Monday, Steve Bullock vetoed a bill that would have allowed guns on college campuses. Also on Monday, we had a lockdown at CHS, which was, fortunately, not the result of any real danger. However, it did result in one of my students who happened to be in the hallway at the time being put on the ground and frisked, guns on him the entire time. Fortunately and quite reasonably, he did not have any kind of weapons and was put in a classroom until the situation was cleared.
I’m trying to imagine this situation on a college campus – a similar situation, but if that particular student (or teacher) had a concealed weapon. He may have kept it concealed in the case of an emergency situation like a campus shooter, but that would leave him in a bad situation if he actually was confronted with a shooter whose gun was already drawn. Upon being frisked by police, then, such a student would have to be disarmed and temporarily apprehended (lest he be in fact a perpetrator who had merely put his gun away). No benefit gained from the concealed weapon, and more precious time lost by the officers in charge of ending the crisis.
Imagine, though, that our hypothetical concealed carrier had in fact drawn his weapon, hoping to defend himself. That person, when suddenly confronted with police coming around the corner, is suddenly in a very dangerous position. The fight-or-flight instinct, to either attempt to escape the situation or prepare to confront a potential enemy, is exceedingly strong, and if our concealed carrier acted on instinct before listening to police instructions, tragedy is likely, especially with a police force expecting to come across a dangerous shooter who needs to be neutralized.
This danger exists even (especially?) in false-alarm situations, which are thankfully more numerous than actual crises. Therefore, any potential benefit in case of an actual shooting of extending concealed weapon rights to campuses (or bars, for that matter) seems far more dangerous than it’s worth, and we ought to congratulate Steve Bullock for his wisdom in vetoing this bill.