Guns On Campus: A Preponderance Of Public Policy and Interest
By John Longenecker
Let me add to the June 20th, 2007, CollegiateTimes.com article, States look at gun policies, debate on-campus weapon carry. It's positively encouraging because it reports on a movement sweeping the nation. The bottom line on the question will be public policy and interest.
Question: is it more in the public interest to see students carrying weapons than to see them unarmed and vulnerable? Is it in the public interest to question citizen authority to act and to characterize liberty individuals as anti-social, and to disarm them? Is it in the public interest to be alone and defenseless, or alone and armed not only with the personal weapon, but also with their legal authority?
Legal authority is key to the discussion. Public Policy and Interest is key to the discussion.
Let's examine at a few issues which factor into the question and which gun control activists do not mention.
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1. Praise to those institutions opening the issue. As I report often, it is wonderful to see colleges consulting constituents and no longer freezing them out of directing their own best interests. Consulting exclusively other officials denies constituent input, and I praise those officials who are open to deeper understanding of what personal weapons are really all about. Praise.
2. Within the article is the mention... "However, Clemson University and several other South Carolina colleges' and universities' police departments have come out strongly against the new bill." [armed students] Excuse me, but the Founders did not consult the very people they hire and limit, and they wrote words of art to avoid the same thing in any era, including 2007. The second amendment was not written about guns, it was written to forbid abuses of due process, and consulting officials falls back into that trap. In fact, gun control itself is the exquisite example of abuse of due process. 'Coming out strongly against the new bill is to oppose the lethal force which backs citizen authority.
Of course, you don't consult your servants on how much authority you have, or on what you are allowed or not allowed. You tell them. If they quarrel, you are not challenging their authority, it is they who are challenging yours. And this is what personal weapons is all about in this country: the force which backs that authority, forever, or in other words, '..shall not be infringed.' Otherwise, elements, such as violent crime, can become a perfect excuse to disarm people.
All gun control fails because it obfuscates, discourages and outright punishes that citizen authority to act when facing grave danger. Crime grows. Police may not legally interfere with the right to self-defense, especially politically and when they are not around - when it is needed most. Free people don't need permission from their hired officials, they tell them. Is their official knowledge so esoteric that it is beyond our instruction and control?
3. Individual citizens have not only the civil right to carry a handgun on their person, but they also have the authority to use up to lethal force when - in their reasonable surmise - they are facing grave danger alone. It is this authority which is being pushed aside - as in consulting police instead of constituents, or in listening to anti-gun organizations, again freezing the constituent out. Groups don't get to prevail when it profoundly and adversely affects the public interest.
4. In this country, Police have no duty to protect individuals, and there is no promise they could arrive in time, anyway.
5. Finally, where there is much quandary, when in doubt, we take a look to what is a preponderance of public policy and interest. Will it be public policy to see reasonable, armed students with existing legal authority, or will it be public policy to compel them to come to class defenseless and frustrate that lawful authority? How is a known victim disarmament zone in public policy and interest?
It's about time schools, churches, shopping malls, airports and civil aircraft, and public buildings take a close look at these elements of the issue, and take the side of the students and visitors; reasonable person, legal authority to use up to lethal force when facing grave danger alone. Disarming constituents under penalty of law is not being on their side.
As I say, we won't prevent the next shooting by psychoanalyzing and profiling the next shooter, but by preparing their next victims and respecting their citizen authority, an authority which is not checked at the Admissions Office.
Students don't die because they fought back, their lives are ruined because they didn't. And when individuals are possessed of all legal authority to act, how does a city or any official body have an interest in obfuscating, blocking and punishing the reasonable exercise of that authority?
Officially recognizing that personal authority wherever one has a right to be is to act in the public interest.
And that would be good for the country.
John Longenecker’s book, Transfer of Wealth: The Case For Nationwide Concealed Carry is in its Second Edition and it would make a great gift for the non-gun owner. You can purchase his book at Transfer of Wealth. You can also read other articles by John Longenecker here.