Monday, February 21, 2011
Hostile work environment?
Because I'd like to think that this matters, I would prefer not to have guns on the campus where I work. I imagine that I'm not the only one who would prefer it if students couldn't carry handguns into their classrooms. Story here.
On this issue. That's Texas' Governor Rick Perry, in case you didn't know. I'd like to think that he wouldn't have so easily won reelection if he hadn't found a way to conceal the fact that the state is running a deficit of about 25 billion dollars until a day or two after the election. My guess is that if you asked academics whether they'd choose a campus that didn't allow guns over a campus that did allow guns if all other factors were held equal, a significant number of us would choose the campus that didn't allow guns. I know this is a controversial assumption, but I think creating a work environment that frightens faculty is a con. What are the pros of this proposal? I keep reading comments about how concealed fire arms deter crime. That might be. I, like the opposition, probably have no real evidence one way or the other. What I thought was that there wasn't a serious problem with crime on campus, in which case I would have thought that the argument simply didn't apply. The dorms are locked down and campus security is doing their job. Of course, the next "argument" you'll hear will make reference to specific incidents where having armed students would have led to better outcomes. The incident in Tuscon is a strange example since people are allowed to carry firearms there and that didn't seem to alter the turn of events there in any way at all. The recent shooting on UT seems to have involved a disturbed student interested in taking his own life. Students carrying handguns trying to squeeze off shots when they saw the shooter would have made the situation much much worse. Of course, there's the Virginia Tech case to consider. Would things have been different if students were allowed to carry guns? I don't know. That depends, of course, on whether other students would be carrying on that morning, how handy they were with a firearm, etc... We'd also have to factor in that if students were allowed to carry, the discovery that the shooter had firearms wouldn't have allowed the authorities to intervene (assuming, that is, that the shooter registered his firearms and I can't think of any reason to think that the shooter wouldn't have done that if it was an option). Once we factor in the increased odds that students who are abusing drugs and alcohol and dealing with serious emotional and psychological issues are given access to firearms in the dorms, I don't see yet how to construct a credible argument that increased firearms would make students safer.
On another issue. Yes, anonymous, I get that you think I'm a %#!&. You'll probably think that for a while. You don't need to keep posting that. I'll just take it as read that you still think that tomorrow and the days after that. It's not as if I'm going to publish your comment. You can take a break now.