Jordan is a junior political science and history major and writes "Musings from Moorman" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Jordan at jamoorman@bsu.edu.


Jordan Moorman

As a 6-year old, I tugged on my father’s button-up shirt, pointed to gun protruding from a stranger’s pants, and timidly said, “Daddy, that man over there has a gun.” He responded, “Yes he does, I saw it when we got here.” “Isn’t that scary?” I asked. “No, he is allowed to carry it, and if there was a bad person here, he would protect us.” “So, he is a good guy? He would stop a bad guy from hurting us?” “Yes, he would.” Instantaneously, my fear dissipated and I felt safe.  

That man taught me a valuable lesson: a gun is nothing to be feared; it is a tool for protection. Of course, concealed carry is more complicated than the short conversation I had with my father many years ago. However, one’s ability to exercise his Second Amendment right should not end where a college campus begins, and certainly not where another’s feelings begin. 

My upbringing afforded me an intimate familiarity with guns. I did some hunting, shot for fun in my back yard, and I even competed in a handful of small competitions. And I never once felt unsafe. Handling a firearm is second nature for me. Growing up, I was shocked and surprised that there were people who did not like guns, and there were even those who wanted to take them away from law-abiding owners. I certainly respect where these people are coming from; after all, guns are instruments of war and terror. However, I have always believed that the wielder of the firearm should bear responsibility, not the firearm itself. I often hear that firearms contradict morals; their very existence is immoral, which is why churches are buying bullets and people are turning their guns in. This does not make sense to me. Inanimate objects cannot have any value other than that which is given to them. Murders are perpetrated with guns, knives, bombs, and even bare hands. The truth is, it does not matter what weapons are available or restricted; evil will find a way. Ideology is the problem, not the objects used to commit the acts. To this end, taking away guns serves little purpose and only prevents good people from using them as protection.

As of October 17th, the third case of sexual assault occurred on Riverside Avenue this semester. This is the very reason why concealed carry should be integrated to college campuses. Any potential rapist or violent criminal will be less likely to attack if they do not know who does or does not have a means to defend themselves. The Ball State University Police Chief Jim Duckham said, “Simply, I do not believe that allowing weapons on campus will increase the safety of the Ball State community.” 

To be clear, weapons are tools. Anybody carrying pepper spray already has such a tool of deterrent. “I also do not believe that allowing concealed carry on campus would serve as a deterrent to the reported sexual assaults on college campuses,” Duckham continued. 

Respectfully, I must disagree. Nothing says deterrent like an empowered woman drawing her 9mm and emerging unscathed with a criminal on the run. A gun is the greatest equalizer. As the old western aphorism goes, “God created men, and Sam Colt made them equal.” The tiniest smallest human could fend off the biggest most intimidating criminals. 

With legal concealed carry, good guys can thwart crime because criminals don’t know who is packing. Imagine, if you will, that you were in a crowded theater of 100 people. Statistically speaking, roughly one-third of your fellow moviegoers are concealed carrying. How is this any different than the classroom, or the office, or the mall? 

The trained and licensed good guys have no intention of brandishing their weapons, and barring a threat; no one knows the guns are present. The bad guy doesn’t know who may have a gun and likely won’t risk his own life to attack. But what if each person had to check his or her guns at the door? A criminal, who was willing to murder, would not comply with that rule. Only the protectors would be disarmed. 

Likewise, on a college campus, concealed carry can keep people safe. Gun free zones, like the hypothetical theater, only disarm law-abiding people and don’t deter bad actors. Guns are frequently used to save lives, as armed protectors pull out their concealed weapons to stop criminals. In fact, a report from the Secret Service published in 2000 says in regards to school shootings, “over half of the attacks were resolved/ended before law enforcement responded to the scene. In these cases, the attacker was stopped by faculty or fellow students, decided to stop shooting on his own, or killed himself.” 

Imagine the increased effectiveness if these students and staff were able to stop a shooter with their own firearms. The statistics do not even capture the whole number, as many times simply brandishing the weapon deters crime and saves lives and nothing is reported.  

Why do I advocate for concealed carry? Because a policeman is too big to fit in a pocket. I cannot rely on someone else to protect me at all times.  It seems to me that three things are clear: One, guns are not evil. Two, we all have been around concealed carriers whether we knew it or not. Three, citizens do indeed stop shootings and protect themselves. When I was a young kid, I learned a lesson: United States citizens have every right to carry guns, and I do indeed feel safer for it. It is time our universities internalize that message as well.