When you reduce multidimensional dynamics to a single variable, answers seem easier to find. Advocates of gun rights always ask if, when a gun is pointed at you, it would be better to have a gun of your own for self-defense or not? Well, of course it would, everything else held equal,….but I prefer to ask, why can anyone point a gun at me in the first place?
Now we’re told the FBI or other authorities should be responsible for making sure the mentally ill or disturbed among us should not have access to guns. Authorities receive many thousands of ‘tips’ every day about possibly dangerous people. Do we really want to live in a nation where every suspicion results in full investigation and suspension of rights? Leaving aside the costs of even managing this, how do free speech and openly expressed thoughts fit here? Am I under suspicion and liable to FBI-interrogation just for writing this?
This is all pertinent given the latest tragedy in Florida, but it’s exacerbated for me today when I learn that two gun-owners on my campus actually left their guns behind today, one in the restroom and the other in their college building. Yes, we all lost things and misplace our phones, our keys, or books. But I tend not to lose my car, my glasses, or anything else that I have to make an effort to own. What does this say about guns and the easy right to carry them around campus?
UT agreed to allow concealed carry for permit holders, and postured publicly to justify the simple compliance with state law, even rewarding the chair of the complicity committee with a formal honor. Let’s see how the university treats those who can carry but can’t remember where their weapons are.