Trainwreck

01May09

In this continuing series, I criticize the argumentative abilities of Collegian letter writers.  Today’s fruit is rather low-hanging.

Allowing guns on campus will not prevent shootings

While I understand the right to bear arms, I disagree with allowing guns on campus as a solution to school violence. The chance of a shooting is actually much smaller than the media has led many people to believe. If someone is going to commit this crime, they’ll find a way; why make it easier for him or her? I would not be comfortable in class knowing the kid next to me has a firearm.

As pointed out by phalenor, she makes an excellent argument against herself here.  If someone is going to commit this crime, they will indeed find a way.  However, this does not make it easier for him or her, it makes it impossible for anyone to defend against him or her.

I do have my own concerns about legalizing weapons on campus – namely, that in the case that a shooting does occur, many students having guns might cause confusion as to who the real shooter is.  But I think the chance that someone could take down a shooter before he can do the kind of damage we’ve seen is worth the danger.

It is hard for me to take advice on gun laws pertaining to school shootings from someone who graduated college before these mass murders started to become more frequent. Security and sense of security are very different now than they were then. This is a reality we deal with everyday we go to class, but it wasn’t so much before incidents such as Columbine.

Argument from personal incredulity as well as special pleading.  Just because someone isn’t in the situation doesn’t mean they can’t reason using the facts available and speak on the subject.  Say where the argument is wrong, not that he doesn’t have the right to make it.

What is next, suggesting that high schoolers be able to carry guns to prevent tragedies? Many high school seniors are legal adults, but I highly doubt that would be the proposed solution to shootings on these campuses.

This is actually a valid concern, if you apply the argument universally this does seem to be the fair outcome.  Perhaps someone who (against my advice) reads this blog can formulate a good response.  Maybe it’s not appropriate to apply this argument in a high school setting?

As for the comment about journalism majors lacking intellectual rigor, I apologize if this letter didn’t contain enough of it for you. Perhaps you shouldn’t insult the very people who supplied the venue for you to express your opinion.

Woah there, back off on the snark a bit.  And with this last sentence, she drives off a cliff.  Is Ms. Mueller, a journalism major, really suggesting that people not criticize poor journalism?  I practically consider it my duty.  And I agree with the original author’s assertion that as a whole, modern journalists DO lack good rigor.  A glance at most science articles will reveal how much is cribbed directly from press releases.

Amanda Mueller

junior-journalism

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2 Responses to “Trainwreck”

  1. 1 Tom

    “This is actually a valid concern, if you apply the argument universally this does seem to be the fair outcome. Perhaps someone who (against my advice) reads this blog can formulate a good response. Maybe it’s not appropriate to apply this argument in a high school setting?”

    All of the proposals I’ve seen for firearms on campus have been centered around allowing state laws on concealed carry to apply equally to college campuses. Pennsylvania requires a concealed carry permit holder to be 21 years of age. This is also the minimum age for handgun purchase in Pennsylvania, and many retailers restrict handgun ammunition purchases to those 21 and older. I do not know if this is by statute or corporate policy.

    High school seniors who have reached the age of majority are not legally able to purchase a handgun, nor carry it concealed in Pennsylvania. If the law were changed to allow concealed carry on high school campuses, these seniors would not be able to legally do so. Faculty and staff would be able to do so, provided they were 21 years of age.

    The only possibility for the students is openly carrying a gun they did not purchase, if the changed law allowed open carry on campuses.

  2. 2 natefoo

    I forgot you can’t get a carry permit until 21, although my view is that a person should get full rights at 18, not 21.


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