One of the most unreasonable arguments against campus concealed carry is that “we just can’t trust drunk frat boys with guns.” Not only is the argument offensive to anyone involved in Greek life, but it just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. A recent event at Western Michigan University demonstrates just how unreasonable the argument is.
A party at the house of the Western Michigan University chapter of Phi Beta Sigma celebrating a female friend’s birthday ended in gunfire after a group of unwelcomed individuals were denied entry Saturday night.
The president of the fraternity as well as other leadership denied entry to the group. A fight broke out in the parking lot. A gun was discharged. One male was shot in the leg and one female was injured by broken glass. Neither were university students.
In a largely procedural move, the university has suspended the fraternity pending further police investigation and to clear up other issues saying in an earlier statement that ”fraternity members, including that organization’s leadership, did the right thing by turning them away.” Police are still searching for suspects. They are even actively soliciting information.
Does that mean “a drunk frat boy” fired the shot? Does that mean a concealed pistol licensee got drunk and fired the shot? Does that mean a non-university affiliate trying to gain entry to the party fired the shot?
We’re not certain which scenario played out, yet. What we are certain of is that laws permitting licensed concealed carry on campus do not impact laws regulating concealed carry at bars and off-campus parties, the places where students (particularly students of legal age to obtain a concealed handgun license) are most likely to consume alcohol. Legalizing concealed carry on college campuses would neither make it easier for college students to obtain firearms nor make it legal for a person to carry a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Instead, permitting licensed campus concealed carry will empower college students, faculty, and staff with the ability to refuse to be a victim on campus as well as their travels to and from.