Jason Stubbs is an organizer of the Students for Concealed Carry at his campus in Columbus, Georgia. Today's column is a guest column from Jason addressing a recent statement by the American Association of Universities supporting a ban on military "style" weapons.
An effective, persuasive argument is much better when it is presented in an orderly fashion with stats and facts that can be referenced, verified, and substantiated. The goal is to get readers to accept your position, change their views or consider different options on a specific subject or topic. The Association of American Universities failed one of the most basic rules of swaying your audience; being able to present and substantiate facts. The Association supports a ban on semi-automatic rifles, which accounted for less than 3% of all homicides in 2010, and, along with handguns, ranked 8 out of 10 on the CDC list for causes of death for college age adults 17 to 24 in 2009. By way of comparison, the #1 cause of death motor vehicle crashes which resulted in 6,735 fatalities in 2009. The recent statement on gun violence by the Association of American Universities has nothing to do with actually saving lives but instead advances a misguided and misdirected political agenda that erodes individual responsibility and respect for others.
Addressing the issue of adequate mental health treatment programs is important but we must remember that no matter how unstable these criminals were, they were responsive and cognizant enough to choose locations, like schools, where their victims would be disarmed, giving them an advantage in carrying out a violent attack. Falsehoods spread by university leaders perpetuate disarmed victim zones and make such attacks more likely.
Students for Concealed carry members, both student and faculty, look forward to engaging in meaningful discussions with any “experts whose knowledge should be engaged in the search for effective responses” put forward by the AAU. Until then here is some study material for them to consider: Why does Texas, which has become synonymous with concealed carry and firearms, report that less than 2/10 of 1% of all convictions in the state for the years 2008 (.1321%) and 2009 (.1541%) involved people who were licensed to carry concealed weapons? 2011 saw that increase to .1881% of all convictions, those gun toters!!
Piers Morgan took GOA President Larry Pratt to task repeatedly correcting him on the number of gun murders (homicides) in the UK, specifically England and Wales. Piers did get it right that the number of gun homicides in the UK was exponentially lower than the US at 39 reported firearms homicides in 2009. Yet he did not consider mentioning that the Home Office also reported that “in 2008/09, firearms were used in 14,250 recorded offences in England and Wales” and “used as a threat in 83 per cent of offences”. New York City has been considered a model for gun control in the US, but New York City ($340 just to submit an application for a handgun license) accounts for over half of the entire state homicide total each year since at least 2009 with 471 out of 810 statewide homicides and approximately 70% of them involved firearms.
I agree with the AAU that “. . . time has come to confront . . . violence perpetrated by guns . . . our schools and campuses have unfortunately become centers of national mourning, from Columbine to Virginia Tech, and now Newtown [sic]”. These schools share a tragic bond because they were exploited by angry young men with a grudge and a gun. They were also legally designated as defense free zones and even on the day these shootings took place, the law abiding citizens who worked and learned at those schools continued to follow the law that left them disarmed. I can understand how emotions would run high as tempers boiled (I was hoping that the final result of the Newtown incident would have been an officer involved shooting like in Texas) while politicians, community leaders and our court system would be spurred into action to find some form of justice for the victims and families.
I respect the responsibility of teachers, professors and the sacrifices they chose to make. And in unfortunate situations do for a stranger’s child what many are unwilling to do for their own. But I also know that not respecting our heritage and dealing with the real tough issues not just the quickest and most crowd pleasing will lead us down this path again, very, very soon. If that is my choice; to defend others with my own life, let me have with me every tool available to increase my chances of being there the day after.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (NIV) John 15:13.
Jason Stubbs is State Director for Georgia Students for Concealed Carry. He is a Christian, husband, father, Army combat veteran and political science major at Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia.