This page contains the ongoing discussion on the issue of concealed firearm carry on campus, linked from the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus page.

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2008-08-06 10:43:36   Are there any stories of success about students who defended themselves using their concealed weapon? —JamesSchwab

  • Come to think of it, the most prominent would be the Appalachian School of Law incident in 2002. (My apologies for not having remembered it earlier.) Other incidents might be anecdotal (I can think of one such) and as such are harder to track down. —BrendanChan
    • The one incident given is very misleading in my opinion. Wikipedia source. Two students of the law school stopped an ongoing shooting and were heros indeed. I believe three people were murdered before the shooter was stopped. However: Neither person had a concealed weapon. Both of them had their firearms inside their vehicles. Also, probably more relevant, neither of them were simple "typical" students such as undergraduates. Nor was this at a typical college, it was a law school. Both "students" were active police officers. I'd consider this to be more of a story of two off-duty police officers being amazing. The fact that they were students is not of consequence in this story, it simply was the positioning. Their day job so to say is to do exactly what they did, protect the public. That would not be a typical example at all, as there's a world of difference between a police officer and an average person in terms of knowing how/when/what force to use. It's the job they train for and do daily! (And even ignoring that, neither had concealed weapons). -ES
      • As far as use of force goes, concealed carry training classes cover that material taking Utah's requirements as an example. Furthermore, justifiable homicide as generally defined in the U.S. covers self-defense against "a very serious crime, such as rape, armed robbery, or murder" Wikipedia source as long as the assailant makes his/her intent clear. Finally, the weapons WERE their personal vehicles, which still counts as concealed (ref. Suzanna Gratia Hupp). —BrendanChan
        • I didn't know 'in the vehicle counts' as concealed, but then again, I'm assuming James Schwab's question was about someone armed on person. (In the same way that I'm sure SCCC wants to be able to have guns at their hip on campus, not back in the parking lot...) It's still noteworthy of pointing out, as is the fact that both hero's are police officers. Thankfully, they did indeed take charge of the situation. Although justifiable homicide was indeed likely an understandable response, these two officers managed to take care of the shooter without firing a single shot. The person lowered their weapon when confronted, and was tackled/restrained by others. I honestly question and severely doubt the same situation would have played out if we had nervous, scared 20something year olds with guns on the scene. There's quite a difference between an average person who's undergone a training course, and the far more rigorous training and daily work veteran police officers have undergone. Without rechecking, I believe one officer was in his 40's, and the other was late 30's (and a former marine - heck of a lot of combat training right there). I also think, though I'm not sure, that much like a drivers test, taking such a qualifying course once is all you pretty much need for quite a while?—ES
          • Eliminating the threat posed by the shooter(s) without employing force is an ideal, and it is preferable to having to pull a trigger. However, consider that even unarmed high school students are willing to take on school shooters (Jake Ryker vs Kip Kinkel) and compare that to your scenario. I'm not sure that the nervousness and fear would apply, because an armed 20-something college student would be on a level playing field with an armed criminal. —BrendanChan

2008-08-06 11:03:10   I would find Davis to be a much scarier place if I knew that people were walking around with concealed weapons. This is probably one of the safest places to live in the country, and the thought of people getting into gunfights (or asserting that they *could* get into a gun fight if they felt threatened) is truly frightening. No, the use of licensing does not make this more acceptable to me. Assume that someone has a concealed weapon. Could (would!) someone walk up to them and ask them to prove that they have a license for it? Of course not. By definition, no one would know that they have a concealed weapon. If we assume that a licensing process could somehow differentiate those people who would only use a weapon for self defense from those who might use it for non-legal uses (not actually possible, but let's assume it for the sake of discussion), then one might argue that only people who are licensed would be carrying a concealed weapon. But clearly, anyone who obtains a gun without going through the licensing process could *also* be carrying that gun in a concealed manner. So licensing has not bought you anything as an argument for concealment. Now assume that some percentage of people who might be carrying a concealed weapon might be crazy, unstable, have a grudge against society, etc. (Think Virginia Tech.) Do you know who those people are? Would you want to make it easier for someone to have such a weapon?

Note: A friend of mine (and someone else) died because access to guns was easy and legal. One of the two died because the other was carrying a concealed weapon, was mentally unstable because they had suddenly stopped taking the sort of medication that you aren't supposed to stop taking suddenly, and had easy and legal access to a gun. They were shot four or five times. The other killed themselves. The mentally unstable person would have had no trouble getting licensed to acquire a gun.

Dozens of people have died on college and high school campuses in the past few years because people had easy access to guns, and were able to bring them onto the campuses. The idea of making them even more widespread, and making them more prevalent on college campuses, is truly frightening. —IDoNotExist

  • That's exactly my point. Why should criminals be the only people to carry weapons, concealed or otherwise, on campus? No matter how well campus or local police train for active shooter incidents, the fact is that they will take time to respond and the only individuals capable of stopping the shooter immediately are those in the immediate vicinity. And CHL holders would be able to stop the shooter with much fewer fatalities than if unarmed students rushed the shooter. Furthermore, SCCC has no position on firearm carry on the campuses of high, middle, or elementary schools. —BrendanChan

2008-08-06 11:19:07   James - There are, actually.

IDoNotExist - UC Davis was actually cited by Reader's Digest as one of the most dangerous college campuses in the U.S. Furthermore, licenses can be produced by concealed handgun license (CHL) holders on demand. SCCC is not about making it easier for people to carry a weapon, but about extending the rights of legal CHL holders to carry on campus when they can already carry everywhere else in society. —BrendanChan

  • I have heard that before, but that statistic has very little to do with crime. If I remember correctly, things like elevator malfunction were big factors in that study (supposedly UCD is horrid in this department). I don't think you will be shooting an elevator anytime soon. —MattHH

2008-08-06 11:53:01   The fact that they can carry them elsewhere is also very frightening.

While I would not put much faith in Reader's Digest as a source of high quality journalism, I can cite some actual crime statistics (with references!) for the Davis campus:

As reported by the UC Davis campus to the Department of Education, for 2004 - 2006: In 2004-2006, there were 0 cases of murder or manslaughter at Davis. These are the cases where you might be legally justified in using deadly force (ie. a gun) for self defense.

The most common crime here in those years was Burglary 51 - 75 incidents per year in a campus of 30,000 and a town of 50,000-60,000. That means that your odds of being hit with a burglary were between 0.17% and 0.25%, depending on which year you decide to use.

The next most common crime was forcible sex (I assume this means rape, attempted rape, etc.) There were 22-38 cases in campus for those three years. That means that your odds of being a victim of this crime was between 0.12% and 0.044%.

The next most common crime was motor vehicle theft, with 15 incidents per year.

Off campus, there were 0 cases of murder or manslaughter. The most common crime was burglary. In a town of about 60000 people, in the worst year (2004), there were 23 incidents of burglary. Your chances of being burgled in 2004 were 0.0383%.


Now let's look at FBI statistics for the most dangerous campuses in the country. According to the San Francisco Examiner, Davis is not among the most violent campuses.


Because the Examiner breaks down their statistics differently than the ones on the DOE site, we can't make a direct comparison of the statistics. However, Davis is definitely not on the list. You can, however, go to the Department of Education site linked to above, and obtain comparable statistics for any campus you wish. A quick look at Michigan State, which is the last ranked campus in the Examiner article, shows far more incidents of physical violence on their campus than at Davis. —IDoNotExist

2008-08-06 12:09:57   I should also note that were UCD to be among the most dangerous campuses in the country (which, based on the article cited above, it is not), it would still be an extremely safe to be. *Some* college campus has to be among the most dangerous, but the entire pool of college campuses has a fairly low crime rate. So the difference between the most dangerous and least dangerous campuses is quite small. A better comparison would be between college campuses and other environments, such as cities. In any case, it hardly seems to justify the desire to carry lethal weapons. —IDoNotExist

2008-08-06 12:39:03   Brendan, would you mind providing links to those stories.

Also, as a Davis native we are by no means one of the most dangerous campuses in the US. —JamesSchwab

2008-08-06 14:26:57   Certainly.

2008-08-06 14:27:42   I apologize, however, as the blog is not limited to incidents involving students. —BrendanChan

2008-08-06 14:39:06   Do you have links to specific stories about colleges? I don't have the time to look through many years of stories. —JamesSchwab

2008-08-06 15:07:34   No, I'm afraid not. The owner of the blog isn't affiliated with SCCC, and he hasn't elected to create an index of blog entry tags that I could use to point directly to incidents involving students. I spent some time reading it myself and am aware of time constraints. —BrendanChan

2008-08-06 15:52:37   Huh? That's your argument so far? A "Reader's Digest" article and someone's anecdotal blog? You really should offer a better argument for this than the one you've offered so far to Jim. We have a police force on campus, we are an extremely safe campus, so what will concealed carry bring to the table ? —JesseSingh

  • Actually, each of the stories has a link to the source, right there at the beginning.—JoePomidor
  • But, like Jim, I don't have time to look through all those years. If there are specific stories where a gun on campus helped stop some crime, then whoever is making the argument for change should use them. Particularly, I'm wondering about this Reader's Digest article about Davis being one of the most dangerous campuses in America. I'm calling bullshit until I see said article.—JesseSingh

* I looked it up. UCD rated 97 out of 136 but there's an asterisk. UCD revised some key figures but it was too late to tabulate. The reviesd figures were # of dorm with an attendant(revised from 0 to 100%), # of doors w/peepholes and door chains (revised from 0 to 100%), and "No Emerency Lock Down Plan" was revised to "There is an Emergency Lock Down Plan". These new scores would move Davis way, way up on the Readers Digest ranking. But as has been pointed out-Where are the bodies? To me, the psychology behind spouting "facts" that aren't checked, and using Reader's Digest and questionable blogs to support an argument is frightening. WMDs, anyone?

2008-08-06 16:53:17   When has allowing more guns anywhere made anything safer? I'm interested in the facts so I'll go check out the references for myself, but. . .I'm skeptical at this point. Both my professional and personal experience tell me this is a bad idea for about a thousand reasons. I'll have to go read up and come back once I'm better informed.

This has started a spirited discussion. What do other's think about this issue? I'm interested.


  • Statistically, crime has decreased whenever and wherever CCW laws have been promulgated. —BrendanChan
  • Prove it. What is your source for this assertion? —IDoNotExist
  • Contact me and I'll send it to you. —BrendanChan
  • Oddly, I would really prefer not to give my contact information to random people who like to walk around with hidden deadly weapons. It definitely does not make me feel safe - which, I think, I was one of the main points in this discussion! If you believe that your assertion is accurate, why not post a link to your source, so that people can decide for themselves? —IDoNotExist
    • Equally oddly, nowhere in this article have I stated that I walk around with a hidden deadly weapon. In the main article I've invited viewers to email me for further information, which, I think, does not put them in danger of being attacked. No one yet has invented a system whereby people can be shot over the Internet. And frankly, I can't be bothered wasting time trying to find out your physical location from your email address, because as far as I know it is impossible and I have better things to do. —BrendanChan
    • I think I can pinpoint this particular spot as the point at which this debate devolved into personal (albeit fairly tame) commentary. You might make a better case if you don't imply unproveable things about other debaters. —JoePomidor
    • It's nothing personal about him. I do not feel safe around people who are carrying guns, especially if I don't know them, and sometimes even if I do. While Brendon is right that I don't know whether or not he actually does so, given the fact that he has spent so much energy on advocating them, I don't think that it is unreasonable to assume that someone who has spent so much energy on advocating strongly for people to be able to carry them on campus, and who clearly feels much safer if he is allowed to carry one, might actually have one! —IDoNotExist
    • Please note that I am A) under 21 [stated at the end of the comments] and B) working so energetically to change the system within the law. If I wanted to have one, I'm sure there would be a much easier way to get one via criminal means instead of spending all of this time and effort. —BrendanChan
  • Reduction in crime? Really? That's not the impression I was given. Honestly, I think I 'm just uncomfortable with this idea. I've just encountered too many students at UC Davis that I would never want walking around with a gun. Don't think that they could handle it. People always give the reason that they want a gun for self-defense. Okay, but there is difference between shooting practice and using a gun in a crisis situation (e.g. Virginia Tech). Many people think that they would know what to do, but they actually don't. Military and police officers are trained to deal with crisis situations. The average 18 year old? Not so much. Chances are they would be so freaked that they would shoot an innocent person. Or their own foot. Just saying. I am a victim of crime and I wouldn't feel any safer walking around with a gun. And I actually know about guns and am comfortable shooting. —CurlyGirl26
  • Again, feel free to contact me for information. If you want. —BrendanChan
    • Also, an afterthought: the average 18 year old Californian is not allowed to possess a handgun, concealed or otherwise, on campus or otherwise (minimum age 21). Furthermore, the Posse Comitatus Act disallows military from taking part in LEO operations.
  • You might be interested in the DC crime rates, because they peak in the 1990's, even though a gun ban was set in place in 1975. Though this does not prove that promoting guns has any anti-crime use, it does show that banning them has no effect on violent crime rates, and may cause them to go up.—JoePomidor
  • I'm not sure that it demonstrates anything in favor of either case, because there are many factors that may go into determining the level of violent crime in a city. For example, level of employment and employment opportunities, income / poverty levels, level of drug use, presence or absence of gangs or organized crime, policies of the city government, applicable state and federal laws, degree of enforcement of those laws (number and distribution of police, for example), changes in city demographics, state of the economy, availability of weapons used in violent crimes, etc. You would need to do a controlled study to determine which factors are actually causal here. (I believe such studies have been done (I once talked to a UC professor who studied it), but I don't know the correct sources to cite myself, so I'm not going to make any claims about it.) Also, note that in DC, even though there was a gun ban in place, you can go to VA or MD where such bans do not exist in minutes. (In CA, it might be moderately inconvenient to have to drive for several hours each way. In DC, you can get to two states in under 15 minutes in the worst case, and to 6 or 7 within two hours.) A much better comparison might be between per capita violent crime and death rates in the US (or US cities) and those in other countries which do not permit private gun ownership. —IDoNotExist

2008-08-06 18:07:17   I doubt that allowing guns on campus will make school safer, but it could make school more fun! —BrentLaabs

2008-08-06 19:26:14   Best of luck on getting concealed permits in California! —StevenDaubert

Well, truth be told, Yolo County is one of the easiest jurisdictions in the state to get a CCW in. —wl

2008-08-06 19:31:37   I have to say that I truly feel sorry for any person that feels they need to carry a gun on our campus to feel safe. I have never felt that type of fear, even now, as I type this, I am sitting in downtown Chicago at ten thirty at night and I feel perfectly safe walking home without a loaded weapon. I am wondering if the leader of the group can tell me exactly why he is so afraid? I don't mean the word "afraid" to be demeaning, I just can't think of any other motivation to want a handgun other then fear of attack.


  • This is not about being afraid. If you knew that there was a rainstorm about to strike Chicago and you had to go out, would you wear a raincoat and take an umbrella? Of course you would! Except that active shooters are warped but not stupid; they are not going to call up their targets and announce that they are coming. This is why CHL should be allowed on campus so that if and when an incident happens students will have the ability to defend themselves and others. —BrendanChan
  • If I thought that someone might be likely to shoot me on campus, I would either not hang around the campus, or at the very least, I would find myself a nice bullet proof vest. Oh, and call the police. That seems to me to be a better solution than getting into a gunfight! By the way, let me post a hypothetical question to you. Suppose you DID get into a gunfight with someone. The police show up. Assuming that you are both still alive, do they now shoot both of you, or just one? I can imagine the cop thinking that there are two students with guns pointed at people, at least one of whom (and maybe both) represents an immediate danger to everyone else on campus. There's a good chance that the cop would drop both of you in a hurry. —IDoNotExist
  • Bulletproof vests are in fact regulated at least as strictly as firearms, possibly more so. I don't know as much about the laws governing possession of bulletproof vests, though, so don't take what I say for fact. Police will take time to show up, during which time you could be dead, possibly from gunshot wounds to the head (ref. North Hollywood shootout).

    To answer your hypothetical question, police receive tactical training that teaches them to expect both armed good guys and bad guys. As long as you are not pointing the gun in their direction or in anyone else's, their objective is to preserve life and to make sure no more shots get fired, so ordering you to safety your weapon and disarm yourself takes precedence. No Terminator 2 SWAT team rules of engagement will come into play, where the SWAT team just shot that scientist without any warning or command to drop what he was holding, because that opens the door for lawsuits. If you have a CHL and have encountered the shooter, that makes one student with one pistol/revolver and one student/professor with more than one sidearm and/or a shotgun or rifle (following typical armament patterns for Dawson College, Monash University, Virginia Tech, Ecole Polytechnique, Concordia University shootings). Any police officer is going to be more suspicious of the more heavily armed individual.

    And again, you can't avoid hanging around campus because you don't know that the shooter is coming. By the time the alert system tells you that he is there, you're going to be A) already on campus, so it won't matter, or B) off-campus even before the shooter arrived, so it won't matter. —BrendanChan

  • I'm sorry. That just doesn't follow with reality to me. There are many many instances of police shooting people who were *unarmed* but whom they thought were armed. Google for "police shoot unarmed", and you will find a long list. Same for soldiers - they will shoot first and ask questions later if they think they are in enough danger. Also, as I recall from watching Columbine live on CNN, the police who surrounded the school had no idea if one of the students leaving the school was the shooter or not. All students running from the school had to run out with their hands up. I can't imagine police showing up on a campus where people have just been shot, finding someone with a gun, and *not* immediately trying to take out that person. Even though the second person isn't actually the "real" shooter, the police wouldn't know that, and would see someone with a gun and apparently demonstrated deadly intent. —IDoNotExist
  • So the CHL holder puts his gun away when he sees policemen and/or is commanded to do so. The whole point of CHLs on campus is to defend oneself, and the point is kind of moot if you successfully defend yourself but wind up getting shot by the policemen responding to the incident. By comparison, school shooters aren't *nearly* as likely to voluntarily disarm, or preemptively disarm if the circumstances permit. —BrendanChan
  • Let's say, for the sake of argument, that your license holder happens to be in the classroom attacked by a school shooter. Now, you have one person deliberately trying to kill students in a crowded classroom, and you have another person shooting at them. Better hope that no one gets caught in the crossfire. Now everyone is in danger from *two* shooters, one of whom is the "real" shooter, and one of whom is shooting at the shooter. Now imagine that your campaign is successful and you now have *at least* two people with concealed carry licenses in the room (one of whom, of course, may even be the "real" shooter.) Person A comes into the room and starts shooting. Person B takes out their gun and starts shooting. Person C, who was in front of persons A and B (and therefore couldn't see who the "real" shooter was), sees two people shooting with guns, picks one, and shoots. In fact, let's take your argument to logical conclusion (assuming that you are successful in convincing the campus or state government to allow these licenses.) You now have a room with *many* people with guns, and one angry and suicidal shooter. (The shooters at these events typically take their own life after taking those of others.) The shooter won't be dissuaded by people with guns - they don't care! But now you have lots of people shooting at lots of other people, and lots of people running around trying to get out of the gunfire, with some or all of the people unable to tell who is the real shooter. Result: lots of people get shot by people who are trying to take out the real shooter! —IDoNotExist
  • You're absolutely right, that is a much better scenario than a single angry shooter with no opposition whatsoever. Seriously, though, the people returning fire aren't firing randomly into a crowd of people, they are aiming, which is something that responsible gun users do. If a lone gunman was loose on the campus with no opposition, he could shoot at his leisure until the authorities (read: people with guns) arrive. How can you possibly imply that having responsible gun owners on campus during such an attack would actually make the attack worse? Also, your scene with lettered students is a little off as well, since it seems to assume that there is no period of time between a normal day and a full-out gun fight. I think it's safe to assume that there would be some point where the lone gunman (or woman) would stand up and shoot people all by themself, thereby making it fairly obvious who the single intruder is.—JoePomidor
  • In a high stress situation, people aren't going to take the time to sort out who is who. Even in low stress situations, this can be very difficult. Example: I don't know if they have them locally, but if you go to a place where you play laser tag in a complex maze, you'll notice that people on the same team sometimes shoot each other, even though they are lit up with lights indicating which team they are on. The way the game works, if you are hit by someone else, you lose points and can't do anything for some amount of time. So you have to shoot before your opponent shoots you. Keep in mind that this is a perfectly safe environment. No one is in any danger, and the only thing at stake is a meaningless score. Even in this situation, it's surprising how many times people accidentally shoot their own team mates, thinking that they might be on the other team. Yeah, it's bad that we have to wait for police sometimes. But vigilante justice isn't particularly appealing either. Also, keep in mind that this is not the only situation in which a gun might be used. Let's say that someone legally carrying a weapon gets drunk, or gets into an argument. They lose control. Someone gets killed. Or maybe they have a grudge or some other motive for using a gun. They carry the gun - perfectly legally - and then use it to kill someone. Or, as in the case of my friend, someone who is mentally unstable (in this case because they suddenly stopped taking their medication) gets access to a gun and decides to take out themselves and someone who made them upset at the same time. Why would you want to make it more likely? —IDoNotExist
  • And again, who said anything about vigilante justice? SCCC DOES NOT advocate it, because it's not what responsible gun owners/CHL holders do. Nor is handling a gun while getting drunk or otherwise intoxicated. Also consider trying to take off a safety (or, in certain guns, multiple safeties) while intoxicated. As for the chances of arguments getting out of hand and causing gunfights or spree shootings, that has also been addressed in the past by law enforcement officers comparing the situation before and after the passage of CHL legislation; their fears were unfounded.

    Addressing your laser tag arena scenario, lecture halls and campus buildings are not usually A) complex mazes or B) very dark. It is easier to differentiate targets on campus than in a laser tag arena.

    Finally, the point is that there are bad apples in any population, but that there are far fewer among CHL holders than among the general population. As for gaining access to a gun, that's a failure of the gun legislation (ref. VT), and again, we are NOT for expanding who can get their hands on a gun. What we advocate is extending the rights of people who have already passed the FBI/NICS background check and acquired their CHLs to carry on campus, same as everywhere else. Putting a gun into the hands of any John Q. Public off the street IS asking for it, because that increases the risk that he'll do something illegal with it. Less frequent with a CHL holder. —BrendanChan

2008-08-06 20:08:52   Some thoughts:

I know a few people who feel the need to carry guns. They all seem quite worried that *someone* will suddenly attack them at some point, and that they will be able to deal with this by shooting the other person, or that potential attackers will be afraid to attack them because the attacker won't know who might have a gun. (Of course, this is already the case, whether doing so is legal or not.) I'm not sure why they are so convinced that someone will attack them. Some of them also seem to associate having a gun with their self image. Being able to carry a gun makes them feel better about themselves and their insecurities. This may or may not apply to other people who feel the need to carry them.

The other observation is that in order to generate high ratings (ad sale revenue), many media outlets now cover and emphasize murders and other sensational and violent events as if they are commonplace. In reality, your chances of being in a violent incident have actually decreased over the years, and there are not very many incidents per capita. However, if you don't put the sensational reporting of the media in context, you might believe that anywhere you look, someone is likely to go after you. (Just as everyone on the Internet is scary and dangerous, right?!) —IDoNotExist

2008-08-06 20:32:03   I support Self Defense too, slight difference of opinion however. I think it's cool to see gun-rights groups emerging on campus, you should get in touch with Davis College Republicans and Davis College Democrats. I'm sure both groups would be interested in collaborative debates about gun issues. You could possibly achieve the educational objective in doing so and I know there's passion amongst libertarian leaning liberals in support of concealed carry. Best of luck to the organization, always good to see a diversity of thought. —GregWebb

  • Thanks, Greg. I agree completely, and will consider contacting DCR and DCD. —BrendanChan

2008-08-07 11:11:39   You don't need a gun for self defense. Unless it is defense from another gun. Also if you kill someone with any weapon in "self defense" you may be tried for murder and use of excessive force. —TusharRawat

2008-08-07 12:03:06   Of course there is going to be a fine line between justifiable homicide and excessive force; however the point is that CHL holders (as well as policemen) shoot to STOP, not to KILL. A CHL is not by any means a license to kill. By the same token, CHL holders are not going to be vigilantes, because that kind of action is at the very least going to get their CHL pulled and more likely it will result in prison time.

Furthermore, according to law enforcement studies, if someone has a knife and is within 21 feet of you, he can reach attack range before you can draw your weapon and command him to stop (or take it off safety and fire if necessary). —BrendanChan

2008-08-07 17:58:08   There is, of course, a difference in the lethality of bullets that are fired with the intention of stopping someone rather than killing them. Much like phasers in Star Trek, which have a stun setting, modern bullets can be placed into a non-lethal "stop" setting. In this setting, the bullets will not permanently damage any vital organs. Rather they will irritate their target, or make them fall gently to sleep, so that they can wake up refreshed, having failed in their attack and been arrested.

Stopping power is simply a euphemism used by the gun industry for the likelihood of killing someone.

Red lights stop. Phasers stun. Guns kill. Although sometimes they stop people too. Permanently. —IDoNotExist

  • Oddly enough, some types of bullets, when fired, are nonlethal, because they enter an arm or a leg, rather than the core of the body. This is not to say that guns do not have plenty of potential for lethality, only that they can be used in a less-than-lethal way. Keep in mind, guns are only as evil as the people who use them.—JoePomidor
  • Along the same lines, phasers kill as well. I'm a Star Trek fan, and from memory I can probably cite half a dozen instances in which they've been used to kill. Many more if I am allowed time to do research.

    Furthermore, since you've brought up stopping power, allow me to quote the FBI's own study "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness" (Special Agent Urey Patrick, 1989):

  • Actually, Clancy IS connected to the gun industry! In 1999, Clancy appeared in at least one advertisement for the gun industry, apparently just before the Columbine shootings. You can find an article on it on the CNN website here:
  • Also, I'm a bit surprised to hear you say that the top of your head has been killed off with phasers at least half a dozen times. ;-) —IDoNotExist
  • Just one? Also, did he know the Columbine shootings were coming? —BrendanChan

2008-08-07 20:25:38   Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that gun target practice rewards you for shooting the target's chest, not their hand. Besides, shooting someone in the leg is not exactly good for them either, and if you miss, you kill them. Or someone else.

Back in 1994ish, a UC Davis student living in an apartment was shot when his roommate started playing with a loaded gun (his, I think) in their apartment. No one was being evil. The student was wounded or killed.

No one has ever died or been injured by a gunshot wound when there was not a gun somewhere nearby. Drive by knifing are not considered dangerous. —IDoNotExist

I dunno, a drive by knifing has the potential to be pretty lethal... —StevenDaubert

  • Sure, but have you ever heard of one actually taking place? The closest thing that I can think of is a jousting match.
  • Actually, most gun target practice involves hitting a bullseye, rather than a human target. Also, I'm not saying that gun-related accidents do not occur or that all gun-related deaths are premeditated murders. However, by this logic, any dangerous tool should be outlawed or restricted. There have never been any forklift-related injuries or fatalities when a forklift was not present, but that does not mean that forklifts are inherently dangerous when used properly and lawfully.

    Lastly, in any given scenario where someone could discharge a gun in a way that is even semi-legitimate, the 'target' is not some innocent bystander, but rather a willful assailant. In such a case, the objective is to disable them, and in the absence of tasers and stun-guns (which a lot of people are also against for no good reason), a person who can shoot the target in a nonlethal manner is going to be a hero. The people who get concealed carry permits are not crackfiends and felons, they are regular citizens who have passed a series of tests of increasing difficulty (this being California), and who generally have a good reason for carrying a handgun. —JoePomidor

  • Of course gunshot wounds tend to be highly correlated with the presence of a gun. No one is suggesting that bullets can move under their own power. Nor can guns fire under their own power. Also, I'd like more specifics on that 1994 case. Did the student or his roommate have a CHL? More importantly, why was the roommate playing with the gun and why was the gun kept with its safety(ies) disengaged? That's 4 common-sense firearms safety rules broken already: treat the gun as if it's loaded; always keep the gun unloaded until ready for use; do not point the gun at anything you are not willing to kill or destroy; and keep fingers outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot. —BrendanChan
  • I do not have any idea why the roommate was playing with a gun. Perhaps they were drunk. Or stupid. Or trying to show off. Or unable to understand the consequences of their actions. I didn't know them. No one said that everyone who possesses a gun has good common sense. Or has taken a class on how to handle a gun safely. Or that they remember it if they did. I took a driver's ed class with a large group of people when I was 16, and you'd better believe that I would not trust my life to any of them if they were driving a car at that point. Your assumption seems to be that anyone who owns a gun will handle it in a safe, responsible, and legal manner. At least if they are licensed. Of course, if they are not, your assumption appears to be that they may attack you, therefore you must carry one of your own to get into a shootout so that you can kill them first before they kill you. You also seem to feel that this is likely enough to happen at Davis that people need to be carrying around guns in case this happens, despite the crime statistics for the campus which clearly demonstrate otherwise. —IDoNotExist
  • Then the gun owner should have stopped his roommate. Nobody in their right mind is going to let a drunk person handle a loaded weapon, especially given the fact that I'm assuming the gun owner loaded his own weapon and therefore KNEW it was loaded. Stupidity, unfortunately, is uncontrollable and can only be managed by other people, e.g. the gun owner. By California state law, one of the requirements for acquiring a CHL is taking a class on gun safety. Remembering the things you learned is a function of academic success whether pertaining to gun safety or not; by your logic very few people would succeed in gaining access to professional and grad schools because they forgot what they learned in college. Getting into a shootout to kill people before they kill me is vigilantism and under the law could qualify as first-degree murder because of the premeditation. Again, this is not what SCCC is for - we advocate having the ability to DEFEND ourselves, not to make preemptive attacks. CHL holders DO NOT seek out active shooters, they defend themselves. Doing otherwise could override the legal presumption of self-defense and allow the arrest and charging with homicide of the CHL holder. Finally, I am not saying it is likely enough at Davis, but then I'm sure that people would have said that it was equally unlikely at Virginia Tech on April 15, 2007. —BrendanChan

2008-08-07 23:18:07   Again, I don't think that the use of a license or a test is a good measure of who is likely to kill or injure someone with a gun. As an example out of today's headlines, take a look at alleged anthrax suspect Bruce Ivins (see This was someone working in a high security government job whom, the government alleges, killed people using a deadly weapon (anthrax). Just because someone has not been convicted of a crime or can pass a test does not mean that they are not going to use a deadly weapon on somebody. In fact, by definition, 100% of people who do use a legally carried gun in a crime must have passed such a test!

As for outlawing forklifts, the difference here is that a forklift is designed for lifting heavy objects. It is not designed as a tool for killing someone. Very few people (if any) have died in intentional forklift attacks. Guns are designed to kill people (and in some cases, animals.) While it is certainly true that many guns are used perfectly legally and without violent intent, the purpose of a gun is to kill.

Let's look at the website of a popular gun magazine for confirmation of this (Guns and Ammo). You can find this at The picture currently shown on the front page of their website shows a man with a rifle and a very large, very dead, buffalo. Quoting from the article at, "Penetration was more than 40 inches through bone and muscle." Clearly, we are not talking about something that is designed to shoot paper targets.

A quick Google search for other gun related sites brought up this one: . They talk about ordering machine guns on their home page. That's the sort of thing that you take to a war, not use for self defense.

Seriously - the main purpose of a gun is to kill - even the little tiny ones. You can pretend that no one would ever use it for any other purpose, or that people with a gun license would never use it for that purpose, except in self defense. The 33 dead and 23 injured at Virginia Tech, the 12 dead and 23 wounded at Columbine High School, the 1 dead and 19 injured at Dawson College, the two killed at Platte Canyon High School, the 6 dead and 5 injured at West Nickel Mines School, and the 9 dead and 12 injured at Jokela High School (Finland) demonstrate this quite well. So do my friend, and the other person who died that day. —IDoNotExist

  • Actually, I didn't pretend that guns are not capable of being used in a bad way. Also, the concealed carry permits would not permit the carrying of assault rifles or normal rifles on campus, but rather handguns alone. I personally don't know where I would stand on the idea of concealed handguns on campus, by the way, but I don't like it when people make claims that are not very accurate ("gun target practice rewards you for shooting the target's chest"), or unnecessarily alarmist ("That's the sort of thing that you take to a war, not use for self defense."). I understand your viewpoint and I might even agree, but it hurts your case when you don't use facts or arguments that relate to the subject matter. —JoePomidor
  • 1) I am not by any means pretending that guns are incapable of killing. However it is the intention of the user that matters, and people with CHLs are statistically much less likely to commit crimes using their concealed firearms than members of the general population. For example, to the best of my knowledge, Seung-Hui Cho did not possess a concealed carry license.

    2) SCCC does not have a position on firearm carry on the grounds of elementary, middle, or high schools.

    3) Machine guns are indeed something you take to a war. However, try concealing one. I bet it's harder than it looks.

    4) The sale of machine guns is regulated federally by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

    5) Anthrax is not designed to kill, either. The fact that it does is a fact of microbiology. The fact that it is used to do so is a fact of motivation.

    6) There are many types of knives: cooking knives, hunting knives, flensing knives, pocketknives, Swiss Army knives, combat knives, switchblades, stilettos, X-acto knives, ...etc. All of them are capable of killing, even though not all of them were designed for that specific purpose. Again, point 1. —BrendanChan

  • The anthrax was, in fact, a weaponized version that was designed and processed specifically to float in the air and lodge in people's lungs. See the Wall Street Journal: . —IDoNotExist
  • So it was weaponized by human beings (which arguably is a function of intention). However, its killing capacity was ENHANCED, not created. So Ivins' anthrax was processed to float in the air and lodge in people's lungs. That still doesn't change the fact that inhalation anthrax is very deadly and can kill, regardless of whether or not it was processed. —BrendanChan
  • I would argue that the intention of the user of the gun is irrelevant. If the gun is used to shoot someone, do they care *why* you shot them? Well, probably not, especially if they are dead. Certainly, if they are still alive, and you shot them because you wanted to injure them, then the fact that you held a concealed carry license will not have much impact over whether or not you chose to shoot them again. If, on the other hand, you did not have such a license, it still will have no impact. —IDoNotExist
  • By that logic, the jails would be full of law enforcement officers who shot criminals in self-defense. It may sound kind of harsh, but I'm less concerned with the opinion of the illegally-acting shooter on the fact that someone legally shot him than with making sure I, and the people around me, survive. Also, I'm not sure what you are trying to say about the connection between CHL possession and how many times someone is shot, but for the sake of argument I'll assume you're referring to active shooter incidents. Then, taking your example, suppose I have a CHL license and have shot and wounded an active shooter - or anyone in general who is trying to kill me - but he is still capable of operating his firearm(s). In such a case, I'm going to shoot him again to make sure he doesn't open fire on me or anyone else (ref. 1986 FBI Miami shootout and Michael Platt). What I am not going to do is put half a dozen bullets into his head in front of everyone else, because that crosses the line from justifiable homicide into, probably, second-degree murder (crime of passion qualification) or manslaughter (excessive force qualification). —BrendanChan

Though I agree with the general notion that more weapons isn't the best means to peace and that sentiment is dear to my heart, if I may draw this discussion to a tangent of a meta-argument. Here I see a page about a group which has a purpose and an identity, and this datum is being included on the wiki. As I see it, the fact that the group is, is not a subject to debate, and such I cannot find a word on this page (I think) that is indisputable in this regard. Regardless of what they promote, heck Ku Klux Klown or Scientology, and how we may feel about this message, they still are free to promote it, just like the preachers with signs. Now, we can add in community opinion of this group, statistics regarding how well they are supported or denounced by the Davis community at large, and write of these things concisely, but a large argument of the disagreement is a pointless waste of our lifespans. If there is apparent datum that isn't true, then that is a matter of debate, but this page isn't to convince people of the truth status of this group's belief, it is just about the group itself. I will delete this argument, including my comment, later, not to support either side of this debate, but to be a jackass and end pointless bickering and infighting that at times past has led to many sad misuses of fists, firearms, and most powerful of all, words. ~D

2008-08-07 23:41:02   A question of statistics, how many members are officially reported on this groups SPAC registration and what are the demographic statistics of the local membership? (note that this data must be reported to SPAC at the time of club registration), Also for the given membership statistics, over how many campuses etc, lets get some research in. —DavidPoole

2008-08-07 23:58:28   I completely agree that the group (unlike myself) does apparently exist, supports a particular point of view, is promoting it, and has every right to do so. I disagree that removing discussion about the group or its views is productive. The group is promoting something that:

1) Does not appear to be necessary, based on statistical data 2) Is not (at least in my opinion) likely to enhance the quality of life for campus residents, but may put residents in severe danger 3) Is the subject of a major national debate, which likely will play a part in the current election. 4) May be based on incorrect or invalid assumptions (as the discussion may or may not show.)

The discussion is a valid debate on the merits of the ideas that this group espouses. It also has not devolved into a flame war, although it has certainly become emotional. —IDoNotExist

  • Looking at their site, they do make use of some pathetic fallacies, and yes, statistics would be nice. I also personally agree that adding additional firearms on a campus will likely not have a positive impact on student qualities of lives for as many students that would feel secure with a firearm, there are likely as many or more that would feel quite a loss of security that there exists students and others with firearms on campus. I do not disagree with any of your claims here, I think that they are all true, and this indeed has yet to become a flame war, I am just wondering if this sort of debate should be on the page about the group in as much as all group contraversies eventually end up on a separate /contraveries or /debate page, as with Abortion etc. So it isn't so much the value of the debate, but a worry about the implications of its development on this page. ~D

2008-08-08 10:02:47   DavidPoole - we are not registered with SPAC yet. That's a future objective. As for total SCCC membership, it is currently more than 32,000 members over 500-odd campuses. —BrendanChan

Ah, okay, I would like at this time to note that it takes a minimum five members for form an SPAC recognized club, as you are not registered, I should ask, how many people are working on this group? ~Dp

  • At current count, the requisite minimum. I am currently taking summer classes and therefore have limited time to devote to SCCC activities. -BC

2008-08-08 10:23:11   How does this group stand on non-concealed weapons on campus? in most all cases you can get stopped for carrying a replica/airsoft gun or even foam noodle much less an actual firearm or weapon (without permission from admin, excluding rotc and their armory). —DavidPoole

  • SCCC has no official position on open carry of firearms or other weapons, on campus or elsewhere. —BrendanChan
  • Yet it seems logical, if you support people carrying weapons in a hidden manner, you do support people carrying weapons, or are you additionally opposed to people seeing your weapon? But if you are against it being seen, thus always concealed, you couldn't really use it effectively, rendering it a bit useless in terms of defense. ~DP
  • I'm not familiar with the precise details of California concealed weapons law, but I know that there are clauses in those of some other states' which dictate that concealed carry means CONCEALED carry - if you have a concealed weapons permit and open-carry your firearm, that constitutes grounds for permit revocation (and possibly criminal prosecution above and beyond that). When I say I am against it being seen, I mean unless it needs to be seen, it shouldn't and won't be. -BC

2008-08-09 01:39:43   Curiously, how many of the members, both local and nationally, actually have a concealed carry permit? —DavidPoole

my bet is next to none in California... Why not just be happy with open carry which is easier to get? Oh thats right if you carry it in a holster it's concealed, and if you carry it your brandishing it silly California —StevenDaubert

  • Also, open carry creates a disturbance level (ref. IDoNotExist's comment re feeling less safe in the presence of concealed carriers) that concealed carry does not. If they're concealed, how does it make you feel less safe? After all, you don't know that the people around you are carrying. I'd think that OC would disturb you more than CCW. —BrendanChan
  • David - To answer your question, none of the UC Davis members of SCCC have concealed carry permits; we're all under 21. As for SCCC as a whole, exact numbers can't be obtained, but 65% of the 32,420 members is a reasonable estimate, so about 21,070. —BrendanChan

2008-11-15 17:25:40   While I am a strong proponent of the second amendment and am disgusted by the plethora of unconstitutional gun laws on the books at both the state and federal levels, I don't think that there is a reason for this organization to be active in the State of California. Concealed carry in general is in a bad place in CA. In the most populated areas in this state, you need to be a professional, a campaign donor to the sheriff, a law enforcement officer, a body guard, or a high profile rich person in order to get the permit to legally carry. If you go to some place like San Francisco, only being a LEO works. We need to fix these problems first before even attempting to repeal the laws that prohibit those lucky few with CCW permits from carrying on campus without the written permission of the Chancellor. —WilliamLewis

2008-11-22 19:53:52   How come there are an awful lot of people in the United States with guns (and all of them claim it's to protect themselves or hunt) and yet—the United States seems to have an awful lot of crime. And hasn't the gun sales in recent years gone up? And yet, not much reduction in crime? Doesn't Canada have a lot of guns, but not much crime? Has anyone figured out why the United States has lot of deaths caused by shootings (when compared to Canada, England, et al)? Has anyone figured this out? —CurlyGirl26

  • There needs to be a distinction drawn between lawful and unlawful self-protection. A gang member with a criminal record could easily - and truthfully - say that he is carrying a pistol to protect himself against rival gang members! Consider that various studies have shown that concealed weapons permit holders are far less likely to commit violent crimes than members of the general population. —BrendanChan

2008-11-23 10:01:39   Justification/Opinion: Skimming through the comments a lot of people seem to point out that the only reason for carrying a handgun is fear. I prefer to think of my support for concealed carry as a desire to be prepared for the worst even though I hope for the best. School shootings happen regardless of the concealed carry policy on a campus because, let's face it, if someone is planning on going about a murderous rampage they will hardly be concerned with breaking the law. Restricting access to guns from law abiding civilians only means that those who wish to arm themselves for the unfortunate moment when they require self-defense will not do so; criminals can't be expected to and thinking that gun laws keep guns out of the hands of people who would use them for nefarious purposes is naive. Unless you can un-invent weapons, individuals who want to harm others will always find a way. I'm sure many of you will write me off as paranoid for thinking this but it is true. Someone who is crazy, vicious will find a way to get a gun; I know from experience that an ex-con who can't legally buy a gun will do so anyway.

School shooting information: In 1966 there was a school shooting in Texas. A young man, Whitman, locked himself in the university clock/bell tower observation deck with rifles and began picking off students. The situation was resolved in part because of the civilian response to the situation. Police officers at the scene credited the civilians (who used their legal fire arms in an attempt to stop Whitman) for restricting his movements, keeping him from being able to continue his attack and distract him. In fact when the tower was infiltrated, it was with the aid of two civilian sharp shooters.

In this specific case Whitman was suffering from a brain tumor. Whitman sought help and even indicated that something was probably wrong with him in his suicide note. Prior to the shooting he killed his mother and wife with a knife. As in Columbine and VTech, there were warning signs and appropriate medical care was not sought/provided. Perhaps if psychiatric care were able to weed out every single person who poses a threat to society there wouldn't be a need for self-defense weapons but unfortunately that is impossible. —OliviaY

  • You are right that criminals will find a way to get guns no matter what. And I agree with much of what you say. However, I think that Texas situation was the exception and not the rule. I understand the rationale that people should be able to protect themselves in such situations. However, having a gun doesn't prove that such students would know what to do in a crisis. I'm not sure if more guns at VA Tech or Columbine would have prevented any deaths. Instead, you have a bunch emotional and terrified people with guns. I imagine that a greater bloodbath is the more likely result. I don't know. Do most or all civilians who carry also have tactical training? Or is it that they've fired a few rounds at the local shooting range and think that they would know what to do in a real life emergency? I see both sides of the issue, but I just don't know that I'm convinced that more guns are the answer. I would like to see colleges and universities beef up security and do more to prevent/deal with these situations (using a multi-disciplinary approach). I would place my trust in trained professionals with guns over some gun toting civilian any day. And I have been a victim of crime so it's not like I don't understand the need to be prepared. I've thought about it for myself. And I'm not anti-gun, I grew up around them and have respect for them. But I will be reading more about this. I don't think there are any easy answers here. But I do like reading everyone's feedback.—CurlyGirl26
    • By no means is having legalized concealed carry on campus the be-all, end-all answer, as expressed by at least one former SCCC board official who is still a member in good standing.

Consider CCWUSA's course catalog, which includes training on concealed carry and defensive handgun tactics that appear to match the tactical training you are describing. ( —BrendanChan

Just curious about a hypothetical case. I hear shooting in the quad, someone falls next to me, everyone draws a gun.. who do I shoot? clearly it was that guy there, bang! chaos. That would be so funny in its self destructiveness. Right now for all those who may also illegally be carrying a gun on campus for whatever reason, that the guy with the gun is the crazy shooter, so shoot him. ~DP

  • What reason would everyone have to draw a gun? IDoNotExist made a similar objection above. -BC

2008-11-23 15:51:05   If you want another example: School shooting in Pearl Mississippi in 1997. Luke Woodham shot and killed 2 students but was then stopped by the Vice Principal who retrieved a gun from his car.

Or in Israel (which I recognize has a slightly different danger level) this year there was a terrorist attack/shooting in a Seminary which was halted when one student heard the gun shots, grabbed his weapon and killed the assailant.

I understand the fear that tons of people will draw their weapons and more chaos will occur but that has yet to happen(?) whereas there are many cases when an individual or individuals who are armed manage to help. *? as I don't know for a fact but presume I would have heard about it by now from someone if there were such a case. Also I think that there are fewer individuals who want firearms than those who do not, so it is rather exaggerated to imagine that everyone would suddenly draw a weapon. —OliviaY

2008-11-23 15:55:14   Another case: 2002 - Appalachian school of law. Shooter was stopped by three students; two were armed and the third was not. —OliviaY

2008-11-23 15:57:39   I think part of the point is that once someone draws a weapon on an attacker, quite often no shots are needed. While these stories aren't about concealed carry on campus, I often read articles about home invasions/robberies halted when someone pulls a weapon on the criminal. One in particular was amusing as it was an 70-80 year old woman who stopped a convenience store robbery when she pulled her pistol. —OliviaY

2008-11-23 16:10:55   One last example: 1998 Andrew Wurst brought a gun to a school dance, which was held at a nearby restaurant, he killed one person and injured three before the owner of Nick's Place aimed a shotgun and held him until the police arrived. —OliviaY

2008-11-23 17:28:29   Compare that to the many many thousands of people who have been shot with guns (illegal or not, illegally carried or not) over the years. I'm sure that given enough people with guns, and enough shootings, you would expect that every once in a while, one would happen to get successfully stopped. In fact, given enough samples, it would be VERY surprising if that didn't happen. But given that the rate at while shootings are stopped by non-police with guns (by your set of examples, about one every few years) compared with the rate at which shootings occur, we're talking virtually no benefit, but a greatly increased risk from more people walking around with guns. Also, as was established in the previous (extremely lengthy) discussion, your risk of being a victim of *any* crime on the UCD campus is less than 0.25%, and the number of victims of crimes where the use of a gun would be legally justified over the past decade was 0.

If you truly feel unsafe on the campus (although in most cases, you shouldn't), you might want to contact the campus police to discuss your concerns. If you would feel safer with people with guns walking around nearby, why not take the money that it would cost for everyone to go out and buy a gun, training, and a concealed carry permit to implement the strategy that you are advocating and use it to pay for a few more police on the campus. That would put an officer within a minute or two of just about every point on campus at any time of day. Police are: trained to use weapons properly and legally, allowed to do so in appropriate situations, unlikely to use their weapons in inappropriate situations, aware of the law and campus policies, able to coordinate with other police, and probably much better able to make a good judgment about when a weapon should or should not be used. I really don't think that this is necessary, given the very low crime rates in Davis. But if it makes you feel better, why not advocate for that instead of random people who might shoot someone? —IDoNotExist

  • I don't need to spend enough money for everyone to have a gun, just enough so I can. I would rather have many responsible citizens who are comfortable with guns around than more police but that's personal opinion not related to the subject of this wiki. Please keep in mind this debate is about weapons on campus and shootings on campus. Until the crime rate is 0 it is not unreasonable for citizens to arm themselves with protective tools. Aside: "virtually no benefit" tell that to the victim who protects herself from a rapist or anyone else who's life is saved because they or someone else was armed and stopped a crime.
  • "Police are unlikely to use their weapons in inappropriate situations" Sure. We totally haven't heard staggering numbers of situations where police abused their tasers in the last few years. Example: the New Yorker who was clinically insane and naked on a balcony whom the police attempted to apprehend using a taser. As a result he fell to his death. What about the articles I'm constantly reading about police who storm the wrong apartment after misreading a warrant and shoot innocent people? The police are just as fallible as ordinary citizens.
  • "Compare that to the many, many thousands of people who have been shot with guns" I'm not saying that letting individuals carry concealed weapons will stop crime, just that it gives those specific potential victims a chance to defend themselves if the day ever comes that they need to. In two of the cases of school shootings I cited, the attacker did not want to die and halted his actions the second a gun was pulled on him—no shots were fired. It is debatable that if campuses allow concealed carry, attacks from people who are not suicidal might decrease. Gun bans do not work. Chicago has had a ban for years and yet is still the new murder capital of the US. —OliviaY

* >>Police are: trained to use weapons properly and legally, allowed to do so in appropriate situations, unlikely to use their weapons in inappropriate situations, aware of the law and campus policies, able to coordinate with other police, and probably much better able to make a good judgment about when a weapon should or should not be used. I really don't think that this is necessary, given the very low crime rates in Davis. But if it makes you feel better, why not advocate for that instead of random people who might shoot someone?<<

Are you willing to take away the right to self-defense based on a "might"? What in your first sentence distinguishes CHL holders from police? CHL holders are: trained to use weapons properly and legally by the state-required CHL class, unlikely to use their weapons in inappropriate situations (as shown by various studies listed on SCCC's web site), aware of the law (thanks again to the state-mandated CHL class - and if CC on campus is allowed, campus policies will not be an issue), able to coordinate with police officers (they can talk to them, unlike violent criminals who will only speak with bullets), and can you prove that the police are better able to judge? I would give the benefit of the doubt to the CHL holder and say that CHL holders and law enforcement officers have equally good judgment about when to employ their weapons.

Furthermore, going back to 1998, I'm going to list all the incidents in which a concealed weapon might have made a difference: Jose Reyes, August 1998; Tapioca Express stabbing, April 2004; Dennis Thrower, November 2004; John Finley Scott, June 2006. Four incidents. Not zero. Leaving aside inclination and eligibility to acquire a concealed weapons permit, having one and a concealed weapon might have made a difference. Shots may not even have had to be fired in the case of the Tapioca Express stabbing - after all, a criminal with a knife will most likely stop dead in his tracks when faced with a gun-armed individual.

Finally, how would $150-300 for a class and $25 for a (California) license pay for enough police to put officers within a minute or two of every point on campus for more than two days? —BrendanChan

2008-11-23 19:45:15   Ok. Let's say that my suggestion that police are not particularly likely to misuse or abuse their weapons is incorrect as you have suggested, and that police are indeed just like everyone else in that respect. Then your assertion that people would be safer if ordinary people are allowed to carry concealed weapons must be false, since ordinary people, like police, will misuse or abuse their weapons. (In fact, I'd argue that they would be more likely to, but for the sake of argument, we're assuming no difference, as you have asserted.) Therefore, having ordinary people carry weapons is (by your own argument) quite dangerous, since they are likely to abuse or misuse them!

Gun bans may not work if guns are readily available despite the ban. The problem here is that guns are readily available. Wouldn't you feel safer if people couldn't shoot other people? I know I would!

If you've read the entire discussion, you also know that easy access to guns resulted in the rather brutal death of a friend of mine, and her boyfriend. I find it unconscionable and frightening that someone would want to increase the number of these weapons on campus. Maybe it would make you feel better that you have a gun, but it wouldn't make me feel better that you (or anyone else - I don't know you specifically) have a gun.

I also know quite a few people who have been raped. In every case (of those people I know), it was date rape, by people they were involved with, or it was molestation by family members. In none of these cases would someone have been likely to have been protected by a gun. As I've mentioned previously, between 2004 and 2006 (the latest year for which statistics were available when I posted about it previously), there were 22-38 reported cases of forcible sex on campus for those three years. That means that your odds of being a victim of this crime was between 0.12% and 0.044%. So your chances of being a rape victim were close to 0. But had each of these people used a gun and shot their attackers, we would have had up to 38 deaths by gunshot in those three years (as opposed to 0.) I'm certainly not defending the attackers. But the idea of killing all of these people is rather frightening. —IDoNotExist

  • "Gun bans may not work if guns are readily available despite the ban. The problem here is that guns are readily available. Wouldn't you feel safer if people couldn't shoot other people? I know I would!" Doesn't this sentence not make sense? I would feel safer if a gun ban were to be truly effective, but I think the point is that an effective gun ban is impossible...—Joepomidor
  • >>In fact, I'd argue that they would be more likely to, but for the sake of argument, we're assuming no difference, as you have asserted.<< Actually, I'm asserting that CHL holders (who are not ordinary citizens) are far LESS likely to abuse or misuse them than the general population. There are several studies, independent and government-conducted, which support this point on SCCC's web site.

    >>If you've read the entire discussion, you also know that easy access to guns resulted in the rather brutal death of a friend of mine, and her boyfriend. I find it unconscionable and frightening that someone would want to increase the number of these weapons on campus.<< I'm sorry to hear about your friends, and I apologize for not clarifying this point earlier - SCCC, and I, do NOT want to see more weapons on campus. What we are aiming for is having the state and UC Davis recognize the ability of CHL holders, who are already lawfully licensed to carry OFF campus, and extend that ability to lawfully carry ON campus as well. There should not be an imaginary line between (campus) and (not-campus) that suddenly takes away one's ability to defend oneself, especially when it is perfectly legal on one side of the line and illegal on the other side.

    Finally, what Joe is saying has been my position all along. If all the guns in the world, plus the entire collective knowledge of how to manufacture them, disappeared, then by all means this whole discussion would be moot, and I would give up my membership in SCCC because I wouldn't see the need for a firearm of my own. Since they do exist, however, I feel it's more productive to live in the real world. The answer to bullets flying is almost always more bullets flying, and that's why police officers almost universally bring guns with them when responding to a call of "shots fired". —BrendanChan

    • "The answer to bullets flying is almost always more bullets flying." I've been trying to stay out of this, but... Wow. —CovertProfessor
      • Alright, let's suppose that you're alone, no law enforcement in sight, and you're faced by a man with a gun. Would you rather have a piece of paper or a gun of your own? —BrendanChan
        • Neither. I'd rather use one of the other means of self-defense that don't further endanger me or innocent bystanders. And I'd rather that my students not get caught in a cross-fire. I'd also rather not get shot by an angry student. —CovertProfessor
          • Acknowledged, but name one. Carrying a knife is on the same principle, except far less capable. Carrying Mace is an option, but any firearm has reach on it, therefore a gun-armed attacker will have the advantage. The crossfire issue has been addressed above. —BrendanChan
            • I don't have to "name one." The fact is that I'm just not that worried about getting attacked on campus. If I were attacked, I could try any of the various means at my disposal. Maybe they'd work and maybe they wouldn't, but the same could be said for my carrying a gun, except for the fact that (as I said before) I've now likely made things worse for both myself and any bystanders. —CovertProfessor
              • Why? How? The presence of a gun doesn't make you a killer. It's judgment and decision-making that do. Having it doesn't mean you absolutely, positively have to use it. —BrendanChan

2008-11-24 00:30:16   There are many countries where it is not legal for a private citizen to own a gun. Japan is one such country. Shockingly, it has virtually no gun violence.

I don't see how an arms race could possibly make people safer. —IDoNotExist

  • It actually is legal for private citizens to own shotguns or rifles in Japan, as long as they have a license. The reason that the Japanese have such a low level of gun violence is cultural, rather than legal. There's a quote on Wikipedia: "regulations are treated more as road maps than as rules subject to active enforcement. Japan is still a very safe country when it comes to guns, a reality that has less to do with laws than with prevailing attitudes". Besides, Japan was disarmed by an invading nation (us), and so it is easier to implement a gun ban or bans on certain guns. Effectiveness of a ban aside, there's just no way such a thing would work in the U.S. —JoePomidor
  • Furthermore, consider the case of Switzerland, where very many private citizens own guns. Shockingly, it also has virtually no gun violence. —BrendanChan

2008-11-24 10:07:47   Good. Let's get rid of the guns *off* campus too!

I think that the whole basis of the argument for guns on campus is based on an irrational fear of being attacked. The statistics for Davis, which I've cited previously, clearly show that your odds of being a victim of a physical attack in Davis are close to 0. The rate of manslaughter or murder in Davis is approximately 0. If you truly believe that you are unsafe here, are likely to be attacked, and are in so much danger that you would need a gun to defend yourself, then the rational thing to do would be to go to some place safe where you are unlikely to be attacked! You've cited several places internationally, but I'm sure that there is *somewhere* in the country with a crime rate even lower than that of Davis that you could move to instead. (Not many places, but they do exist.) If you truly believe that the campus is unsafe, why do you keep placing yourself in danger?! If you don't believe that the campus is unsafe, then carrying a gun is not a rational act, and in fact is something that other people should oppose since it puts *them* in danger.

We've established previously that the fact that someone has a license and training does not mean that they won't use a weapon for something other than self defense. For example, they might use it out of anger, or they might have psychological problems that result in them shooting random people. So the argument that people who have concealed weapons are all going to use their weapons at exactly the right time (ie. when attacked), and never at any other time is not rational.

There are over 300 million people in the country. You have stated that in the past decade, there have been exactly *four* incidents in which a concealed carry weapon *might* have helped. That means that your odds of being helped in the past decade by such a weapon was 300 million / 4 = 1 in 75 million. On a yearly basis, your odds of having been helped by such a weapon are 1/750 million. For comparison, the odds of winning Mega Millions, an 11 state lottery with jackpots that are likely to exceed $100 million, are 1 in 176 million. In other words, on a yearly basis, it is more likely that you will become unimaginably rich by playing the lottery than it is that you will benefit from a concealed carry weapon. According to the National Weather Service, your odds of being struck by lightning during your lifetime are 1 in 700,000. Your odds of being struck in in 80 year lifetime are 1 in 5000. In the same *lifetime*, by your own statistics, your odds of being helped by the weapons you are advocating would be 1 in 75,000,000 / 8 = 1 in 9,375,000. In other words, your chances of benefiting from carrying your weapon, by your own statistics, are 1,875 times worse than your chances of being hit by lightning in your lifetime. Given these statistics, you would be much better off saving your money, investing it in the market (securities are cheap now!), or even buying a few hundred lottery tickets!

But, you might say, I keep hearing about crime every day in the news! There are shootings! But if you think about it, you are hearing about events happening *somewhere* in the country, with a population of > 300 million. Your chances of actually being involved in such a crime are close to 0.

Clearly, the statistics show that carrying a gun on campus is not rational, since it is extraordinarily unlikely that you would ever need it. But it does increase the chances of someone being injured or killed either by accident, or because someone who is carrying one of these weapons decides to use it out of anger, because they have a mental issue, etc. So you are asking us to believe that the campus community would benefit from being placed in significantly *greater* danger in exchange for you receiving protection against an event that is almost certain never to happen. Supporting what you are advocating seems like a really bad idea to me. —IDoNotExist

  • You are completely missing the point that close to 0 is still not 0. It doesn't matter how small the possibility, if only 1 person a year manages to protect themselves because they can have a weapon that current laws would restrict them from having, I would deem that worth it. It's also highly unlikely that I will ever have to deal with a tornado but I still know how to protect myself should I be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is that irrational or just good preparedness? Your argument is basically: well it's not likely to happen so why let people protect themselves? You are also offering up totally unrelated statistics as we are discussing CAMPUS violence, specifically gun violence. The burden of proof is on opponents of concealed carry to prove that it is more dangerous than the current system. I have yet to hear any stats about misuse/accidental use of firearms on campus other than by those whose crimes the entire point of arming yourself is to stop. Utah is the only state of which I know that allows for concealed carry on campus and apparently has had no issue with people "getting angry" and starting a saloon style shoot out. Individuals who are completely healthy very rarely just "snap" and the ones who do will harm their victim regardless of whether or not they have a gun. If you want to go down that road the only final solution would be to cut off our hands as they are the easiest weapon to access. Please feel free to provide relevant information or leave the debate. I think your argument has rapidly become about whether or not guns should even be legal/exist which is not what this wiki entry is about.—OliviaY
  • If you can find a way of eliminating guns, then, as I have said, I am all for it. We've also established previously that the fact that someone has a license and training means that they will be far less likely to use a weapon for something other than self defense. CHL holders know that the law will hold them to a higher standard of conduct than the average citizen, precisely BECAUSE they are CHL holders.

    >>Clearly, the statistics show that carrying a gun on campus is not rational, since it is extraordinarily unlikely that you would ever need it. But it does increase the chances of someone being injured or killed either by accident, or because someone who is carrying one of these weapons decides to use it out of anger, because they have a mental issue, etc.<<

    Explain precisely how it does this. Modern pistols carry one or more safeties, which means unless they are all deactivated and the trigger is pulled, they won't fire. Concealed carry means concealed carry, which means that a CHL holder is not going to be dumb enough to play around with his weapon in plain sight, which means nothing will receive a bullet. Furthermore, in the State of California, applying for a concealed handgun license requires a psychological evaluation.

    Finally, consider that since fall 2006, state law has allowed licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of all nine public colleges in Utah, since 2003 at Colorado State University-Fort Collins, and since 1995 at Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia. Result: a big fat zero. Zero gun crime by CHL holders, zero suicides, zero accidents, zero gun thefts. For a combined total of 80+ semesters. So what makes people in California so different from people in Utah, Colorado, or Virginia? —BrendanChan

And they didn't stop the Columbine shootings in Colorado or the VA Tech shootings in VA, now did they? Those are perfect test cases to see if your argument for concealed carry weapons is correct. Clearly, they did not. —IDoNotExist

  • I never said concealed carry would stop EVERY shooting, just that it has the potential to. Concealed is also currently illegal in VA and Colorado so law abiding citizens were not armed. It may be that someone who was witness to either shooting has a weapon or they may not. —OliviaY
  • There's no need to be condescending. Just because we have different opinions is no reason to talk to us like we're 3 years old. —BrendanChan

2008-11-24 10:48:43   Olivia: Please read the entire discussion. I've cited numerous statistics for the city of Davis and for the Davis campus previously, as well as national statistics. In fact, those have been the basis of the core of my argument! I've shown that my argument is correct using actual data. I've cited the sources of that data (including the NRA!), and provided convenient links to those sources. I've even demonstrated mathematically that the counterarguments do not make sense. Continuing to push for something based on an assumption that has clearly been shown to be false is not rational, and is really a religious argument (not in the deity sense, but in the adherence to an "absolute truth" sense). The Iraq War is a good example of what happens when someone makes decisions based on what they want to be true, rather than what the data actually shows.

Actually, the burden of proof is on you, as you are advocating for changes to existing policies (laws?).

Yup. The chances are not 0. However, the chances of you being killed or injured in Davis in lots of other ways are much greater. Why not advocate for those instead? You might save far more lives. —IDoNotExist

  • You have yet to demonstrate the danger of concealed carry. Your math about the counterarguments dismiss the individual who would be saved by having a weapon and, in the case of the lotto and lightning, are totally irrelevant. My specific data has been about CAMPUS gun violence that can and has been halted by armed citizens. You have not clearly shown it is false, and have yet to actually provide any data that proves concealed carry is a larger danger than our current system. Again, this wiki is about concealed carry as a solution for on campus violence. IThere are other ways in which I'm in danger in Davis (for example biker accidents) and there are many changes I'd support to stop those, but that's not what this WIKI entry is about.—OliviaY

2008-11-24 11:04:50   But according to the statistics on UCD campus crime, the campus violence in which your solution could be in any way considered to be appropriate or legal virtually never occurs! So you are presenting a solution to a problem that either doesn't exist, or that happens so infrequently that it might as well not exist. (In the years for which data was available, there were 0 such incidents!) I propose an alternative solution: Don't do anything. The rate of violent incidents in which guns could have been used will remain the same: 0. People will remain safe, since they already were. —IDoNotExist

  • Statistics show that from 1776 to 2008 the rate of black presidents elected was 0! Just because something has not happened yet does not mean it's impossible.—OliviaY
  • Could you provide a link to these statistics? I'm curious what they say. If it's the link above (way, way above) about the most violent campuses in 2005, you will note that the only info in that article is that UCD is not in the top 8 most violent campuses in the U.S. That's not exactly a solid example of campus safety. —JoePomidor

2008-11-24 11:22:54   Ugh. I'm arguing math and evidence against a belief in an absolute truth here. Clearly, nothing that I can possibly say will ever change your mind (Olivia and Brandon). My argument is clearly laid out for anyone else who wants to read through all of this. I'm moving on... —IDoNotExist

  • You are arguing that because it hasn't happened yet at UCD, and happens relatively infrequently on a daily basis nation wide, we shouldn't support Concealed Carry. I'd hardly call that hard math and evidence. If you could provide me with any information about the number of accidents that happen with concealed carry, especially if you have numbers that dwarf the potential saved lives from having weapons, I would most definitely see and probably agree with you that it is unnecessary. Instead you are trying to convince me that I should accept what you consider "safe enough" because your fear is that a significant number of your peers will suddenly develop homicidal tendencies as a direct result of owning a gun which sure sounds like an absolute truth to me.—OliviaY
  • You seem as entrenched in your views as they are in theirs. If you want to leave the argument, at least have the decency to do it without trying to sound sanctimonious. —JoePomidor

2008-11-24 11:33:46   I think part of the problem inherent in any attempt to talk reasonably about guns is that people seem to believe that guns have some innate quality that makes them bad. I have noticed this a lot in California, and it always puzzles me. People seem to think that a gun will cause a person to do things they wouldn't normally do, or that it is capable of going off on it's own, and usually will do so when there's a convenient crowd of innocent bystanders. Guns are just tools, the same as hammers or cars, and they are only dangerous when used negligently or abusively. Negligence and abuse is something that occurs when someone is improperly educated about guns, or when they already intend to do some mischief. If I drive my car recklessly, then it is very possible that I could hurt someone. Does that mean we should ban cars? Of course not, it only means that we should have rules regarding car use, and require that anyone who wishes to drive a car get a license. Did you know that more than half of all gun deaths in the United States are from suicide? (You can research all the ways people die and the statistics involved here.) People sometimes use ropes to kill themselves, should we ban those as well? —JoePomidor

2008-11-24 12:40:29   Joe: there's an important difference. The primary purpose of a gun is to kill. The primary purpose of a car is for transportation. The primary purpose of a rope is (presumably) to tie things together. I don't buy the argument that because a gun is an inanimate object without the ability to decide to kill for itself that it is any less dangerous. You could make the same argument about nuclear weapons. A nuke is just an object. It doesn't do anything unless someone deliberately arms it and uses it to blow up a city. But it is *designed* to blow up a city. Therefore, it's not a good idea to let people carry them around, because someone might *use* one. Yes, you can injure or kill someone with nearly any object. You can kill someone with a small amount of water if you cause them to inhale it. But no one goes around talking about how you can use a water bottle to drown someone. People don't talk about drive by brickings, even though you can kill someone with a brick. A plastic bag can be used to kill someone by suffocation, but they aren't *designed* or *intended* to be used for that. Guns aren't terribly useful for anything other than putting holes in things, whether those things are paper targets, defenseless moose, or people. No one here is advocating for the construction of a shooting range on campus, so I think it's a pretty safe bet that we are talking about the more lethal uses of a gun.

  • I think this is part of the problem, or misunderstanding of guns. I own several, use them on a regular basis, and have never killed a person or animal with them. To claim that the primary purpose is "to kill" is flat wrong. —DavidGrundler

If you drive recklessly, you can lose your license. But the analogy is poor, because cars aren't meant to kill. Guns have that as their primary purpose. (In fact, in Europe, cars are now required to be designed to reduce injuries to pedestrians, not just to their own occupants, because there is a desire to make them LESS dangerous.)

Olivia: Actually, I did know someone who suddenly developed homicidal tendencies, resulting in the death by gunshot of two people. The person had actually been very nice, and there was no reason to believe that anything like that might happen. I'm sure that they could have even passed your concealed carry test with no problem. All it took was a failure to take their medication at the wrong time. The other person who was killed, by the way, was in the military and most likely had legal possession of a gun as well as real training in how to use it.

Joe: I'm sorry that you don't like how I'm leaving the discussion. But it's gone on for months, and I have other things to do with my time. I feel that I've made my point, and anyone who reads this discussion will be able to tell what that is, and why I've made that argument. They can agree with it or not as they wish. I also feel like nothing that I say here is going to change the minds of Brendan and Olivia, since they readily dismiss all evidence that opposes their view. I am happy to adopt views other than the one that I currently have, but I haven't seem any evidence presented that supports their opinion, and there's plenty of evidence that runs counter to it. This could go on for a *very* long time (parallel discussions about gun control certainly have on a national level), but at some point I think we have to acknowledge that everyone has presented their best argument, and it's time to move on and discuss something else (at least it is for me.) I'm sorry that my method of doing so sounds sanctimonious to you, but I really do feel like this has become something more akin to trying to debate religion rather than looking at real world evidence, deciding whether a problem actually exists, deciding whether or not it makes any real sense to address that problem if it does, and finding the most effective solution if the problem needs to be addressed. I don't think that such discussions are productive for me, because they very rarely result in anyone changing their view, regardless of what arguments are made. So I'd rather move on and deal with something more productive. —IDoNotExist

  • Thank you for sharing your views in a civil manner. —BrendanChan
  • I'm sorry you have been so close to tragedy, but I said "develop homicidal tendencies as a direct result of owning a gun." My point was that a person who is mentally unstable or engages in criminal activity and has decided to kill will do so with whatever weapon they have available; owning a gun is not what turns someone into a killer. If you ever come across information that is directly related to the issue, instead of making unjustified parallels, feel free to let me know. That is the sort of information that would be useful/change my mind. For now your math is sound but unrelated and what we differ on is opinion; you think low statistics mean arms are unnecessary, whereas I do not. Accusing me of some sort of faith based belief when what we have is a difference of opinion is absurd. I've provided examples. You're operating entirely on theory. Statistics wholly divorced from reality and not applicable to the issue at hand must require faith to fail to discuss the instances where this has actually happened.—OliviaY
    • You're right in that if someone is going to become a killer, maybe nothing can be done. But surely you're not arguing that the fact that they have a gun is irrelevant - as others pointed out, a gun is a tool. Designed to cause damage. A gun also allows people to do so at a much larger range. How many mass knifings have their been? On a college campus, per your concerns. To whomever said hands are a weapon too, mass judo chops to windpipes? A gun clearly facilitates their decision, and the action, of engage in such violence. I don't think anyone is saying "crazy people won't be crazy" - but you can't say that theirs no difference between a crazy guy with a knife and one with a gun. There absolutely is. Unless maybe the guy in the belltower has ninja stars, guns are the primary fear.

      Your own unlinked anecdotal examples have virtually all been one gunman confronted by another. In fact, there have been numerous psychological studies (I can find you published, peer-reviewed links later) that conclude that using a gun is actually easier and typically the choice of said activities, due not simply to its ease of use but typically the ability to distance yourself from it's actions (simply pulling a trigger as opposed to physically stabbing or what have you someone else, etc). On a sidenote, the discussion about cops is stupid. Sure, CHL carriers have been trained in appropriate use. So have cops. And it's their job, not simply a side thing. If you're arguing that cops can mess up too and are untrustworthy, that doesn't really leave that much hope for actions of CHL. And to say 'criminals are afraid of people with guns more than cops' (again, a random unproven opinion? Links pelase.) actually topically makes sense. A cop is properly trained to deal with a variety of situations. I'd be much less afraid of surrendering to a cop and risking jail too, then I would of some adrenaline pumped idiot with a gun. -ES

      • If you want links I'll put them up, but I am at least trying to study while debating this issue and having provided dates and names figured you could wiki those 5 incidents at your leisure. At least my, as you put it, anecdotal examples are relevant to the discussion. I agree that a crazy guy with a gun is dangerous and can shoot me from yards away; yes he would have to get closer with a knife but a knife has dangers a gun does not. A knife is less obvious in a crowd, a knife is easier to obtain, a knife is easier to dispose of and harder to trace. I am simply pointing out that whether or not this person has a gun, he's going to find a way to kill someone AND owning a gun will not make an otherwise normally person homicidal nor will not owning a gun prevent someone from becoming a criminal. If you want knifing incidents there are fact I was just watching the news an hour ago and heard about some lunatic who tried to storm a Scientology building with a sword of all things. Hands definitely ARE weapons, true it takes more effort to choke the life out of someone/drown them/beat them to a bloody pulp but if that's the only option the aforementioned crazy person has, he'll take it and find a victim. You are right that my aside from cops was out of beat with this discussion, it's my personal lack of trust in law enforcement on a whole, as well as a specific personality I've found that field attracts, and is an entirely different issue. —OliviaY
        • Yes CHL holders are not policemen, because they don't have to A) arrest people; B) drive tactically; C) act like one-man SWAT teams. From SCCC literature, "A

comparison of statistics** in the mid-nineties, when Florida was still one of the few shall-issue states, found that Florida concealed handgun license holders were three times less likely to be arrested than were New York City police officers." (A comparison of statistics on arrests of police officers, published by the Washington Post on 08/28/94, to Florida Department of Law Enforcement statistics submitted to the Governor on 03/15/95.)

>>I'd be much less afraid of surrendering to a cop and risking jail too, then I would of some adrenaline pumped idiot with a gun.<< You're forgetting that none of the CHL holders who used their firearms to defend themselves or others were idiots. I can remember at least half a dozen, off the shelf, and a whole lot more if I do serious research. —BrendanChan

  • Word, ES. I would also imagine that conceal carry would have a chilling effect on college campuses. So since people want to carry in case they need to defend themselves, then more people will think that they, too, need to carry to defend themselves in the event something should happen. Since no one knows who's armed, now we're just fueling paranoia. Is the guy sitting right there who's giving me the Stink Eye armed? Is he a sociopath or just some socially awkward kid? The few people who carry feel safe and the rest of us are now just uncomfortable going to school. If this is about campus violence, have UCDPD beef up security and send out a memorandum saying that any student who is found bringing their firearm to campus will be automatically expelled. And students will think twice about bringing their gun to school. When I worked, I found most students facing criminal charges (violent crimes) were more afraid of SJA than they were of the criminal justice system. Even the crazies. It was very interesting.—CurlyGirl26.
    • Students who are planning to go on a murder spree will be prevented from bringing a weapon to campus with the threat of expulsion from college but not a life sentence in a federal state prison (which would of course mean that they are prevented from continuing education anyway)? —OliviaY
    • Your garden variety weirdo is more afraid of SJA than criminal penalties. They aren't thinking that clearly (weighing the risk of getting that life sentence in prison) or that far ahead. We would be a lot safer if the police, school psychiatrists, professors, et al, worked together in a comprehensive and cohesive manner to ensure campus safety. Which, they already do. Weren't there all kinds of psychiatric red flags surrounding Mr. Cho of VA Tech? Didn't members of the faculty aware he was had Serious Issues well before the day of the shooting? You'll never be 100% safe, even if you are toting a gun. All you can do is take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of harm. Reasonable, to me, would be to allow the grown ups to do their jobs. That has to be more effective than allowing a bunch of J.O.s to bring their firearms to school just in case S*** happens.—CurlyGirl26
      • and
        • random linking is useless and irrelevant, though Joe's is interesting in that Japan was brought up above by someone else being culturally different (more knife related, less gun, it seems). Of course people are killed in a variety of ways. You can always find someone who was killed with a garage door opener, an avacado slicer, or some other weird varient, much less with more traditional beatings, knifings, and shootings. However, the direct request above was: How many mass knifings have their been? On a college campus, per your concerns. An explicit comparison against college *shootings*. Of course you can find links on almost anything, but unless you're doing some sort of statistical analysis, it's completely useless as a debate point to simply show something has happened somewhere, or to try to argue that it might without rational or quantitative reasoning. And it completely sidesteps my entire post. Once again, if someone is going to do something, it very well might be out of peoples hands to stop it, but it is simply ridiculous to try to say that the gun is irrelevant on their ability to do so or cause damage. (actually, as some psychological publiciations have shown which I'll link shortly, it actually has affected the decision to do so in many cases due to the impersonality of using a gun compared to other weapons. But I'd rather not waste my time getting into that whole argument, which is why I'm simply making it a sidepoint). -ES
          • Now I am fighting the urge to search for avocado peeler killings.... Owning a gun is not irrelevant. I have been, repeatedly, addressing the idea that someone will snap and go on a murder spree if they have a gun. If a person snaps they will go a spree with or without a gun as Joe's example in Tokyo depicts. If there were a way to completely rid the world of guns then obviously, as Brandon has stated many times, this would be a moot case. The problem is that even when it's illegal to purchase them, criminals find a way to. If guns were completely removed from the equation we probably would see an increase in mass knifing on a college campus. I have not yet heard of such an incident which, as you have pointed out, is most definitely in large part because of the power/relative ease that comes from wielding a gun. That is not an issue I would debate. A gun is definitely attractive to anyone other than Jason/Michael Meyers since it can do more damage and with more distance. In 2/5 cases I referenced however, the criminal in question was not suicidal, so when confronted by another civilian with a weapon they ceased their actions with no additional gunfire was needed. Will this work in every case? No. Sadly incidents like that at VTech are done by very mentally disturbed individuals. I agree with ["Users"/CurlyGirl26"] that there should be more school psychiatrists and professors can do, but that won't fix the whole problem. Neither would letting college students bring arms to campus, so why not do BOTH and make an even bigger impact? Try to prevent school shootings from happening, prepare for it in case something slips through the cracks. Redundancy in the system as a way of increasing the reliability of the system.—Oliviay

— As a response to the post above, and placed here as a new thread, if the point is to stop said potential shooting, why a lethal handgun? Would a taser not be sufficient? I suspect pulling a gun out would only add problems. Unless ten people pull a gun out, which is what I think some of you are envisioning (yay heros!)... But in said extremely disturbed cases such as the VT guy, I'd expect it to prompt a shootout. A taser would definitely be able to take the person down, more than long enough to be restrained. Excluding certain cases where someone brings a rifle or is rooftoping it, most shootings seem to be (not doing proper fact checking here) at close to very close ranges, well within the 30/35 foot range of a taser. Conversely, a tranquilizer gun is also highly accurate, well ranged, are available as pistols, and are quite a bit less lethal to both target and potential bystanders. Is there a justification for lethality, if the point is to avoid having to use the weapon and use it as a tool to stop a situation or protect oneself and their peers? I would say that using a taser or a tranquilizer gun would do much more to stop a person and contain your nightmare scenario than a non-lethal shot to the abdomen, legs/arms, etc. Unless the plan is to shoot to kill or to fire more than once? -ES

  • There are two types of tasers: close range and the kind that "shoot." Obviously the close range taser would be impossible to use. The kind that shoot might be able to disable the shooter long enough for someone to grab the weapon but again there is the issue of range. I know this will make me sound like an unfeeling B$%$* but I do not personally have a problem with the idea of using lethal force to stop someone who would harm me/others I care about. When pulling a gun in self-defense the rule is that even though you might not want to kill someone, you had better be prepared to do. In many cases the individuals who conduct school shootings are suffering from a mental defect (like in the 1966 Texas case - brain tumor) so I would prefer to see those individuals stopped safely and receive medical care so long as it is not at the expense of any other lives. Unfortunately those people also tend to be the ones who favor rifles/rooftops/automatic weapons that fire at ranges too far for a taser to be reliable/effective. I do not know anything about tranquilizer guns, how fast do they work? Is the effect is instantaneous and/or analogous to a shot to the heart/head? I think, feel free to correct me, that the immediate immobilizing effect of a gunshot isn't just piercing vital organs but the force of the bullet. If the tranq isn't immediately effective and doesn't have that force wouldn't it still be possible for the shooter to get off another round?OliviaY
  • Tasers only give you one shot. You had better make it count. —wl

2008-11-24 21:21:03   Oh wow. I'm not even going to get into these comments. But may I say that I am saddened and disappointed by the existence of a Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. —gurglemeow

"2008-11-29 18:57:40"   'The United States has among the world's lowest "hot" burglary rates — burglaries committed while people are in the building — at 13 percent, compared to "gun-free" Britain's rate, which is now up to 59 percent, Lott reports. "If you survey burglars, American burglars spend at least twice as long casing a joint before they break in. ... The number one reason they give for taking so much time is: They're afraid of getting shot."' ( —BrendanChan

2008-12-16 24:01:21   The problem I have with students carrying concealed weapons on campus is their motivation. Why do you want to carry around a weapon? Do you feel that UC Davis is an unsafe campus, unsafe enough that you would have the desire to protect yourself with a firearm? I don't feel unsafe around Davis at all, and I am a woman (I saw that statistic about the prevalence of rape on campus, I have some pepper spray, but I rarely carry it around because I feel safe enough). What specific factors have caused you to desire to carry a concealed weapon on campus? Saying that one should be able to is not a good enough reason (because then you should apply the same reasoning to teachers/staff/students of age at High Schools, Disneyland etc.), a nice and specific why would be sufficient for me. —ArianeMetz

  • What specifically concerns you about students' motivation? For me, it's the simple desire to be able to rely on myself for protection and the recognition that feeling safe doesn't equate to being safe. If you'd asked any Virginia Tech student how they felt regarding campus safety the day before Seung-Hui Cho went on his rampage, I'm sure they would have said much the same thing. It's also important, I feel, to recognize that putting a gun in someone's hands does not automatically make that person a bloodthirsty killer, especially if they're given training, which is a requirement for a concealed weapons permit. Finally, while police officers are professionals and I have nothing against them, they're not Superman. They can't be everywhere at once. Thanks for keeping an open mind! —BrendanChan

2009-1-11 11:11:11   — This group wants to carry guns on UC Davis's peaceful, buccolic campus "...for safety and security."? If people carry guns within the groves of academe, that would decrease safety and security. Consider: some guy makes a comment about a concealed carrier's ugly tattoo. Without a gun, the tattooed one would simply take umbrage and maybe hurl back an insult...with a gun? Well, suffice to say in the same situation, life and limb would potentally be counted much cheaper—thus vastly decreasing safety and security on campus... —SV

  • SCCC seeks to carry for self-defense. I'd like to know how insulting a tattoo constitutes 'self-defense' as defined by the penal codes of most states. Furthermore, considering that some students of certain colleges in Colorado, Virginia, and Utah have been carrying concealed weapons for a combined total of 70 semesters without committing a single homicide, suicide, accidental discharge or experiencing a gun theft, I'd say that CHL holders are capable of being responsible around firearms and that being in possession of one does not make a person a slavering, bloodthirsty murderer. —BrendanChan
    • This is a really silly argument, and I think was brought up before in reference to police officers as well. It's cyclical with a glaring logical flaw. It only takes *one* person to change everything on a campus, which is what SCCC says. But the same self-defense use that "could have stopped Columbine" could also happen at any school where any person (be they in highschool or college) has access to legally licensed and registered handguns. The idea that somehow being eligible for a conceal carry license means you are not at risk to initiate a violent offense and "snap" is ludicrous. In promoting reasoning behind SSSC, people like OliviaY did above argue that a shooting might happen at Davis even though it hasn't (with the example of the first black president - "it could happen.") "Consider that" indeed. People worried for campus safety want minimal risk. I don't want anyone with a gun, because regardless of whether they have a license for it, "[anything] could happen." Having a license doesn't magically make you a great potential hero. To everyone else on campus and off of it, you just become another potential risk. I also just noticed your comment: 70 semesters? I'm considering it quite thoroughly. That's not impressive at all. That's 35 people for one year. That's 35 people with one year of easier access to a deadly weapon, compared to the other hundreds of thousands of students in certain colleges (more, with the ~119,000 k-12 public schools) in all 50 states who have gone a combined total of a zillion semesters. -ES
    • It's not. I never said it was. But CHL holders are far less likely to do so than the general population. Besides, again, being eligible for a concealed carry license means you are not at risk to initiate a violent offense and "snap". I'm assuming (I think, fairly) that you are over the age of 21, psychologically sound, and have not committed an infraction worse than a few parking tickets. That makes you eligible for a concealed carry license. If that's not enough, a Secret Service study on school shootings (“Safe School Initiative: An Interim Report on the Prevention of Targeted Violence in Schools,” U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education with support from the National Institute of Justice, Co-Directors Bryan Vossekuil, Marissa Reddy PhD, Robert Fein PhD, October 2000) has shown that a previously sane, well-adjusted person 'snapping' isn't a very likely phenomenon. Finally, I have no numbers for those students in CO, VA, and UT, but what I said was "X number of students for 35 years". —BrendanChan
      • I'll keep it brief, rather than going back into the same circle. Exactly. It's not a very likely phenomenon. That's why there are hundreds of thousands of perfectly normal college students in this country. People above argued that it's unlikeliness is a reason why guns shouldn't be needed, but it was countered by SCCC proponents (such as Olivia above) that anything *can* happen. That's a simple concept, and I'm just flipping it the other way. If the odds of random "snapping" are one in a million, I sure hope that one person doesn't already have a gun, much less a license to carry it concealed (and on campus, of all places). I'm pretty sure that in California, what's stopping people isn't a single psychological evaluation (that as IDNE below said, probably most everyone with a clean background could pass), but that California doesn't give up many of these licenses without someone showing need. Being a CHL holder does not make one immune into becoming the psycho that creates a campus tragedy and shocks the nation. Clearly, these events will sadly occur with or without access to weapons. The fear of many is that it might just happen to someone with easy access. Anyway, I've been reading about the background check and "psychological evaluation" (bull interview, btw) required from, a pro-site. There doesn't seem to be followups - that's great, I feel a lot safer now. Real awesome system there. The real problem with getting a CHL isn't the interview, it's proving need. Thankfully California is pretty darn strict on their Good Cause requirement, and I'd imagine the "it might happen anytime" argument won't work in proving the danger you feel you're in to qualify one for a license to extend to campus - if there weren't already laws against it. Also, you didn't say 35 years - I said 35 students for one year. Scroll up a few comments to yours. You said for a combined total of 70 semesters. That is the comment I responded to as being a ludicrous joke of a sample size. -ES

2009-01-09 23:37:32   Ok. I'd like to chime in at this point with a recent experience that I had along these very lines. I had the opportunity to go to a shooting range with some people I knew, and if I had wished to, I could have fired a gun with the guidance of people who were experienced in shooting them. (I did watch for a while to see what was happening.) This was actually a rather frightening experience. Despite the claims about safety made above, I don't think that I have ever been in a place where I felt like my life might be in danger - even purely by accident - to the extent that I did in this place. I should note that the staff had a variety of procedures and checks in place to enhance the safety of the patrons, although some of them seemed more for show or legal compliance than things that might actually protect someone. At one point, I even found that (hopefully unloaded) rifles were being pointed in my direction even though I was not near the actual shooting range at the time. Not intentionally, but they were, and they could have been loaded, and they could have gone off. While the staff certainly seemed to know what they were doing, and were concerned about safety (certainly, they did not want to be shot!), I did not feel the same way about many of the customers. I felt safest after we left. I should note that the staff members were walking around with loaded weapons on their hips. Several customers were kicked out while I was there for various reasons - one for bringing kids without proof of parental consent.

While I'm usually quite vocal about my opinions (as some readers of my comments here will note), in this shop, I was very careful about what I said. I certainly did not say anything about my feelings about guns, not because I might offend the shop staff or customers, but because I had no idea which of them might be crazy enough to shoot someone for having a differing opinion. Furthermore, I did not comment on anything else that I had an opinion on either for exactly the same reason. Having guns around did not make me feel safe, but they did make me feel threatened, and restricted my speech for my own safety.

Given this experience, I would absolutely NOT feel safer were there to be people walking around the campus with concealed weapons. I would absolutely feel much less safe. I think that bringing guns on campus would have a chilling effect on free speech, and freedom to express opinions. Davis is a place where you can talk safely to just about anyone without having to worry about what might happen. I don't think that it would still be such a place if people were walking around with weapons, especially concealed ones. For me, at least, the objectives of this organization, if successfully implemented, would directly eliminate the very benefits that they claim that concealed guns would promote. —IDoNotExist

  • Welcome back. Which shooting range was this, because you need to report the rifle thing, immediately. Complain to staff or the appropriate government business authority.

Was that customer a first-timer? And since I'm assuming he or she wasn't the parent of the kid, what was he or she doing with them bringing them to a shooting range? Also a safety risk, and a correct action on the part of the staff to kick the group out. What about the other customers?

I note that you've brought up the staff open-carrying weapons; that is their legally-given prerogative within their own establishment, and is not something that SCCC advocates. Your argument that concealed carry is a threat to free speech verges on the 2nd Amendment, which again isn't something that SCCC deals with, but speaking in terms of practicalities:

1. Having a gun doesn't turn a previously sane individual into Attila the Hun. “Safe School Initiative: An Interim Report on the Prevention of Targeted Violence in Schools,” U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education with support from the National Institute of Justice, Co-Directors Bryan Vossekuil, Marissa Reddy PhD, Robert Fein PhD, October 2000, versus and

2. The modifier "concealed" is there for a reason. I grant that if this were open carry, you would have something, but we're talking about concealed weapon carry. If you ever take a trip to a shall-issue state, ask someone about the last time he or she noticed someone else carrying. If concealed weapon carriers were inclined to attack upon hearing something they disagreed with, 40 out of the 50 United States would be bloodbaths right now, and CC would vanish as fast as politicians could make it. —BrendanChan

  • I agree, you should not have access to guns. Your personal limitation however should not impose punitive restrictions on the rest of us. —JasonAller
    • I'm quite sure that if I wanted to, I could meet any of the requirements that Brendan has outlined for concealed carry permits. (That includes having to take courses - I guarantee that I would pass.) And yes, I've actually fired guns before. But I have no desire to use them. So why would you not want me to have access to them if you would give them to other people? (Let's not make this personal, thanks...)
      • I suggest that you should not have a gun for the same reason that a PETA member shouldn't own leather shoes, a vegetarian shouldn't eat veal, and other such pairings. It isn't personal, but rather a reaction to your rather verbose participation on this page. If you don't like guns, fine, don't own one, but please don't impose your personal beliefs on the rest of us. —JasonAller
        • Those are poor comparisons, and don't work for the idea of a principle matter of beliefs. Someone next to me eating a veal steak and leather shoes cannot use either item to start shooting people. I'll respond with a slightly more apt comparisons: "Drink alcohol all you want at home - just don't get behind the wheel of a car and put other people at risk." Obviously alcohol has different effects, but the generic idea of self vs others safety stands. I'm ok with you smoking, I'd just rather not have you smoke while sitting next to me at a restaurant. You want to own a gun, fine, just don't bring it to school, etc. They are very different scenarios: your examples could be considered "morally wrong", whereas these would be "morally wrong and a demonstrated risk to public safety," hence subsequent outlawing of of drinking and driving, not allowing firearms on campus, etc to protect everyone else. And "demonstrated" in terms of guns, as this group has pointed out and wants to protect itself from, school shootings have occured elsewhere. -ES

2009-01-09 23:44:16   Another recent experience - our political fights over guns and the Second Amendment are apparently news overseas. I've talked to a number of people from different countries about it (in fact, they brought it up because they wanted to see how Americans felt about it.) In Europe, people do not understand our obsession with guns. They view Americans as dangerous, partly because of it. They also think it is really silly, and don't think that the arguments in favor of guns make any sense.

It can be useful to look past your own mirror to see how people from elsewhere view things... —IDoNotExist

2009-01-10 11:38:10   I don't know which one it was - I went along for the ride. The people with the shotguns were not the ones kicked out. I should note that the guns were pointed at the ground, but not straight down, so when those people walked through the door they happened to be pointing towards where I was sitting. Even if those people were carrying these weapons in what is considered to be a safe manner (at least in terms of where they were pointing), my life was still in danger.

I think you are missing my point (well, actually, quite a few of them, but let's address the latest one...) Let's assume that it was never the case that people fired guns out of anger, always obeyed the law, always had perfect gun safety, and never fired at anyone except in self defense, especially if they had concealed carry permits. (Clearly, this is not the case, but just for the sake of argument.) I would *still* feel much less safe on the campus if people were carrying around weapons (concealed or otherwise, permitted or otherwise). And I would *still* be more cautious about what I said. Now taking into account that the assumption I made a few sentences ago is clearly not true, what you propose is truly frightening. It doesn't take into account that people DO fire weapons out of anger (often, this is called murder), or when they shouldn't (see the BART officer who just shot and killed an unarmed man in the back even though other officers had him lying on the ground with their knee on his back!), because they have a mental issue (see lots and lots and lots of people), because they are drunk or on drugs (clearly something that never happens in a college town, right?), etc. It doesn't take into account the way people really behave. It doesn't take into account that loaded weapons occasionally go off by accident. Even if you were right (which I don't think is true) and these things were never issues (which they clearly are), what you are proposing would still be frightening and have a chilling effect. I hope that you can appreciate that your arguments are frightening to many people, and that even if correct (which I don't believe they are), what you are proposing would have a chilling effect on speech and behavior... —IDoNotExist

  • Two mistakes here. First, you assume you are around unarmed people now. Second, if your choice of words results in you fearing physical retaliation maybe you need to work on how you talk to people... or if you are not getting punched in the face regularly for how you talk to people now, what makes you think that those same people would suddenly start shooting you for your speech? Robert Heinlein was rather wise when he said, "An armed society is a polite society." —JasonAller
    • Here's another from Robert Heinlein, an appropriate, perhaps, conclusion to this detailed discussion: "In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it." — SV
  • >>Even if those people were carrying these weapons in what is considered to be a safe manner (at least in terms of where they were pointing), my life was still in danger.<< True. And they weren't. —BC

2009-01-10 12:16:09   Mostly, yeah, I am around unarmed people, although I do know and associate with people who carry guns around.

No, I'm not being physically threatened for my opinions. But I have met people who would threaten or kill people for having opinions that differ from them. Yeah. Really. I even knew someone who under normal circumstances was perfectly nice who DID kill someone. Yeah. Really. So it does happen, and I've known people involved. —IDoNotExist

2009-01-10 12:54:27   I am curious - for those of you on the pro-gun side of this discussion... What do you feel when you carry a gun? (Emotionally, not in terms of having a heavy object by your hip.) How is this different from what you feel when you do not carry a gun? —IDoNotExist

  • I don't own a gun, but I do carry a knife (actually, a Leatherman Skeletool), and I can say that the main difference I notice between when I do have it on me and when I don't is an increased feeling of security. There are always going to be situations in which one feels uncomfortable, and I feel better in such situations when I have my knife, not because I intend or want to use it, but because I know that should I need to use it, it will be there. It's good to have, because if such a situation does arise, I don't like the idea that the winner in such a conflict is the one most capable of beating someone up. Obviously, this is different from a gun scenario since the gun is much harder to use in a nonlethal capacity, but I have a feeling that some of the mechanics in the situation are the same. —JoePomidor
    • Same. I've walked down Olive Drive at night, with and without my knife, and felt safer with it. —BrendanChan
    • Even if I did have training in knife fighting (it's a stupid idea to try to defend yourself with a knife unless you know what you're doing), I wouldn't put any trust in a Skeletool as a weapon. To begin with, it's a multitool. You have to futz with it more than a traditional knife to open it. Secondly, the blade is too short for fighting. It's a fine tool to be sure, but that's all it is, not a weapon. —A knife nut who knows better than to get into knife fights
      • Wow. Well, I don't use it for fighting, or as a weapon. I use it as a tool. I never said that I even thought it was useful in knife fights, just as an extra possibility in the event that I do need to defend myself in some way. That is not to say that I'm going to automatically try to knife someone who is pointing a gun at me (like some posters have insinuated), just that there are situations where having a knife has the potential to help. I'm going to stop posting here now, because I don't want to get an aneurysm from trying to respond to people's random, vaguely insulting retorts to a comment originally added to try to give some insight into a semi-related matter. —JoePomidor

2009-01-10 14:01:07   So it is about being able to easily purchase or otherwise acquire power and status? —IDoNotExist

  • Totally lost. —BrendanChan
  • Yes, when those things are unavailable through any other means people feeling powerless resort to fantasy. -SV
  • No, they resort to edged weapons. —BrendanChan
  • Why do they need to resort to anything? Do their insecurity and frustration boil over and sabotage their communication skills? -SV
  • When was the last time you tried convincing a mugger not to steal your wallet, or a school shooter not to kill you? I haven't either, but I don't think it'd work. —BrendanChan
  • Pulling a weapon against an armed mugger isn't something most people, nor police departments, would recommend. A lot of people would actually call it stupid. It's usually considered better to simply give up your wallet and try to avoid physical confrontation, and contact the police when it's safe. You can always get your money back, stop payments on a credit card, etc but to risk death.... But I guess I'm not surprised, I've found that many people who haven't ever been mugged or robbed from (in person, not a car break-in or a home robbery while you're out) feel and think that way about being mugged. Ah, fantasies. -ES
    • Fantasies. Wow. And risk death? Who's to say the mugger isn't going to kill you anyway? —BrendanChan
      • It does seem to be a fantasy, of people who've never been in the situation. The ability to either prevent themselves from being a victim, or better yet able to stop/apprehend the person and be a hero. If you have ever been mugged, or been in a store that's being robbed, you can bet a lot of people ask you "Don't you wish you had a gun?" When I think about it pragmatically, no. The vast majority of muggings are actually pretty simple. You're talking about risking death by not pulling a weapon? By doing so, you increase it (in the vast majority of muggings). It only escalates the situation, and even if you're cool as a cat, you're putting a potentially very dangerous person's back against the wall. And who knows what that might cause them to do. If it ever happens to you, I'd recommend not risking it, Brendan.
      • In the US in 2007, some ~150k "Street/Highway" robberies happened with an average value of ~1.1k stolen - more than muggings here. Looking at larceny, purse-snatching and pick pocketing were a combined ~50k counts for an average of $400 to $700 stolen. (And that 50k combined is just 1% of the total larceny. Bicycle theft is actually nationally three times higher than that). How many murders? Tragically, a lot, but how many murders related to mugging? Well, it's hard to find the exact statistical breakdown, but I tried. According to the FBI's Crime in the United States Statistics" (where I got all of these numbers): there were 11 "Murders" under the category "Larceny-theft." 11, in the all of 2007 and across the country. There were 924 for Robbery (but that's the the entire category of "Robbery" of ~350k counts, not just the "Street/Highway" sub-category mentioned above). I couldn't find data on injuries. I'd imagine in many of those situations, a person attempted to defend themselves by also producing a weapon (which as I said escalates and puts the other persons back against a wall). Stats on that unknown though. Some ~40ish% of robberies involved firearms.
      • Please contact or talk to any police officer. I don't think you'd find any that would recommend John Smith pulling a weapon to deter a mugger, be it a knife or a gun. If you're being mugged, hand over your wallet. Call the police, and cancel your credit card. Property is less important than risking a life. -ES

2009-01-11 19:21:43   To put those numbers in perspective, you would have had a 0.05% chance of being involved in a robbery of any type in 2007 in the country, and a 3.666666666667 *10-06% chance of being murdered during a robbery. —IDoNotExist

2009-01-12 00:00:59   This thread of late seems to have turned into a fun fest of insults, quotes and debate about the 2nd amendment in general.

On the subject of police as protectors: FBI data in 1998 cited approximately 2.5 full time law enforcement officers employed per 1000 citizens. (This does not include those who are on active duty)

  • 3.6 per 1000 in 2007. Why use data from 1998 when the same source is updated annually? Furthermore though, I'm not sure of the point of this statement. Crime rates vary drastically from city to city depending on an abundance of factors, as does the number of law enforcement (full time, part-time, volunteers, etc). had a list of police per capita rankings, with their source being the "Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000." I don't have the time to check their usage of that source for accuracy, but as a raw gauge response, the only country listed out of 48 with more raw police officers was India. On a per capita basis, India was less than 1/1000, while Canada is 1.7/1000. Japan, 1.8/1000. UK, ~2/1000. Sloviaka, ~3.7/1000. I'm just listing countries randomly because I didn't understand what point you were trying to make. Is 3.6/1000 low? High? Most of Europe seemed to be around 2 to 2.5/1000. Those numbers didn't really mean much to me though, simply because there's a zillion variables involved in analyzing crime statistics. -ES

Criminologist study: Roughly 2.5 million crimes are halted in a year because the intended victim has a gun. In 90% of the cases, the victim was able to deter the criminal without actually firing/firing a warning shot. "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense With a Gun," The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law

  • Did you even read your source, or just quote it from random pro-gun websites? It's plastered all over the net. It's not a study. It's a phone-conducted survey analysis that was done in critique to other existing surveys for their variability in certain catagorical percent rates. I read the paper, but I may have missed some numbers. Your numbers seem completely bogus.
  • First, regarding the survey - not study: A total of 222 sample cases of DGUs against humans were obtained. For nine of these, the R broke off discussion of the incident before any significant amount of detail could be obtained, other than that the use was against a human. This left 213 cases with fairly complete information. Although this dataset constitutes the most detailed body of information available on DGU, the sample size is nevertheless fairly modest. While estimates of DGU frequency are reliable because they are based on a very large sample of 4,977 cases, results pertaining to the details of DGU incidents are based on 213 or fewer sample cases, and readers should treat these results with appropriate caution. Small sample size, as they mention as a weakness of their paper. (Practically required disclaimer for any survey paper that wants to be published.)
  • Secondly, back to numbers you pulled out of a hat: Straight from your source, Only 24% of the gun defenders in the present study reported firing the gun, and only 8% report wounding an adversary.[76] This parallels the fact that only 17% of the gun crimes reported in the NCVS involve the offender shooting at the victim, and only 3% involve the victim suffering a gunshot wound. 90% what? Where? To hit back to the 2.5 million number, that was a number extrapolated from another survey. The data table shows approximately ~100 people reporting a gun used in DGU, which was about 1.3% of their survey (Which would make it around 8k people phoned over the five year period of that survey). That 1.3% was then applied to the population of the US to hit the estimated 2.5 million mentioned.
  • However - no where did either source say those crimes were halted - that number is simply estimated occurrences of "defensive gun use" from a phone survey, as I just mentioned above. And as the direct quote from the source shows, 24% of cases of the study linked involved the victim firing their gun. Please make sure to check your sources before posting them, especially if you post "data." Someone might actually go through them... -Edwins

In 1982 Kennesaw Georgia passed a law that required all heads of households to own and maintain a gun. The crime rate dropped 89% that year.

Views from outside the United States? Let's look at crime statistics from a sampling of such (copypasta from "" for the most part but I provided the citation information):

A 1998 study established that, for the most part, crime is now worse in England than in the U.S. According to a Reuters report summarizing the study, "You are more likely to be mugged in England than in the United States. The rate of robbery is 1.4 times higher in England and Wales than in the United States, and the British burglary rate is nearly double America's." ( Most Crime Worse in England Than US, Study Says," Reuters, October 11, 1998. See also Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Crime and Justice in the United States and in England and Wales, 1981-96," (October 1998)) According to that same study, "the difference between the [murder rates in the] two countries has narrowed over the past 16 years."

An August 2001 story in USA Today reported that, "criminal use of handguns in Britain has increased by almost 40 percent in three years, according to a report by the Center for Defense Studies at King's College" and "armed robberies involving handguns have increased dramatically in recent years." The story went on to point out that, "Although the 'bobby' on the beat still patrols unarmed, specially trained armed response units of each police force are being called out more often. The number of incidents in which armed officers have responded has increased two-fold — from about 6,000 in 1994 to 12,000 in recent years."

Hardly anyone mentions that other countries with much tougher gun bans (i.e., Brazil and Russia) have murder rates that are four times those of the U.S. ( John Lott, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control (2000; second edition), p. 241.) Australia, which banned almost all guns following the tragic multiple shooting in Tasmania (1996), has seen armed robberies increase by 73%, unarmed robberies increase by 28%, assaults by 17%, and kidnappings increase by 38%. ( Australia Bureau of Statistics )

Finally, a burglar is far less likely to break into your house when you're home if you live in an area where some civilians own firearms, because the burglar has no way of knowing which civilians have firearms. ( U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, "The Armed Criminal in America: A Survey of Incarcerated Felons," ) The percentage in Great Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands, of burglaries occurring with the homeowner present, is 45% (average of all three). But in the United States, it's 12.7%. ( Gary Kleck, Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America )

That was some great procrastination, back to DNA extractions. —OliviaY

2009-01-12 00:32:44   Correlation is not causation.

Perhaps Americans are less likely to be home in general than someone in the Netherlands.

  • Perhaps they're also less likely to leave lights on in the home? Or smoke a pipe? Or xyz. —OliviaY

Russia has a very different society, with a radically different set of problems, such as extremely high unemployment. Brazil has extremely high rates of poverty. I think that you may find that these strongly correlate to murder rates.

  • So you are going to snipe at those who are pro-gun about what you imply to be superior world views but then dismiss information about other countries? Can't have it both ways. Yes the societies are different, and therefore why would their views about American Gun issues be well informed? You brought it up so I provided information. —OliviaY

"Roughly 2.5 million crimes are halted in a year because the intended victim has a gun" - How would you prove this?

  • That information as well as the bit about 90% below came from the book I cited immediately after that statement. If you doubt the validity of those statements please see the cited text.—OliviaY
    • Please see above for rebuttal. The numbers were not supported by cited text at all. In fact, the conclusions of the paper say something entirely else, and was quoted. -ES

"In 90% of the cases, the victim was able to deter the criminal without actually firing/firing a warning shot." - Do you mean that there are 250,000 instances in this country per year in which someone shoots at an attacker? I seriously doubt that. It doesn't even make sense when you compare it to the actual crime rates in this country.

"In 1982 Kennesaw Georgia passed a law that required all heads of households to own and maintain a gun. The crime rate dropped 89% that year." -Ok, but what WAS the crime rate there? In 2000, it had a population of only 21,675. In a town that size, it would only take a few crimes (plus or minus) to change the crime rate by that much. Using the numbers in the previous comments, if Kennesaw has the same crime rate as the US average, between 10 and 11 people would have been the victim of a robbery, so only a few victims would lead to a large percentage change.

  • If you read more about what happened in Kennesaw you'll see the population after 1982 increased dramatically. —OliviaY

You cite statistics that show that the crime rate in Britain and the availability and use of handguns have increased together, but you use this, from what I can tell, to try to indicate that the illegality of guns in Britain is the cause of the increased crime rate. Leaving aside the fact that Britain has had major economic problems that may also result in an increased murder rate, the statistics you cite seem to offer a good counterargument to your argument. More guns have resulted in MORE crime, not less.

* That information is about the increase of criminal use of handguns, I don't know if those guns were purchased legally or not. As most criminals acquire their weapons illegally I would assume that they are not. This I do not know. Again, I provided information after you made a comment about "European" views from your personal interaction with a not-so-random sample.

If you would like to pick countries to cite, let's try Iraq, where EVERYONE, or at least every household, owns a gun. Please note that hundreds of thousands of people have died there in the past few years, in large part because one group of Iraqis with guns and another group of Iraqis with guns don't particularly like each other, and have been shooting each other as a result. That seems to strongly contradict the assertion that if everyone had a gun, no one would need to worry about being attacked.

* Touche. Then again, that's a nation besieged by war both from infighting and Americans. Is that really a situation which is at all comparable? I do not believe so. Are you implying that the world will plunge into the same problems if everyone has guns? Wait was what that you said before: "Russia has a very different society, with a radically different set of problems, such as extremely high unemployment. Brazil has extremely high rates of poverty. I think that you may find that these strongly correlate to murder rates." Hmmmm this couldn't at all apply to IRAQ could it?

Well, surely the people with the BIG and POWERFUL guns wouldn't get attacked. Especially the well trained ones with armor and rockets and air support and tanks. Like the US military. Oops. They do too. Apparently, their guns are not much of a deterrent against people who want to shoot at them. —IDoNotExist

2009-01-12 01:08:33   You're right. In 1980, the population was apparently about 500, and increased 70% in the subsequent decade or two. That makes it even MORE likely that a very tiny fluctuation in the number of people engaging in a crime would cause a dramatic fluctuaton in the percentage. Again, using the 0.05% national average crime rate that showed up above, that's a fluctuation of less than one person resulting in a doubling of the percentage crime rate!

Your sample pool is WAY too small to draw any statistically significant conclusions. Also, note that a dramatic increase in population likely changed the demographics of the town, the number and percentage of people with guns, and the number of people willing an able to commit a crime.

To see a good example of this, look at the percentage fluctuations of the price of any lightly traded stock (penny stocks - stocks trading for < $1.00 per share are often a good example.) A fluctuation of only one or two cents can often result in changes in the price of 15-30% because the numbers are so small.

I think Iraq is a perfect example here because it is an example of a society in which there is not a sufficiently strong government available to keep order and because everyone is armed. Note that as soon as the previous government was removed, everyone went at each other. Guns were absolutely not a deterrent, but were an enhancement to murder, ethnic cleansing (aka genocide), and attacks on pretty much everybody.

You mentioned Russia. Let's look at what happened in several former Soviet states or associates after the USSR broke up. In Yugoslavia, people broke up along ethnic lines and shot at each other for five years, destroying major cities and killing hundreds of thousands in the process. In Russia (or not, depending on your point of view), the Chechens got into a civil war. In Ukraine, Romania (with the exception of the shooting of Ceausescu), Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and most other former Soviet states, people did not bring out their guns, and peaceful transitions of power occurred.

It's not limited to former Soviet states though. Take a look at Zimbabwe and Rwanda... —IDoNotExist

  • Wait, so you are willing to compare Iraq to the United States but dismiss Brazil because it has a "different society"? Guns are an enhancement to murder but there are also honor killings using rocks in Iraq. I'm not at all qualified to make academic judgments about the sanity of the citizens in that nation, but I think you picked an example that is so far removed from what life is like in the United States that I can't justify wasting time debating it. My point earlier was exactly that: you mentioned "looking past the mirror" yet when that is done, it becomes pretty apparent that most nations are so dramatically different, their views can't possibly be well informed. Nations that are closer toward quality of life in the US (Netherlands and Britain) you ignore/dismiss completely. I think I'm going to follow Joe's example and use my time for something productive now.—OliviaY

2009-01-12 01:52:25 I'm rather amazed at that statement that people in other countries can't possibly be well informed.

I did not ignore those other countries. I already commented on them. I have friends in and from those countries, and they tell me that people there do not understand the US proclivity towards gun ownership. From what I can tell, it is not part of the culture in those countries. Yet these are very smart and successful people who are well aware of what goes on in the world, and are far better informed about political and social issues within the US than most people within the US are about political and social issues in other countries.

I was actually referring to Russia as having a different society - and I was referring to a history of very strong governmental control (ie dictatorships) combined with a very large underclass. I was referring to Brazil in the context of the extreme poverty that afflicts the majority of the population there. The point is that violence is more commonly found in places where there is little hope and poor education. This applies to poverty stricken areas of the US too. —IDoNotExist

2009-01-14 00:48:50   Is there going to be more or less crime at UC Davis if everyone is allowed to carry a gun? Are there going to be more or fewer shootings at UC Davis if everyone is allowed to carry a gun? What financial impact would concealed carry have on UC Davis Police? What impacts would this policy have on UC Davis' ability to attract top students, scholars, and faculty?

These are the main questions that need to be answered from a policy perspective if you want people to take this seriously. —OscarSabino

  • Studies have shown that allowing concealed carry causes a drop in crime. Note that legalizing the ability to carry does not mean that everybody will use it, and we don't advocate forcing people to do so. I believe there will be less shootings at UC Davis, because those who can legally carry will do so more responsibly than members of the general public, and I'm working to convince others. As far as financial impact goes, I do not foresee a negative impact, unless campus administration elects to hire more police officers in response, which is their prerogative. There probably will not be any positive impact, because concealed carry license fees typically go to city or county law enforcement. The last question is harder to answer, because (this being California) most people are gun-control advocates who may opt to attend other schools. However, even in a shall-issue state, concealed carriers are about 1% of the population. Since California is a restrictive may-issue state, that percentage will be even less. That means that in Scilec 123 (max. capacity 519, if I remember right), less than five people will be legally carrying at any given time. Students (and faculty) who aren't concerned by someone possibly illegally carrying a firearm shouldn't be concerned by someone possibly legally carrying a firearm, especially when so few will do so. —BrendanChan

2009-01-14 21:29:49   Yes.

2009-01-14 23:48:59   Brendan: In response to your statement that "I'm not sure that the nervousness and fear would apply, because an armed 20-something college student would be on a level playing field with an armed criminal", it is of course true that anyone with a concealed weapon would not express or experience emotions such as nervousness or fear, because the brain is directly controlled by the presence of a concealed weapon. Furthermore, if the gun carrier outguns the other person, this apparently negates all such emotions.

(This is, of course, not true of soldiers, police, or the general public. But apparently concealed carry permit holders have emotional characteristics that the rest of humanity does not.) Certainly, US soldiers typically outgun anyone who they might be up against in a military situation, and are very well trained. Yet there soldiers find combat to be a time of extreme stress in which they experience nervousness and fear just like the rest of us. Many also develop post traumatic stress disorder in the process.

The vast majority of your arguments seem to center around the assumption that concealed carry permit holders behave in ways that the general public does not, and that they can always be guaranteed to do so. This really doesn't make sense, because this isn't how people behave in real life. —IDoNotExist

  • Yet nervousness and fear can be controlled through training. Neither police nor CHL holders are Superman (ref. Rory Vertigan), and I have never pretended it to be so. Post-traumatic stress disorder, a while back, used to be known as combat stress reaction, because its onset came after the fact, not during combat itself.

    How many concealed carry permit holders do you know, as opposed to people in real life, which I take to mean members of the general public? Can you compare their conduct? —BrendanChan

2009-01-15 00:27:15   I don't think that the people I know personally are particularly relevant to the issue... —IDoNotExist

2009-01-22 20:40:30   "A graduate student from China was decapitated with a kitchen knife in a campus cafe at Virginia Tech by another graduate student who knew her, police said Thursday." It isn't the tool that is used, but the fact that there are some nutjobs out there who are intent on doing harm to others. You might think that after the prior tragedy that Virginia Tech would be a very safe place with all the new security measures and warning systems that were put in, but that would be naive and wrong. —JasonAller

2009-01-23 00:09:54   Well, clearly we should let people have the most lethal tools available, so that if they do go nuts and decide to do harm to others, they can do it in the most efficient and expedient way! Why not give people machine guns? Or grenades? Or nukes? After all, only people intent on doing harm to others would do harm to others with a weapon... —IDoNotExist

  • Strawman. What's the purpose of this organization? —BrendanChan

2009-01-23 18:04:19   In my opinion, the goal of the organization is to make spreading fear across college campuses more popular, and to make it much more convenient for angry people to shoot their classmates, especially while using mathematically nonsensical arguments to justify the increase in fear and shooting convenience. While I realize this is different from the stated purpose of the organization, and from what you believe the purpose of the organization is, I am basing my opinion of the purpose of the organization on what I believe to be the likely result of its work, should it succeed, and not on its stated goals. —IDoNotExist

2009-02-05 19:53:04   Yea, I think the risk of danger flows from guns and the attendant proximity to stress, anxiety, uncertainty, depression and all the triggers that are particular to college students. —CurlyGirl26

I have one (hopefully) obvious question. First, the purpose of the SCCC seems to be simply extend concealed carry permits to include campus. All of the arguments here have their base in fact, and I can sympathize with both sides. I would like to pose a question to the side opposing the SCCC: Do you have these feelings of fear and dread that you will be shot walking around town? Now, I am in fact opposed to the SCCC, but it strikes me that the side FOR has cited numerous articles and numbers, but the side OPPOSED has primarily used fear in leu of reasoning. I am confident that there are people in the city of Davis that posses a concealed carry permit. Do you feel any more in danger now than you did without that knowledge? My only point is that your arguments are weak and need work, unless the opponents here are of the oppinion that all concealed carry permits should be revoked. —MasonMurray

From the main page: "According to the statistics of California's Attorney General, there are currently fewer than 250 people in Yolo County licensed to be able to carry a concealed handgun, a steady decrease since the late 1980's (approximately 500/600). Specific numbers: 2002: 309, 2003: 284, 2004: 275, 2005: 280, 2006: 266, 2007: 244. None of these licenses extend to campus grounds." I would say that 250 people in a county that "as of the 2000 census, [..] had a population of 168,660 [and] total area of 1,023 square miles" is teenyl. I wonder how many, if any, are actually within the city of Davis, much less any higher populated part of the city. Due to the difficulty in even getting a license for this (demonstrating need), I would imagine the majority of those 250 people are farmers, or live off in less accessible areas of Yolo County, etc if I may generalize. There is no definitive data to show that, but I think that's a generally fair interpretation. Your question is odd though. If people who want to carry guns feel say they feel less safe on campus than they do in town, due to the HUGE amount of people on campus daily, the higher risk of something happening, and what not, in what way is it the opposite irrational? That if concealed guns were added to the listed factors, it would not somehow be worse? Furthermore, no where in Yolo County do more people convene than on the UC Davis Campus on every single regular weekday for the majority of the year, in such a tiny area (sparing a special "event"). We're talking about putting thousands upon thousands of people in much closer proximity to someone licensed to conceal a gun. I think many people know that such a thing is allowed in the county (and thus don't suddenly feel unsafe with what you're bringing up, despite it being on the main page), but is extremely difficult to get a gun. We can rest assured people need to pretty much prove why they need one. And therefore, it almost definitely isn't on the hips of people walking around downtown. To open it up to students gives the potential for the number of licensed carriers to increase drastically (heck, even 25 people out of the 30k students or what not is a huge change, especially when they're now in potentially direct proximity to us). And when we're talking about college kids in general, and the organizer of the drive may tosses out something like "The answer to bullets flying is almost always more bullets flying" (look further up the page for the full comment and context)... To be more specific though to a part of your post, it's pretty hard to really try to cite sources for or against. The majority of them are opinion pieces and aggregate studies and phone surveys. There's always opinions, but there's very few school shooting events, much less in places that do allow concealed weapons to be carried. You can't really have a results-orientated discussion in this case, there simply isn't enough real data to be significant. -ES

  • But the current laws do not prohibit students from procuring a license. There is no call to reform the concealed carry permit requirements (from what I've seen). So, if no one on campus can prove a need for said licenses, absolutely nothing would change aside from the fact that they COULD in theory get one if needed. I'm actually quite at a loss for why this group even exists. Do any of the members even have a concealed carry license? And this really is the part that baffles me: If the SCCC did get the law changed, what then? What would be in any way different? Would all freshmen go out and buy guns and get licenses? Uh, no. —MasonMurray
  • Entirely true, it's a complete theoretical argument. But since they support the notion that licenses should extend to campus, I suppose the opposition directly addresses that, rather than fall back on a "it wouldn't happen anyway" stance. ie, ignore the current restrictions or imagine them looser in a "if it could happen" thing. Just because it's not a possibility now doesn't mean it potentially might not be in the future, however slim the odds, and thus still worth addressing as many have.