No conceal and carry on campus

By Ryan McNeily

It troubles me deeply that the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus have successfully franchised their RSO in Champaign. This group, an advocate for the legalization of concealed firearms in Illinois and on campus, posits that their mission is to correct “a gap in the (U of I’s) firearm policy”.

I didn’t know our treatment of fatal weapons was vacuous.

I won’t deny that the intentions of this student organization are, in all probability, altruistic. Its assertion that proliferating weapons on campus could ultimately subvert another school tragedy like the catastrophes at Northern Illinois and Virginia Tech are possible, albeit naive. The inherent suggestion this organization (and the scores of groups like it) make is that there is some instance, some probable forthcoming circumstance, when martial law is acceptable and necessary.

Why carry weapons capable of such brutality unless they’re meant to act as an instrument of self-defense, a device to bring a foe unto the threshold of fatality? I would draw an exception for Champaign’s sportsmen here, but it’s been some time since I’ve seen a white-tailed deer crossing Green Street.

My problem is not with the Second Amendment. I support it. This unalienable American right and the jurisdictional issues that accompany it constitute a dilemma of governmental precepts and democratic idiosyncrasies that are practically unsolvable (but do not provide justification for packing Glocks). The Second Amendment allows us to protect the pillars of our constitution if our government chooses to infringe, against our will, upon them. But, utilizing a militia and weaponry to protect our rights is a decision to be made in sound judgment by a public body and not by an individual in duress or, worse, stupidity.

Guns don’t save lives. Guns protect people from other people with guns. The irony is, and should be, blaring.