Packin in the Backpack
Every time the politicos in Tallahassee get ready to pass something stupid I feel like that kid on the block with the really weird parents … mortified. My weird parents are the Florida State government. I hear calliope music in my head every time I think of those guys. Do I really need to mention all the crazy decisions that have come down from Mt. Olympus, or the GOOD ideas they’ve squashed? Hell, it doesn’t matter what we vote for, (think high-speed rail and smaller class sizes,) they’ll do what they want anyway. We didn’t give up on the smaller class sizes, even after the brow-beatings we endured from Jeb.
Now the silly wankers are about to pass a bill that will allow college students to carry concealed weapons. No, I am NOT kidding. They may have already done it. And before all you gun-loving Americans start accusing me of wanting to pry them out of your cold, dead, hands, let me say that I’m not trying to ban guns. Lord knows that horse has been beaten enough, and the poor thing still won’t budge.
There are gun lovers in Texas who believe that college students should not be packing. The argument that students with guns will prevent crazy shooters from committing another Virginia Tech, is like saying that dropping the big one on Syria would take care of all radical extremists. Oh … sorry, there are people who actually think that’s a great idea. But here’s the thing, there are millions of regular people just trying to live their lives over there. Why put so many people in danger in order to take care of the crazies? Or the possible crazies, to get even MORE esoteric about it. This is the analogy I so clumsily tried to illustrate.
Let me play devil’s advocate on this concealed weapons thing.
There is a scientific reason why it’s not a good idea. Those of you who don’t believe in global warming can skip this part.
I’ve heard this interesting tidbit numerous times, from a variety of sources, usually when there’s a debate about what age a person should be, to be incarcerated in adult prisons.
The frontal lobe of our brain controls impulse and judgement. It is also responsible for language, motor function (!), socialization (!), and spontaneity (!). The maturation of the cerebral fibers of this part of the brain do not reach full maturity until around the late twenties. In other words, when we’re young we tend to be more impulsive. We don’t think things through all the time.
Just so you know, I’m not belittling college students or young adults, but isn’t this the time in our lives when we puke into toilets a lot? I certainly did.
These young adults, if the Florida Legislature has its way, will be carrying guns in coat pockets, back packs, messenger bags, etc. It will no longer be a Rathskeller, but a Rathskiller when they go to tip a few. A place where young adults have been known to come to blows over girlfriends, boyfriends, or who ate the cheesecake they were saving in the dorm fridge. Now, if they’re so inclined, they’ll be able to SHOOT each other.
If, God forbid, an actual psycho shooter stormed an auditorium, how many victims of friendly fire will be injured in a hail of bullets by wanna-be heroes? How will the police know who the bad guy is?
How many accidental foot injuries will we have? Even soldiers who are experienced with firearms shoot themselves in the foot sometimes.
Do we really want a bunch of Robert Zimmermans roaming the quad? REALLY? How many Stand Your Ground cases (another stupid idea) would be filed with cheap attorneys across Florida? Let’s try it and find out! Let’s add hormones to the mix to make it more interesting. People are supposed to be scholarly when students, not potential Rambos.
What about student suicides? (There is a disturbing amount.) How did they do it before? I bet I know how they’ll do it after this bill passes. Background checks? What if someone has never been to a counselor or a shrink? What if they have no record? How do you vet a young gun owner?
Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, a Democrat, supports the bill. She states that when she was a college student (and lived off campus) someone tried to rape her in her apartment. She was able to get her gun and stop the rape. It was never reported. As far as I know, Floridians have always had guns in their homes, legally or not. This bill is not about that.
If you think that carrying concealed weapons to and from class (or to the bookshop, cafeteria, gym, ball game, etc.) is a bad idea, I urge you to call Rep. Greg Steube, Phone: (850) 717-5073 and Sen. Greg Evers, (850) 595-0213 to let them know how you feel.
A few of the people that oppose this bill are FSU President John Thrasher and student body President Stefano Cavallaro, as well as the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) and Florida A&M University Police Chief Terence Calloway.
Packing on campus is insanity.
~written by Deborah Klein, Safety Harbor resident blogger
Rebecca … YES.
Deb, thanks for this realistic assessment, the critical questions and those phone numbers.
Beautifully stated, Deb. I totally agree. The danger level would increase with kids packing.
Yes you are absolutely right. The NRA comes up with whacky ideas and tests them out with the Florida Legislature–and it works!! Case in point: stand your ground law, which was already effective prior to their altering it a few years ago. Shoot someone because they throw popcorn on you and say you were scared and its a viable legal defense (because there is no duty to retreat aka behave like a civilized person)!! I always say having the Florida Legislature in session is like being left with a bad babysitter–you have to put up with whatever they do til your parents come home—when are our parents coming home????