Apparently, they’re going to try to push a bill allowing concealed carry in University of Wisconsin academic buildings in this upcoming legislative term and there’s been a bit of a uproar as a result.
Now if this whole thing has somewhat of a familiar taste to it, it’s because it does: an eerily similar GOP bill was shot down about a year or so ago.
If you’re not aware, the bill was trying to change the law which allows concealed carry holders to bring their firearms on UW System campuses, but not into any university buildings. Under the bill, the UW System wouldn’t be able to prohibit permit holders from leaving their guns at the doors.
I mean, ideally, this would work to protect the student populus from any situations involving an active shooter on campus. And as admirable as that may be, it’s not too hard to imagine that there’s going to be a little pushback when you bring more guns into the equation.
But to be honest, I think concealed carry gets an overall bad rap. I mean I’m pretty sure the whole point of concealed carry is that the weapon is hidden from the rest of the public so ideally, no one knows a weapon is there except for the person carrying it. It’s not like people are just walking around with their guns out and fingers on the trigger.
Furthermore, people usually get a concealed carry permit as a means of personal protection. So in other words, some people feel generally safer when they are able to carry their weapon. Therefore, the argument could be made that limiting concealed carry so that one group of the public can feel safe is placing some people’s right to feel secure above others.
Personally, I don’t really feel the need to strap up in order to feel safe, but at the same time, I’ve never really been in a life-threatening situation such as an active shooter scenario. But I concede, it isn’t likely that a person with concealed carry would even be able to stop a rampage. Over the past 33 years, no mass shootings have been stopped by civilians, so claiming the logic that a good guy with a gun will stop a bad guy with a gun doesn’t seem to hold up.
The underlying issue which needs to be addressed is the fact that if we’re going to continue to loosen concealed carry boundaries, the requirements for earning a permit need to be continually reviewed and revamped and honestly should probably include some sort of mental health check. Concealed carry shouldn’t really be an issue if the permit holders are well-trained and well-of-mind individuals. The problem isn’t so much if guns are bad, but who should be allowed to carry them.
All-in-all, people should really be able to do what allows them feel most comfortable in their surroundings so long as their actions don’t threaten others, which is what concealed carry can allow if properly executed.
Phil Michaelson ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in biomedical engineering.