Logan Cordes is the Summer Editor of an independent college publication called The Exponent out of Indiana. I got to know Cordes through his article below, titled “Column: Guns don’t encourage safety, they endanger it”.
Naturally when this title came across my desk, I had to dig a little further to see what the arguments were. Let’s pick this apart, right from the beginning.
I’ve never understood guns.
At their core, guns are meant to kill. Whether someone has a gun for hunting, – a common reason for the possession of a firearm for gun enthusiasts – home protection or because they want to employ the use of a gun for criminal activity, it is irrefutable that guns exist to inflict pain and to kill.
That has never sat well with me.
I always have a problem with the ‘guns are meant to kill’ argument, primarily because the firearms that I purchase are not for killing. I don’t hunt, so I don’t buy any firearms for that purpose. I also don’t strap on my firearm in the morning thinking, “If something goes wrong, I can just take someone’s life.” In reality, that’s not how it works. My firearms aren’t for killing, they are for self-protection and self-preservation.
And more often than not, some 99%, it’s the mere presence of a firearm that de-escalates and ends the bad situation. Only a fraction of self-defense firearm draws will result in the trigger being pulled. Outside of the range, you never want to pull the trigger.
So gun control legislation – or lack thereof, depending on who you ask – that was passed in Texas earlier this month, scared me. A polarizing point of the legislation was the allowance of concealed carry on college campuses. Indiana allows for concealed carry on college campuses, but it’s up to the respective universities to decide if they permit guns on campus.
Texas lawmakers eventually passed a bill that left concealed carry up to the universities, just like Indiana. This was viewed as a “loss” and a “compromise” by gun enthusiasts, notably Students For Concealed Carry which is a national organization of students, professors, parents and university employees “who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else.”
However, as someone who was on campus when Cody Cousins shot and killed Andrew Boldt, I feel safer the farther I am from guns. I don’t want to go to school every day not knowing who in the room has a device capable of instantly taking the life of my professor, one of my classmates or myself.
I presented this argument to a friend who legally owns a gun and practices gun safety. He said that having someone in a classroom with a gun should make me feel safer.
But I just didn’t buy it.
We aren’t talking about people with firearms that are looking to do harm. Those people are already going to enter campus with their firearms regardless. We cannot ever forget that a bad person bent on killing is not going to bother to follow the law.
We’re talking about responsible adults who carry firearms for protection purposes. You won’t even know they’re carrying and when coupled with responsibility, it’ll prove to be a non-issue.
The arguments for guns on campus is silly to me. The idea that allowing 18-24 year old college students, with a bevy of emotional influences and unparalleled access to depressants and drugs, to carry weapons into classrooms full of people seems crazy.
I went to college and while others did things such as drugs, I never touched them. Why? Because I’m responsible. I was responsible enough not to do drugs, and I would have been responsible enough to carry a firearm. I’m sure others fall into this category. The entire population of your college is not on drugs… or at least I hope not.
My friend countered with something of the effect of: people who wanted to have guns on campus could be required to pass certain classes to have guns on campus. Even so, if a law-abiding citizen with a gun had been present when Cousins murdered Boldt, are we sure that person would have had it in himself or herself to pull out their gun and kill Cousins? That’s one hell of an assumption.
Doing this Concealed Nation thing for the better part of 3 years now, I’ve quickly realized that a gun in the hands of a good guy during the commission of a crime of a bad guy is usually never a bad thing. What a killer, such as Cousins, wants is to be uninterrupted during their heinous acts. When a law-abiding citizen with a firearm is introduced, and they decide to take action, it immediately levels the playing field. At the very least, it draws attention away from any intended victims and would likely allow them time to get further away from the threat.
We see time and time again with these school shootings, the bad guys wind up offing themselves as police are arriving. Newtown and Columbine are perfect examples of this. Once the force was coming, they knew it was over. They had finally been met with resistance they couldn’t handle. After all, at the end of the day… they’re cowards.
I guess as far as I’m concerned, I’m still yet to see any sort of argument that can convince me that guns would make a classroom safer. Even Texas, a state known for its conservatism and supposed leniency on gun control, will probably see most, if not all, of its universities opt not to allow guns on campuses.
And to that I say good riddance.
I know it’s difficult to sometimes change a person’s mind about the presence of firearms on a campus, but what I can provide is this: I cover stories that outline guns saving lives on a daily basis. It’s not a fairy tale. It really happens, and it happens often.
One day, I hope to write and publish a story titled, “Concealed Carrier Stops College Gunman, Saving Countless Lives”. Or some more of these stories.