Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The murderous magic of guns

By Donald Sensing

Jack C. Parker, Research Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, names and rebuts arguments proffered opposing concealed carry of firearms on university campuses and of concealed carry generally.

Prof. Parker taught at Virginia Tech for 25 years, although he had departed for UT before the 2007 massacre of 32 students and faculty by a deranged shooter. Among the arguments against allowing concealed carry on campus he dissects is this one.

Argument: Colleges are emotionally volatile environments. Allowing guns on campus will turn classroom debates into crime scenes. 
Before shall-issue concealed carry laws were passed throughout the United States, opponents claimed that such laws would turn disputes over parking spaces and traffic accidents into shootouts. This did not prove to be the case. 
It's a magic gun! Now I want to kill! I can't help it!
Apparently, the hoplophobes think that firearms have this magic juju that turns Milquetoast men or women into raging killers just by picking them up.

Presumably, a class's peaceful, passionate argument in a classroom over, say, the symbolism of dawn and light in Homer's Iliad becomes a gunfight slaughterhouse if one of the students has a gun handy.

Note that gun controllers can't point to hundreds, dozens or even occasional fistfights that break out in classrooms, but think that instant escalation to murder necessarily follows just because a magic juju gun is there.

Just think: we live our lives surrounded by placid, kind and gentle men and women who would immediately morph into Rambo-esque killers if they ever held a gun in their hands. That really does seem to be what hoplohobes think.

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