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March 03, 2008

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The Utah Exception

Last summer I made the mistake of returning to my alma mater, from which I (barely) graduated in 1963 when it was all male and one-half its present enrollment. When I was a student I always had a couple of guns in my room, and one of our fraternities was rumored (probably correctly) to have 70. No one cared. We had no security force, and there was not a locked door anywhere on campus. At the end of each semester, I would take textbooks that had annoyed me and give them a dose of 00 buckshot in the quarry above the campus.

Now, everything is locked, there are enough campus cops to subdue Bagdhad, and scattered around the campus are blue poles with phones in them, and signs that say: "If in trouble, call." I wonder what would happen if I tried my book-shooting antics now.

Massacres are becoming as much a part of campus life as projectile vomiting and political correctness. This is because any murderous geek who wants to go out with a flourish can be assured of two things about colleges: No one there will be armed except the campus police, and in the time it takes them to arrive, he can complete his slaughter and put the gun to his own head. And then, when the smoke clears, the media will descend, giving him his 15 minutes of fame, rolling around in the sorrow and suffering like a dog digging its shoulder into a dungheap.

Public universities in Utah permit students who have licenses to carry to bring handguns on campus. So far, there have been no shootings in Utah. This is all very un-PC, unenlightened, Red State, redneck, and all that, but I think it will make Utah's classrooms less attractive to potential psychopaths than those of the other 49 states.

We shall see.


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Knock on Wood!!




At the risk of sounding PC I don't agree with all of the statements above. No I don't want to see Utah change its laws, it seems to work for that state.

I don't agree that we should be looking for an 'Old West' shoot-out on the campus quad either. I know that is not what you are saying, Dave, but it is the likely scenario at the end of the day. Some one of these punks will take it as a challenge.

Until we catch one of these knuckleheads before they start their murderous felonies and pick their brain apart we can only guess at the reasons and the preventative measures which will work. The letters they leave behind may well be written to pander to that 15 minutes of fame you mentioned.


I guess the good ol' days are long gone. In my high school parking lot, most of the pickups had a rifle or shotgun perched in the gun rack in the back window. The reason was that many of us would go directly from school to a dove field, or a deer stand or a duck blind. In college, I kept a shotgun and a rifle in my dorm room. When I could catch a break, I would go hunt something. Carrying a gun through the dorm lobby caused no great outcry. That was then.

I agree that a student body at least partly made up of concealed-carriers would deter the twisted few who have made headlines lately. Unfortunately, getting a policy implemented to allow that would be both logical and reasonable, and universities are not governed with those qualities in mind.

Boards of regents these days are more inclined to bend to public outcry than to make reasoned and rational decisions.

One of our small colleges here is known for its gunsmithing program. I can't help but wonder what will happen when the public's hysteria over guns collides with this small rural college. Perhaps the students will just have to sit around and talk about what they would have done if they actually had a gun to work on.

Blue Ox

I don't live very far from NIU, and the sheer amount of pissing and moaning about even more restrictive gun laws is enough to make me puke in my soup. So the friutcake bought- LEGALLY bought some guns, no big deal. Happens every day. Then one day he gets his panties all in a bunch and makes the choice to whack a few students and then off himself. Who knew what dude had planned? But now Mayor Daley and Gov. Blowjobovich want to make even more gun laws, and for what?!
Here's another view:
I went out and bought a silverado last summer. Nothin' illegal about it. No big deal. Now suppose I went and mowed down a bunch of schoolkids with said pickup truck, then proceeded to drive off a cliff. I bought the truck legally, but who knew what I had planned?
Does this mean we need tougher vehicle-purchasing laws? Are the parental units of the children I pancaked gonna sue Chevy for building the truck I used to commit said act? Maybe sue the dealership for selling it to me?
Bottom line:
More gun laws are not gonna protect ANYONE.
You can make the laws as restricive as the day is long, but the truth is that anybody who wants a gun can get one, regardless of the laws. Happens every day.
In my humble opinion, I believe that an eight-thousand pound truck is a hell of a lot more deadly than a puny shotgun and a few pistols.
But there's no law against buying one, is there?


As I write this, on FOX a report is going out about a mass shooting at a Wendy's in Florida, a state renowned for its right-to-carry laws (remember the antigunner gambit of a couple of years ago warning foreign visitors to Florida that they were entering a free-fire zone?). Moral; if citizens won't exercise their freedom to be as well- armed as the thugs and terrorists who would prey upon them, mass murder/suicides will go on, even in Utah.

Chris H.

I keep saying it! The people that will be carrying guns on campus are the same people carrying guns everywhere else. They are not nut jobs. They are people that have done whatever needed to be done to obtain a conceal and carry permit. These are people carrying guns that you never see until some low life tries to pull you out of your car at an intersection. Then these people unconceal those guns and come stop the low life. Why not give them the same opportunity on college campuses. These people don't get mad and decide to shoot somebody because they cut them off in traffic. I know, I'm one of those people!


Yes Dave I agree, I think you make a clear and decisive point that any insane homicidal psychopathic killer would do well to sit down and rationally consider this possibility, during the planning of his mass killing spree.

Look it is not set in stone that the right to carry would have stopped one of these guys. It is for sure that these killers are not going to be persuaded by the fact that they might be the only ones armed. I simply suggest regardless it is wrong to pass laws against carrying a gun.

Bernie Kuntz

Your comments are well-put, Dave. Back in the early 1970s I had a shotgun in my closet in my dorm room at the University of North Dakota. I used it to hunt ducks and geese on weekends. If I broke any rules, I don't remember it. Yes, imagine what would happen today if a student tried that. (I liked your end-of-the-year ritual of shooting up onerous textbooks! I wish I had tried that!)

After the Virginia Tech massacre there was a big debate here at Montana State University with the predictable stances--the liberal intelligentia on one side, arguing that firearms have no place on a campus, and MY side, claiming that students are mere defenseless, unarmed sheep for any nut who wants to kill innocent people.

In my opinion, the Second Amendent does NOT cease to exist at national park boundaries, or at the doors of federal and state buildings, or at the edges of university campuses.

Chris H.

I think it would be something they would consider. These nuts are after a high body count. If the go somewhere that has a much higher potential for thier victims to fire back they would not get the body count they are after. They might also have to share or, hopefully, completely give up the spotlight to the potential victim that ended the attempted shooting spree. If I had to choose between headlines "Gunman foiled by heroic student" or "Gunman kills thirty-two then self" I'll take the first one every time. Of course I'd rather not see either but sometimes reality bites! This is not to say that there would be no one killed in an event like this but I believe that if someone had a gun they would have been able to reduce the number of innocent students killed. This is not a perfect world, why not stack the odds in our favor.


A fact of life is that every choice has both benefits and consequences and this issue is no different.

My wife's first cousin is a police officer in a major metropolitan area and he is a member of the task force that responds to situations such as campus shootings. He is very pro gun, but he is conflicted over the issue of allowing guns on campus for a couple of reasons. The main one being that the police cannot let EMTs into a situation until the area is cleared. So in the case of an attack such as the ones that have occured recently, the police would have to block all exits and check for CCW permits and guns before they could get to anyone who happened to be injured,

I too find myself conflicted over this issue, as I feel that admitting the only way to secure our schools is at gun point is an extremely sad commentary on the state of our nation.


The MSM will be all over this morning's Florida shootings - but - I wonder if they will pick up last night's story in Toledo of a concealed carry permit holder who killed a robber who was pointing a gun in his face.

Victim of Robbery Attempt Kills Toledo Man.



Hello jstreet,

Isn't this what you are all against!?
No carrying on campus without extensive training?

If they care enough to get a carry permit, allow them to carry on campus, as well as anywhere else!



Alas,for those long ago days. I too, carried a gun, or sometimes three, to both high school and college. If one gave it any thought at all, the vehicle without some sort of firearm in either an open gun rack, or in the floor board, or behind the seat, was far more rare than the vehicle with a firearm. We actually used to hold turkey shoots on campus to raise money for various clubs, projects, etc.
Of course, this was long before the "enlightened elite" educated us all in political correctness and taught us that the GUN, not the poor,misunderstood,
homicidal mainiac weilding the gun, was EVIL.
Seems to me it was a better world then, when a college kid could bring a big deer he had shot on campus, and be surrounded with an envious, admiring crowd, and no one critized him for shooting Bambi. He actually got his fifteen minutes of fame without commiting a massacre upon his fellow students, nor did CNN get involved. See how much better off we all are, now that the world is Politically Correct!!

Mike Diehl

I have to agree entirely with Petzal here. Allowing people who have CCW permits to bear them on campus is an outstanding idea.

And yeah, the "rampage" seems to be the new fashionable way that crazies and narcissists now do themselves in. In the good ole days under all that chemical haze or lunacy despair, these people would have quietly shot themselves or swallowed rat poison.

But now every one is taught that they are a Victim of Society from an early age. So now when the unsuccessful, desperate, or crazy crack up, instead of checking out on their own, they seek an entourage of their "victimizers."


You're right crm3006!

The problem is, they can see the firearm as a cold, bloodless tool that has no feelings! They don't seem to understand or care, that the fingernail file they carry in their purse can be just as deadly.
The 10,000 pound automobile that they came to the anti hunting rally has killed more animals and people in the last hundred years than died, oh, say WW II which only lasted five years!
More people are killed maliciously with automobiles EVERY year than are killed by firearm!
They only see the lowly firearm as an instrument of death!
If you rode your rifle to work everyday, it's a necessity and not a problem!




I never used the word "extensive". I do think CCW holders can be a huge deterrent to crime and everyone should have the opportunity to carry. BUT, a state training course should be required to get that CCW.

When, were, how, why to use that firearm LEGALLY is not something that comes with the firearms owner's manual. The liability and room for error is too large to just say, "Here's a gun, here's your permit, have at it". Would you want untrained police on the streets? Untrained doctors, teachers? Education and training is a GOOD thing for everyone including CCW holders.



These school shootings appear the new generation’s trend. I find it significant the student shootings fad started in high schools and now have invaded college campuses as the generation aged. The new youth is killing themselves off in spite of “security” features, counseling, and years of our school officials parroting Mr. Rogers saying, “You’re special.”


Oh and Bubba,

Utah requires training.

Weapon Familiarity Certification. Applicants must complete a firearms familiarity course certified by BCI. The course must be completed before you apply for a permit. Please have your instructor complete the certification information on the application. View a list of certified instructors.



Oh, and jstreet,

Oklahoma requires training, Texas requires training.
These states make it mandatory that you take a class that explains the ins and outs of their concealed carry permits, which, incidently, are called CHL's in both states. Concealed Handgun License! The class expressly covers when it is appropriate to pull and use said weapon. What conditions must be met to make "lethal force" legal/acceptable! After this training, each student had to go to a range and prove proficiency with their selected firearm! One gentleman in our class was denied a CHL because he couldn't seem to get the idea through his head that he couldn't point the muzzle of his weapon just anywhere. The instructor asked for his weapon, unloaded it and escorted him to his vehicle. I don't know if he ever got a CHL!
I don't know of any state that does not require class room and range training before qualifying for a CHL.



What's your point? Are we both agreeing that CHL/CCW holders should have to take a class?

I think CCW is a great thing for the country. My only concerns have ever been, training to be able to handle situations that may arise and how will other ccw holders and/or law enforcement know we are good guys not the bad guys.



Washington State doesn't require a class. Washington, despite how liberal we are, is a shall issue state, meaning that as long as you can pass your background check and wait 30 days, you get a CPL (Concealed Pistol License). Which is kind of backward since, if I understand correctly, we are one of only a couple states that has a waiting period to buy handguns (5 days). However, this waiting period is waived if you have a current CPL (which I have had since age 21).

Not requiring a CPL class has made several other states slow to accept Washinton issued CPLs.


So Dave,
Did the 00 buckshot to the textbooks give birth to the Ballistic Buffalo or did that come about differently?


Has anyone else noticed that having a CCW/CPL/CHL is a handy way of getting out of speeding tickets (as long as the speed wasn't overly excessive)?


No Jim, I'm saying CHL holders "have" taken training as too when and when not to be flashing their guns. They have been to classes and to the range!
Now, since they have had training and classroom hours to obtain licensure, why not allow them to carry on a college campus?!




The bad guys are the ones busting caps at everything that moves or is lying dead in a pool of blood.
The good guys are the ones standing with guns drawn on a prone figure lying in a pool of blood!
That shouldn't be too hard to figure out, huh!?


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