Wednesday, March 5, 2008

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Faculty recruitment at Oklahoma is going to be a bitch

The New York Times' Randal C. Archibold writes about a proposal in the Arizona state legislature to make campus life more interesting:

Horrified by recent campus shootings, a state lawmaker here has come up with a proposal in keeping with the Taurus .22-caliber pistol tucked in her purse: Get more guns on campus.

The lawmaker, State Senator Karen S. Johnson, has sponsored a bill, which the Senate Judiciary Committee approved last week, that would allow people with a concealed weapons permit limited to those 21 and older here to carry their firearms at public colleges and universities. Concealed weapons are generally not permitted at most public establishments, including colleges.

Ms. Johnson, a Republican from Mesa, said she believed that the recent carnage at Northern Illinois University could have been prevented or limited if an armed student or professor had intercepted the gunman. The police, she said, respond too slowly to such incidents and, besides, who better than the people staring down the barrel to take action?

Let me confess that after a day of back-to-back-to-back-to-back committee meetings, I find the idea of packing heat on campus to be oddly soothing. I suspect, however, that as a general public good this would probably not be a good idea.

The Times alsp provides a helpful graphic describing pending legislation across the states:

The social scientist in me hopes that all of this legislation passes, because the variance across the states would make for some nifty Freakonomics-style regression analysis. The academic in me, however, shudders at the fallout from various anti-social academics, students and staff deciding to bear arms.

Final question: what did us professors ever do to the state of Oklahoma?

posted by Dan on 03.05.08 at 09:51 PM


Well, if Tuesday's primaries are any indication, being a bitch can get you pretty damned far.

posted by: grumpy on 03.05.08 at 09:51 PM [permalink]

You're a social scientist. You know how much data there is to suggest that gun crime is more prevalent in "gun free" locations. Are you really surprised that some people are trying to change these loopholes? Most places in Oklahoma allow arms. It's a concealed carry state so pretty much every street has a few armed citizens. But there aren't a bunch of street rage shootings.

The real question is why should college campuses be different from other places in the state. You should be thanking the state of Oklahoma for worrying about your safety unlike other states.

posted by: Adam C on 03.05.08 at 09:51 PM [permalink]

Nevermind. I just caught the restriction on professors.

posted by: Adam C on 03.05.08 at 09:51 PM [permalink]

How about this? Allow military officers who have a top secret clearance and completion of a defensive handgun course (not the standard qualification table) and all on- or off-duty law enforcement (so long as their jobs include carrying weapons) to carry semi-automatic handguns and one magazine with a capacity of 8 rounds or less in calibers between .40 and .45. I think this is highly reasonable.

posted by: Joseph Sixpack on 03.05.08 at 09:51 PM [permalink]

Guns might be a deterrent against muggers and burglars who are economically motivated, but it's harder to deter someone who is mentally ill that is planning on committing suicide after they shoot some people. you could argue that more guns would lessen the carnage, but that would probably be outweighed by more impulse shootings.

posted by: david on 03.05.08 at 09:51 PM [permalink]


In most jurisdictions off-duty police already have carry rights.

I'm a little confused by the 8 round limitation. Are you trying to give the criminals an advantage?

In Oklahoma, you never know when you might encounter a coyote or rattle snake, so being armed makes sense. If grade inflation is high enough, the students will protect the faculty.... if not.....

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 03.05.08 at 09:51 PM [permalink]

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