of being surrounded by guns? After all, they seem to love them so.

  8. Joanne Christian says:

    LOL FBH–I agree–then let the others fear me, when I walk out the door to class!

  9. pandora says:

    “1) If you have permit to “conceal” why would you sign up for a dorm exposing that?”

    That’s true, altho not talking about (exposing) your gun, and how you carry it, is a trait I’ve rarely seen.

    So either we have Colorado college kids deciding not to bring a gun into their dorm, or you have kids sneaking their gun into their no gun dorm. The first are the future of our country, the second will grow up to believe they are above the rules and everyone is out to get them.

    But what always bothers me about the “I have a right to carry my gun anywhere I want” crowd, is that me, my husband, and my children are being told that are rights to a life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, gun free environment/bar/dorm room don’t count. We are at the whim – and mental stability – of random gun owners.

    Why not just say, everyone with a gun permit is fit to run a day care? After all, if we’re being told to place our trust in them…

  10. V says:

    i think i heard somewhere that because of the guns it’s also a zero tolerance dorm for alcohol/shenanigans/etc. maybe that’s also part of the reason no one wants to live there.

    also, who on EARTH would want to be the RA in that dorm? Mr. V was an RA for a while, sometimes those kids are total monsters.

  11. Another Mike says:

    Can you imagine the chaos if they allowed guns at Bob’s Country Bunker?

  12. Joanne Christian says:

    Well that’s odd V–because at Arizona State, where there are liberal gun laws–no weaponry, OR ALCOHOL is permitted for possession, or consumption in residence halls. In fact, at orientation it was made clear the WHOLE campus is considered alcohol free, and campus police can arrest a drunk kid coming back to campus as a “walking vessel” or some such term they used (vessel was definitely used, you attorneys out there I’m sure know the word), as a violator. You have to have an alcohol permit for designated areas of alcohol service and consumption, issued thru the university. And they have no trouble keeping dorm occupancy up. Also, 2013 they are going tobacco free–which kinda strikes me as late to the game.

    I don’t know–I always liked calm dorm life–a respite to return from wherever I was. But I didn’t want “wherever I was” to be in the dorm 24/7.

  13. pandora says:

    I didn’t think alcohol was allowed in dorms – in most colleges. That’s the rule – which is broken – at my son’s school. (Psst… it was broken at mine, too!)

  14. V says:

    I just meant that there are stricter punishments for alcohol in some dorms, like stricter quiet hours. And I know at least at some schools if you’re 21 they can’t do anything about having some beer in your fridge (as recently as 2007 at UD you could have alcohol in a dorm room if all occupants were 21, I don’t know if that’s still the rule).

    it’s not odd JC. Rules vary from school to school. If one dorm has stricter rules than another it might impact people’s choices. Also, Arizona state doesn’t sound like much fun.

    I actually may be wrong about the thing at the gun dorm anyway. I can’t seem to find it again on the internet.

  15. Liberal Elite says:

    It’s the ultimate loser tag. No self respecting girl is going to want to go into the gun dorm to have sex.

    What was the NRA thinking? …makes a running joke of all they stand for?