Thursday, May 14, 2009

Higher Education With A Full Clip

So the Louisiana pols have decided it's a good idea to approve a bill allowing concealed handguns to be carried on college campuses provided that the carrier of said weapon have the proper permits, with a stipulation allowing the college to dictate where the guns could be stored while the carrier is on campus. Somebody on the Tweeter Tube asked for thoughts on this state of affairs, and I decided my two 140-character responses weren't going to cut it as far as what I really think of this idea.

How would my life in college have been different with easy access to firearms, I wonder? Let me count the ways...

-I was awakened at 2 AM or so one night my freshman year by my roommate's phone ringing. I groggily picked my head up in anguish at this terrible time for a phone call, and realized I couldn't go back to sleep due to the background noise that sounded like a bunch of people drumming on anything they could in the lower quad just outside my window. Imagine my surprise at discovering that was actually the case. Imagine what the reaction would have been had I pulled out a firearm and taken aim at an overturned 55-gallon drum a kid was whaling on. I'm quite happy the campus police broke it up without the use of any weapons, but boy, my sleep wasn't the same after that that night.

-Let's count damn near every other critique of my work I went through in college, which, after all the work I put into the many art pieces I did, for some of the instructors to say the things they did about what I did, or to not even acknowledge that I actually did some work...well, bullets in their brains would certainly have made me feel better, right? Especially since I wasn't diagnosed with depression and treated for it until well after I graduated college. Discharging a weapon in those situations certainly would have lessened the number of crying jags I had after such critiques.

-Despite the drinking age being 21 at the time I was in college, one look at the recycle bins for glass told a much different story concerning how much my fellow under-21 classmates were adhering to the letter of the law. Now, later on in my college days, I actually did pop off a pistol at some plastic milk jugs set up on a fence, as the pistol belonged to an ex-boyfriend's horrible father who had left his mother for some other broad and the ex-boyfriend wanted to use up all the ammo just to spite his dad. I now imagine all my college classmates in the holding tank that is the freshman dorms taking all those bottles from the recycle bin, heading on down to the Providence River with 'em, and popping off their firearms at those bottles in the late evenings - times that used to be reserved for street luge-ing on skateboards down the hills that surrounded the dorms. Thanks but noooo thanks. I'd have 'em yank the drinking age back down first.

- A visiting artist once told of how, in his younger days, he created a series of works in which he would make blown glass bubbles and have his assistant shoot the hot glass while it was on the end of a pipe, a process that had to be discontinued when he and the assistant quit getting along with each other. I'd rather have hydroflouric acid dripped down both my arms first before I did anything like that, and that's saying a lot, coming from me.

-On a side note: If firearms had been readily available to my dad's students when he was an assistant professor and his chainsaw accident had occurred, my younger brother would most likely not be alive today.

Also, think about this: the use of concealed weaponry in the worst-ever public high school massacre in America caused the most carnage in that school's library, to the extent that, in the aftermath of the tragedy, the school ripped it out, turned it into an atrium, and relocated the library facilities elsewhere in the school. Louisiana lawmakers: in permitting this thing to stand, you will most likely be encouraging armed students to be stressing our already seriously stressed institutions of higher education and forcing said institutions into rebuilding and remodeling scenarios by allowing their students greater access to weapons....because the last thing any stressed-out college students need are reminders of carnage created by other stressed-out college students. New libraries and remodeled facilities cost money. You have been obsessed lately with cutting colleges' access to that money.

I vote for more libraries and fewer bloodstains.

A response from Saintseester in the comments:

I wouldn't compare the gunmen at Columbine to the law-abiding concealed carriers who go through the training and application process necessary for carrying a personal gun.

As a professor, who was threatened by a student on campus, I am not opposed to allowing faculty and other staff to carry legally. (You have to be at least 21 anyway, so that rules out a lot of the student body.)

I guess my real beef boils down to this:

I wasn't aware of the age limit on permits. And I can understand wanting to defend oneself against threats like the one you received from a student. I'm so sorry.

It just seems so insane to have to go as far as allowing this so that everybody can feel that another Blacksburg won't happen, when what is really needed (or, at the very least, ought to be funded and legislated in addition to it) are better ways of catching these people before a bullet or many bullets are needed to stop them.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

A simple solution: the campis police should make sure anyone not a uniformed officer brandishing a weapon will be shot without warning. That might cool off this extremely ban idea.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

This is not going to do good things for LSU's atmosphere during home football games...

saintseester said...

I wouldn't compare the gunmen at Columbine to the law-abiding concealed carriers who go through the training and application process necessary for carrying a personal gun.

As a professor, who was threatened by a student on campus, I am not opposed to allowing faculty and other staff to carry legally. (You have to be at least 21 anyway, so that rules out a lot of the student body.)

Leigh C. said...

I wasn't aware of the age limit on permits. And I can understand wanting to defend oneself against threats like the one you received from a student. I'm so sorry.

It just seems so insane to have to go as far as allowing this so that everybody can feel that another Blacksburg won't happen, when what is really needed (or, at the very least, ought to be funded and legislated in addition to it) are better ways of catching these people before a bullet or many bullets are needed to stop them.

Maitri said...

This is the shit I worry about. Taking the law into one's own hands, assuming oneself an arbiter in the name of patriotism, with disastrous consequences. This society of fear, with emphasis on othering, is only made worse by the introduction of guns.