Letter to the Editor: Guns on campus is a great idea

Walter Block, [email protected]

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I thank J. Christopher Brown for his Letter to the Editor in the Maroon of October 30, 2015, entitled “Guns on campus is a terrible idea.” This was in response to an On the Record opinion of mine the previous week: “Gun Control on campus prevents school shootings.”

In the latter, I maintained that some 92 percent of mass shootings occurred on gun free zones; people there are sitting ducks, easy targets for mayhem.

Mr. Brown avers that he would be “terrified to have large number of students and faculty, without special training, carrying concealed weapons on campus.” But, he engages in a logical contradiction when he reveals that he qualified as a Sharpshooter and holds a Louisiana concealed handgun permit, and yet “will never bring a gun to school,” presumably, because he is “without special training.”

He cannot be allowed to have this matter both ways. He is “terrified” of guns being wielded by those “without special training,” and, also, by people carrying guns such as himself who do have “special training.” This makes no sense.

In my original article, I never came within a million miles of saying that the untrained should be allowed on campus with guns. Mr. Brown puts fallacious words in my mouth.

Rather, in sharp contrast, I called for the creation of university teams in the biathlon and pistol target shooting. Would anyone be accepted on our volleyball, or basketball or track teams without “special training?” Of course not. The same would go for a team dedicated to these sports.

No one, in my view, should be allowed on a college campus with a firearm without “special training.” Certainly, Mr. Brown himself, with his Louisiana concealed handgun permit and other qualifications would be an asset to any university were an evil person to start shooting innocent people. But this is true only if he were armed at that time. As a law abiding person, he would not bring his weapon to a gun-free zone, and thus would be of little or no help in the face of such an eventuality.

Right now, Loyola University is not a fully gun-free zone. Our campus police carry weapons, thank goodness. All I am saying is that if other qualified people, administrators, staff, professors and yes, students too, engaged in open carry as do these officers of the law, and/or in concealed carry, and this were well known, then we would be all but invulnerable to the next horror, such as occurred to the unfortunates in Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

Mr. Brown avoids this point and instead waxes eloquent about the dangers of the unqualified bearing these weapons. Certainly, I agree with him on this point. That would indeed be disastrous.

Walter Block

Economics professor

This is the third in a four-part exchange. The first can be found here, the second here, and the fourth here.

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