The Instigator
tornshoe92
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
lddebater540
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

On Campus Concealed Carry

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2011 Category: News
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,764 times Debate No: 17450
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

tornshoe92

Pro

Recently in Texas, as well as in other states, legislation has been put forward that would allow students and faculty at most public and some private universities to carry a firearm concealed while on campus. This past year the debate arrived at my school in the form of a public lecture and increased my interest in the matter. If anyone has any questions about definitions or any other part of the debate, please feel free to PM me or comment before accepting.
lddebater540

Con

I accept the challenge and negate today's resolution.
Debate Round No. 1
tornshoe92

Pro

For organization's sake, I will break my argument down into numbered points.

1) Everyone remembers the tragic school shootings that have plagued the U.S. in recent years. Columbine and Virginia Tech are only two among multiple other shooting rampages that took place on school campuses. While police responded as quickly as they could, they were unable to stop the shooter(s) before they could kill dozens of students and teachers. Had there been a student or teacher on the school's grounds however, there is a very real possibility that the shooter(s) would have been stopped in the very early stages of their tirade.

2) Utah was the first (and I believe only so far) state to universally allow citizens with concealed carry permits to carry while on college campuses. Thusfar they have had no major incidents that have resulted from CHL holders on college campuses. Other individual college campuses around the U.S. (Ex: Colorado State University) allow concealed carry and have similarly suffered no major incidents from CHL carriers.

3) The only people who would be allowed to carry concealed while on college campuses would be (based on proposed states' legislation) the same people who could normally own and carry a gun everywhere else.

To conclude my argument this round, adding concealed carry to college campuses has yet to cause a problem, and therefore, the state has no right to not allow people who already carry concealed elsewhere to carry on campus.
lddebater540

Con

Negative Case

Contention 1: Concealed weapons permission is unnecessary on campus. Although many point to such incidents as the Virginia Tech shootings to justify the need for concealed weapons, most college campuses are relatively safe compared to other areas in the United States. In 2002, the Justice Department discovered that crime on campus is 20% lower than the national average for individuals of the same age category as college students, and that 93% of the violence that occurs against students takes place off campus. (Source: http://www.bradycampaign.org...). This means that, as a whole, students are more while they reside on campus than they are in the outside world. This has two impacts. First, it demonstrates that concealed carry laws are absolutely unnecessary on campus because the crime rate is extremely low. Since there is no need to solve a problem that does not exist, concealed carry permits should not be extended to the campus. Second, it actually demonstrates that concealed carry laws have an increase in crime; most college campuses are safe without the concealed carry provision, but the outside world, which permits concealed carry, is not as safe as college campuses are. This means that concealed carry provisions may be the reason that crime is higher in the outside world, so increasing the number of guns on campus could potentially replicate the disaster. Gary Kleck, a gun-carrying advocate, concedes, "Both gun carrying and gun violence are thus phenomena almost entirely confined to the world outside schools."

Contention 2: Crime would increase on campus. Students who own guns are more likely to be mentally unstable and dangerous than their nonviolent peers. While the college rates for illicit drug use, alcohol abuse, and mental instability is high, studies have shown that individuals who are prone to carrying guns on campus are likely to be more involved in such debauchery than the average student. Two studies of college students discovered, for example, that students with guns more likely to engaged in such risky behaviors as binge drinking, use of crack and cocaine, having DUIs, vandalizing property, and clashing with the police. (Source: http://www.bradycampaign.org...). This means that the students who will actually benefit from the law will be those prone to felonious behavior. Given that most students will not carry guns, and that the students who do possess them will not possess the proper mental faculties to rationally prevent themselves from committing crimes, and that these students are more likely to engage in risky, illegal behavior than the average non-gun carrying college student, crimes on campus will be much easier to commit than they were previously. This means that giving risk-prone students access to weapons could potentially increase violence and other felonies on campus. Since this violates the rights of all, this is a reason to reject the gun laws.

Contention 3: Concealed weapons would detract from the educational environment of the school. Given that the mission of colleges is to provide a safe, comfortable environment for a student to obtain an education, and that guns create an aura of fear on campus, permitting concealed weapons on campus would foster mistrust and detract from a student's ability to gain an education. Rather than proving that the campus is safe, the students at a college would attempt to minimize interactions with other students for fear of inciting them to emotional violence. A study conducted to determine the fear of the dissemination of guns discovered that 71% of people would feel threatened by the increase of guns in their community, and that 85% of non-gun owners were opposed to the spread of guns because they felt that it would foster mistrust and lessen their security. (Source: http://www.bradycampaign.org...) This increase in fear would decrease educational freedom by minimizing educational interactions, so concealed weapons should not be permitted on campus.

Contention 4: Increasing the number of guns on campus could cause confusion and thus foster a greater loss of life. Consider the following hypothetical scenario: A shooter enters campus and threatens a student, who proceeds to pull out a weapon of his own to confront the aggressor. Students nearby also begin to arm themselves and enter the ensuing fray because they feel that their friends are in danger (we cannot assume that students will only arm themselves against the shooter.) By the time the police arrives, the officers can never reliably know which student instigated the conflict, which students are actually dangerous, and which students were trying to defend themselves. This scenario demonstrates the fact that increasing the number of guns on campus would generate confusion and could cause police officers to threaten even the innocent gun-wielders simply because it would be impossible to identify the actual threat. However, if only one shooter had been armed, the police could easily identify the individual and arrest him, thus minimizing the likelihood of his escape and decreasing the potential loss of life.

So, because concealed weapons are unnecessary and detrimental to safety and security, you should negate.

Rebuttals

First, he mentions Virginia Tech and Columbine as reasons that guns should be permitted on campus. While these incidents were horrific, the reason that the public knows about them is that they are unique. The media does not cover every day shootings in the poor downtown areas because these are expected to happen, while crimes on campus are often covered because the stories are unique and sensational. This means that although he can provide you with a few specific, well-known incidents, we should prefer my statistics in the first contention that explain that most campuses are safer than other areas of the United States, meaning that while a few incidents do occur, on the whole, concealed weapons are unnecessary. Moreover, you can cross-apply my fourth contention about confusion here, because the incidents would have been magnified if some students had engaged the shooters in a conflict. Finally, this problem does not require guns to solve; more incidents can be prevented by increasing the amount of police security and support for students on campus (directly solves his "police" argument.)

In his second point, he mentions that some campuses with permits have not had any major incidents. First, this could be explained by the fact that most college students do not wish to own guns, and that they cannot have such permits anyways because they need to be 21, so the prevalence of guns on campus is probably very slim. Second, this is empirically false as there have been over 1,400 cases in the state of Florida alone in which CCW permit holders have conducted violent felonies. (Source: http://www.bradycampaign.org...)

For example:
Tucson, Arizona, October 29, 2002. Robert Flores, Jr. shot and killed three professors, and then himself, in a rampage at the University of Arizona School of Nursing, where he was a failing student. Reportedly, he had told classmates about a year before that he had obtained a CCW permit.

Finally, he claims that only those individuals who could carry weapons elsewhere would be permitted to have weapons on campus. Turn this against him because most students across the nation cannot obtain concealed weapons permits until the age of 21, meaning that the majority of college students could not even defend themselves in the case of a violent felony anyways. Second, this increases the likelihood of felonies as individuals outside of campus with permits would be able to safely roam onto campus with their weapons, meaning that they could easily use them against students.

Thus, negate and reject concealed carry permits.
Debate Round No. 2
tornshoe92

Pro

Rebuttal to Contention 1: My opponent argues that CCWs (concealed carry weapons) on campus are unnecessary because campuses are statistically safer (on average) than other areas of the country. The problem with that reasoning is that while there is less crime, that doesn't mean that crime on campus doesn't exist. Students who are likely to be attacked and become victims of crime are also those least likely to be able to defend themselves, which includes women and people with physical disabilities. The best way for them to equalize their chances of protecting themselves is for them to be allowed to carry concealed. My opponent also makes the argument that the lower crime rates on a college campus indicates that concealed carry laws increase crime. Not only is that assuming that correlation implies causation, it's not even representative of the facts. If you look at the states where concealed carry is new or non-existent (Illinois is currently the only state without concealed carry) compared to states with more loose carry laws, there is no definite difference between them (http://www.disastercenter.com...). In fact, looking at college campuses where concealed carry is allowed, there has been no significant increase in crime since the colleges started allowing students to carry. Therefore, based on statistics, there is no reason to believe that adding concealed carry to college campuses would negatively impact student life.

Rebuttal to Contention 2: My opponent claims that "Students who own guns are more likely to be mentally unstable". I don't know where my opponent gets that from but I've never seen any indication that that's true. Also, we are not debating who should own guns, only whether it should be legal to take them on a college campus. My opponent then cites two studies mentioned in a Brady Campaign article about the behavior of students with guns. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the studies mentioned by my opponent and I would appreciate it if he could post a link directly to the studies or if he could say where and under what name the studies are listed. My opponent then goes on to talk about how unstable and risk prone gun owners are. Since I couldn't find the studies con got these claims from, I have no reason to believe them. Also, if someone is prone to break the law, why would they care if a law is passed allowing concealed carry? They would carry regardless of what the law says.

Rebuttal to Contention 3: The study my oppenent referrences asked whether or not people would feel safer if more people owned guns. The debate isn't over where or not more people should own guns, it's about where people who already own guns should be able to take them. Therefore the study really has no relevance in this debate. Additionally, my opponent's claim that allowing students to carry concealed will foster an anti-social fearful environment is unsubstantiated by off-campus society, where people in states with loose carry laws are no less social than people in states with strict gun laws. In fact, the gun shows that I have been to (where EVERYONE is packing) are some of the most social places I've been.

Rebuttal to Contention 4: In my opponent's final point, he claims that having multiple people having guns will cause a shooting incident to become confusing to students and the police. I have yet to come across a similar shooting incident where police couldn't differentiate between victim and assailant. In fact during the UT tower shooting, students armed with their own weapons were able to pin the shooter in the tower until police could arrive and take over. At no point was there confusion over who the police needed to deal with and the students were able to help take control of a very dangerous situation. Con also says that police could potentially shoot an innocent CHL holder. While it is a slight possibility (I say slight because as I said before, there's no history of it happening) it's a choice that the CHL holder makes. Just as a police officer makes the choice to put himself in danger by accepting the job, a CHL holder makes the concious decision to accept the risk that comes along with it. Also my opponent says, "This scenario demonstrates the fact that increasing the number of guns on campus would generate confusion and could cause police officers to threaten even the innocent gun-wielders simply because it would be impossible to identify the actual threat." Hypothetical situations in no way constitute evidence and shouldn't be relied upon to demonstrate "facts" that don't actually have any evidence to back them up.

"Second, this is empirically false as there have been over 1,400 cases in the state of Florida alone in which CCW permit holders have conducted violent felonies."

I never said that CHL holders never commit crimes since that's not what this debate is about. I said that CHLs have not added to the crime committed on campuses that allow them.

"Tucson, Arizona, October 29, 2002. Robert Flores, Jr. shot and killed three professors, and then himself, in a rampage at the University of Arizona School of Nursing, where he was a failing student. Reportedly, he had told classmates about a year before that he had obtained a CCW permit."

If I'm not mistaken, the University of Arizona did not allow students to carry concealed at the time. So how exactly did CHLs being banned on campus keep him from shooting his professors?

As for my opponent's final rebuttal, just because not veryone can carry to protect themselves doesn't mean that nobody should be able to.
lddebater540

Con

In contention 1, I explained that according to studies, 93% of attacks against college students do not ever occur on campus, meaning that 1) concealed carry laws are unnecessary and 2) crime may be increased on campus as a result of the existence of the weapons. He responded to the first impact by saying that "women cannot protect themselves" and that students may still be attacked. While they still may be attacked, the fact of the matter is that concealed carry laws ON CAMPUS will not have a marginal impact for increasing student safety. Even if we assume that gun holders will not commit violent crimes themselves, college campuses are already secure, meaning that there will be no positive impact to the safety of the students. If he wants to advocate a change in policy, he needs to explain why it should be done, and insofar as the status quo will not change (since this is a debate about CCW ONLY on campuses), there is no reason to change the law.

Additionally, please remember that eliminating guns on campus does not mean that students will not be able to defend themselves; there are other means that students can use to insure their safety, including campus and city police officers, other hand-held weapons, friends, etc.

Finally, using guns will not prevent any loss of life in "self-defense." Public health researcher David Hemenway concludes that "[g]un use in self-defense is rare, and it appears that using a gun in self-defense is no more likely to reduce the chance of being injured during a crime than various other forms of protective action," and notes that no "evidence seems to exist that gun use in self-defense reduces the risk of death."

David Hemenway, Private Guns, Public Health 78 (2004).

Thus, even if you drop all of my statistics, you still cannot vote for him because gun holders do not save any lives, so there is no need to have guns on campus.

Let's look at the second impact about increasing crime rates. In fact, CCW states actually DO have more crime rates than other states. According to the disaster center sources that he cited, in the city of Chicago, which does not permit concealed carry, the violent crime index per 100,000 people was 1,195.7 (http://www.disastercenter.com...) , while in Dallas, the index per 100,000 people was 1,333.2 http://www.disastercenter.com.... Given that the population of Dallas was 1, 715, 800 smaller than that of Chicago in 2005, we would expect more crime in Chicago. However, the city that permitted CCW was more dangerous and violent than the city that did not permit concealed guns. He will try to respond to this with a "correlation does not equal causation argument", but please remember that needs to prove alternate causation in today's round in order to prove this true.

His response to Contention 2 was twofold. First, he says that he cannot reject my claim because I did not cite the study. This is false because he could have easily researched the position and tried to provide counter-statistics. Second, Harvard University study study I used is quoted and cited below.

"According to the only previous national survey of firearm possession at college, 6.4% of male students and 1.5% of
female students had a working firearm at school. In addition, students with guns were more likely than students without guns to have alcohol-related problems, such as getting into fights attributed to drinking alcohol and being arrested for drinking while intoxicated."

(http://www.riskandinsurance.com...)

According to that same study, only 1/2 of college gun owners said that they had guns for protection, meaning that the rest use the guns for nefarious purposes.

His second response was that "we are not discussing who should own guns." This is fallacious because if we are discussing whether or not CCW should be permitted, we also need to discuss who will benefit from those laws; if these are risk-prone criminals, then CCW will pose a security threat and there is no reason to affirm.

He also claims that these students would break the law anyways. While this is true, it is more difficult and more expensive for them to gain access to guns currently than it would be if CCW were permitted because gun companies would begin targeting college-aged children as buyers. This would allow criminals to purchase guns more easily than they currently can, making the prevalence of dangerous weapons on campus more likely.

Against Contention 3, he claims that this study is irrelevant. He misses the point of the study, however, because it explicitly demonstrates that the people do not wish to have guns because they fear for their safety; guns would increase on campus as a result of CCW. He then refutes my evidence with anecdotal evidence that can neither be verified nor proven false. Prefer my hard evidence over his anecdotal evidence because he there is no proof that his statement is true, while mine is actually backed by statistics.

He makes a MASSIVE concession against my first point against his case; I demonstrated that the fact that he can name a few college shooting incidences proves that shooting is not prevalent on campuses because the media covers sensational and spectacular stories. He had ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSE to this argument meaning that this proves that crime is not prevalent on campus, so CCW are not even necessary in today's college societies.

Against my second point, he says that CHL holders "never commit crimes on campus." First, look to the Harvard study that I provide earlier; if gun holders commit crimes on campus, and many gun holders have CHL permits, then CHL permit holders contribute to crimes on campus. Second, against the UA example I provided, he says that this is not relevant because UA did not permit students to have guns. This is fallacious because this individual, WHO MURDERED HIS PROFESSORS, POSSESSED A CHL PERMIT. So, even if the campus did not allow it, a COLLEGE STUDENT WITH A CWL PERMIT SLAUGHTERED INNOCENT PEOPLE. This is exactly what I have been trying to prove throughout the debate.

He also concedes that most campuses do not have major incidents BECAUSE ONLY 4% of students CURRENTLY OWN GUNS (http://www.riskandinsurance.com...). This means that campuses are safe because STUDENTS DO NOT OWN GUNS. Insofar as this is true, any evidence that he provides about "no major incidents" is flawed because it does not take this fact into account.

Finally, I mentioned that most students would not be able to have guns on campus anyways because license holders must be 21, and most students are under that age, so the only people who would benefit from this law are criminals who will be able to legally bring guns onto campus. His response is that "just because some cannot have them does not mean that others should not be able to defend themselves." He is missing the point of the argument, however. The entire premise of his case is that students will increase safety with guns, but if they cannot have them anyways, then they will be unable to improve their security by owning CWL permits. These permits are therefore useless on college campuses and should not be permitted because they will not help the students defend themselves anyways.
Debate Round No. 3
tornshoe92

Pro

tornshoe92 forfeited this round.
lddebater540

Con

Please do not vote on this debate. My opponent and I have agreed to repost it for voting soon.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by tornshoe92 5 years ago
tornshoe92
Yeah. I'll do it when I get on my laptop later today.
Posted by lddebater540 5 years ago
lddebater540
Yes. Can you challenge me to the debate?
Posted by tornshoe92 5 years ago
tornshoe92
Hey I was just checking back in since it's been the two weeks you requested and your profile won't accept PM's. Are you still down to redo the debate?
Posted by lddebater540 5 years ago
lddebater540
If you want, you can post an argument on this as well; I should be able to respond to it within the time limit (situation has changed: but if just want to restart it, that's ok too.)
Posted by tornshoe92 5 years ago
tornshoe92
I should be able to re-do the debate in two weeks. You'll have to send me a PM otherwise I'll probably forget. I guess for this one I'll just let the timer run down.
Posted by lddebater540 5 years ago
lddebater540
I probably will not be able to finish this debate on time due to personal concerns, so if you agree to repost it with the same arguments in two weeks (and then finish round 3 immediately after), I would be grateful.
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