Author: Debate_Guru

Limited Carrying of Firearms in Schools Should be Allowed

PRO (7 arguments)


"I lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict. That hasn't happened. All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn't happen. No bogeyman. It has worked out quite well, and that says good things about the students who have permits. I'm a convert." -- Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police Association, Dallas Morning News, December 23, 1997

“At Appalachian Law School, in Grundy, Virginia, in 2002, a former student went to the office of two professors, and killed them both at close range with a handgun, and also killed another student. Principal Tracy Bridges, formerly a sheriff‘s deputy, ran to his automobile and retrieved his .357 magnum revolver. He confronted the killer when he had left the building. Bridges shouted an order to the killer to drop his gun. The killer dropped the gun, and was wrestled to the ground by other law students and faculty.”

“Many of the active shooter incidents we examined were over in three to four minutes, much quicker than four officers could be assembled as a rapid deployment team and hope to find and neutralize the shooter. This suggests that the only hope for stopping the shooter and saving lives in most active shooter events, will come from someone who is at the scene when the shooting starts.” Police Trainer Dick Fairbairn

1. There is a prerequisite for having a gun on campus

Since the fall semester of 2006, Utah state law has allowed licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of Utah’s nine degree-offering public colleges (20 campuses) and one public technical college (10 campuses). Concealed carry has been allowed on the two campuses of Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO, and Pueblo, CO) since 2003 and at Blue Ridge Community College (Weyers Cave, VA) since 1995. After allowing concealed carry on campus for an average of over five and a half years (as of January 2011), none of these 12 colleges (33 campuses) has seen a single resulting incident of gun violence (including threats and suicides) or a single resulting gun accident.

2. There are existing cases of campuses where guns are allowed

At the start of the 2010 fall semester, 14 Colorado community colleges (38 campuses) began allowing licensed concealed carry on campus, raising the total to 26 U.S. colleges (71 campuses) that allow campus carry. None has seen a single resulting problem.

3. There have been no resulting increase in gun violence

“Likewise, none of the 40 ‘right-to-carry’ states has seen a resulting increase in gun violence since legalizing concealed carry, despite the fact that licensed citizens in those states regularly carry concealed handguns in places like office buildings, movie theaters, grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, churches, banks, etc. In fact, every peer-reviewed study on the subject, including studies by the National Academy of Sciences and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, has concluded that there is no evidence that licensed concealed carry leads to an increase in either violent crime or gun deaths.

Based on 2002-2006 statistics from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas concealed handgun license holders are five and a half times less likely than members of Texas’s general population to commit manslaughter and four times less likely to commit murder. A Texan is 20 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to be murdered or negligently killed by a concealed handgun license holder.

The rate of concealed carry in Texas is about 1.8% (as of December 31, 2010). Approximately one Texan out of every 55 is licensed to carry a concealed handgun.

4. Allowing guns on campus offers a means of self defense against criminals

According to a U.S. Secret Service study* into 37 school shootings, ‘Over 25 of the attacks were resolved or ended before law enforcement responded to the scene. In these cases the attacker was stopped by faculty or fellow students, decided to stop shooting on his own, or killed himself.’ The study found that only THREE of the 37 school shootings researched involved shots being fired by law enforcement officers."

According to a Houston Chronicles statistic, a whopping 85% of Texan college students felt safer when the campus carry bill was just passed. Three years after the bill passed, nearly 99% of the student population felt safer.

In nearly all the Texan colleges that permits campus carry, the murder rate fell 50% faster than the national average in the year after Texas’s campus carry law passed. The rape rate fell 93% faster in the first year after enactment and 500% faster in the second year. The overall assault rate fell 250% faster in the second year.


U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics

5. Guns on campus are better security measures than other alternatives

Expecting a sign that says “Gun Free Zone” to effectively work and deter criminals is sadly a deadly fiction. In the Virginia Tech Case, 32 were killed, and 15 wounded. There were metal detectors at the entrance, and there were campus police nearby. However, the killer was still able to kill these innocent college students. In addition, in Northern Illinois University, 6 were killed, and 16 were wounded. That university too had campus police and metal detectors. The time has come to admit that current security measures in universities are clearly ineffective in preventing such drastic, terrible events.

6. Guns on campus have been shown to decrease violence and crime

According to a 2008 study by John Lott, PhD, the campus carry law has reduced homicides by 8.5%, reduced assaults by 7%, rapes by 5%, and robberies by 3%. Lott argued that if states had permitted the campus carry bill in 2000, 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults, and 12,000 robberies would have been prevented between 2000 and 2008 on college campuses nationwide.

According to study by the National Institute of Justice- conducted by criminal sociology professors Wright and Rossi- polled felony prisoners in eleven prisons in ten states, and found direct evidence that having guns on campuses or at home increases the chance to deter criminals. 
- 34% of the felons reported personally having been scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim
- 69% reported that the experience had happened to another criminal whom they knew personally.
- 40% had personally decided not to commit a crime because they thought the victim might have a gun.
- 56% said that a criminal would not attack a potential victim who was known to be armed.
- 74% agreed with the statement that ―One reason burglars avoid houses where people are at home is that they fear being in a house with a gun in it

7. There is legal precedent for limited carrying of guns at school campuses

Look to the 2nd Amendment, which allows for, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Look to Supreme Court cases that have declared having a gun on campus as a legal right. 

"The individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation is absolutely constitutional,” stated Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyers. In 2008 the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have the right to possess firearms for personal protection under District of Columbia V. Heller. Colorado State Court nearly had a unanimous decision when making the final decision on the campus carry bill. They had a 8 to 1 vote in favor of the campus carry bill, stating that it is a fundamental American right to possess a handgun legally for self-defense. 

Because the courts have consistently declared that having handguns is a private right granted by the 2nd Amendment, there is a direct legal precedent for enacting this law. It does not violate any laws, and it grants citizens the right that is given to them by the Constitution... LIFE. 

CON (4 arguments)


“I wouldn’t send my children to a campus that allowed guns in a classroom. What kind of idiocy is this?” - anonymous mother. She echoes 70% of the population, according to New York Times.

"Putting more guns on campus to prevent violence on campus makes no sense."
State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, who voted against the bill.


Other alternatives superior to firearms on campus in reducing crime include metal detectors. Metal detectors – installed in college campuses in California, Oregon, Washington, and many others- have been extremely successful. According to statistics by the US Department of Security, metal detectors offer a 115% more of preventing violent encounters than most other security measures. 
Another alternative is a higher funded campus police unit. In Washington D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, and others, colleges have paid for better-equipped campus police, which according to the Violence Policy Center has reduced violent crimes and incursions by 85%.

1. Colleges have signed a resolution to not allow concealed guns

In 2012, 337 universities and colleges signed a resolution to NOT allow concealed guns in 2012. To quote the college board president Shirley M. Tilghman of Princeton; “I signed this resolution opposing guns on campus because of the risk and reward factor. We are essentially risking the safety of college students... for the rewards that we already have today.”

2. There is no statistic regarding the decrease of crime after the carrying of concealed firearms law was passed

There is no credible statistical evidence demonstrating that laws allowing the carrying of concealed firearms reduce crime. In fact, the evidence suggests that permissive concealed carry laws generally will increase crime. In Texas, murder rates increased by 25% literally months after the campus carry bill was enacted (Violence Policy Center)

Public health researcher David Hemingway, reviewing significant research on the use of firearms in self-defense, also concludes that “gun 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.”

3. Student gun laws are targeting the wrong things

Approximately 93% of college students who were victims of violent crime were victimized off campus, rather than on campus. Firearms were used in only 9% of all violent crimes against college students over this period.


US Department of Justice

4. More likely to engage in risks

The Negation side is concerned that concealed carry laws have the potential to dramatically increase violence on college and university campuses that our Members are empowered to protect. Among the concerns with concealed carry laws or policies are: the potential for accidental discharge or misuse of firearms at on-campus or off-campus parties where large numbers of students are gathered. There is also a real concern that campus police officers responding to a situation involving an active shooter may not be able to distinguish between the shooter and others with firearms.

For example, according to an article published in 2008 in the Washington post, an armed thief broke into the house of an ex-marine. Having training and a gun at home, the marine signaled the police and put up a gun fight with the robber. The marine soon disarmed the thief, and tried to retain the punching thief, while he, as the trained marine, still held his gun. When the police arrived, they sprang into action and shot the marine, thinking he was the armed robber, even though he was just protecting himself.