Typical emotional rant about the risks of letting law-abiding citizens carry permitted concealed handguns, this time regarding college campuses

Darren Bush, an associate law professor at the University of Houston, wrote an op-ed this past weekend for the Salt Lake Tribune (available here). What is most disappointing is that I debated Bush at the University of Houston last fall. He made hypothetical claims about armed students fighting over parking spaces, but I challenged him then to provide some examples among young permit holders off of campus and he couldn't. For the obvious reason that such a case doesn't exist, he has still not been able to refer to an example. But he still uses it as a serious concern.

-- "No proof exists that concealed weapons deter crime in any setting." -- This statement is simply inaccurate. I debated Bush last fall where I went through the overwhelming majority of studies support my results. Among peer-reviewed studies in academic journals by criminologists and economists, 18 studies examining national data find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime, 10 indicate no discernible effect and none find a bad effect from the law. Among non-refereed studies, three find drops in crime and two say either no effect or possibly small increases in crime. For a list is available here, though I would also add my book, More Guns, Less Crime, and another recent paper in the Journal of Law and Economics.

-- The risk of students carrying concealed handguns. As the third edition of my book MGLC shows, permit holders generally are extremely law-abiding and there is no evidence that even in those states where people 18 to 20 can carry that they behave any differently. During my debate with Bush, he could not provide a single example in Utah or Colorado where a younger permit holder on campuses behaved in the manner that you hypothesize nor in the period prior to the early 1990s before universities in right-to-carry states had these prohibitions on students or faculty or staff carrying these guns.
I wrote up a discussion on Utah for the third edition of MGLC (University of Chicago Press, 2010). One can look up more recent information for Utah here.
Also take Arizona. which has been in the news recently. As of December 1, 2007, there were 99, 370 active permits. During 2007, 33 permits were revoked for any reason — a 0.03% rate — cases that did not involve using the gun to harm others. And this is true in state after state. Between October 1, 1987 and December 31, 2010, Florida issued permits to 1.9 million people. 168 permit holders had their permits revoked for any firearms related violation, a rate of 0.009%. During the last 36 months the revocation rate has been 0.0003%.

-- The claim is that "contentious campus parking dispute if students are armed," but Bush provides not one single example in Texas where you live or any other place where such an event involving a student type person has occurred off campus. With about 6.5 million current permit holders, Bush can't come up with even a few examples for a reason.

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Blogger Chas said...

Markie Marxist sez: "When the facts don't support our ideology, we have to resort to our imaginations. We'd rather have the facts on our side, but we make do with whatever works for our political agenda. We're certainly not going to acknowledge an inconvenient truth that trumps our agenda! That just wouldn't be common communist sense. We murdered millions and millions of people in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere. What's a little creative fiction compared to that? At least we‘re not shooting people in the head with 9mm‘s by the thousands anymore. For now."

1/25/2011 5:25 PM  
Blogger SOPHIA44 said...

Yes, it is obvious that teacher Bush has no facts or logic to support his position. He, therefore suggests that a student would flaunt his weapon to induce a grade change. Concealed Carry laws are written according to the meaning of the word "concealed", and permit-holders are taught the importance and legal necessity of maintaining concealment. Therefore, Mr. Bush is highly disingenuous to use this argument in his rant.
Furthermore, when folks like Mr. Bush are threatened, they begin to view gun-carrying in a different light. I know of a hospital executive who was threatened by a worker whose job was eliminated. The threatened man and his family were against gun ownership and owned no guns. However, he borrowed a 357 Revolver and carried it in his briefcase--without a permit, no less--until the threat seemed past. I personally heard his wife tell the whole story. It seems that threatened people can and do act as if they have an inalienable right to self-defense. Lewis Bishop

1/25/2011 5:43 PM  

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