Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tony Cornish has 27,000 Reasons to want Guns on Campus

Minnesota House Representative Tony Cornish (R-House 24B) has introduced legislation that would permit the carrying of concealed weapons for protection on college campuses.

The debate will begin as to whether this would be effective.

We will never know if it would be effective.

The state of Utah permits guns to be carried on campus and there has not been any mass killing since the law was enacted. Conversely, the other states are silent or prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons.
Have there been mass killings … yes. My first recollection of a campus shooting was the 1966 University of Texas rampage by man who entered a tower and killed 16 people and wounded 31. The next instance was last April when 32 students were killed at Virginia Tech. Most recently, an alumnus armed with a shotgun and two handguns, calmly stepped out from behind a curtain at the front of an auditorium filled with dozens of students just minutes before the end of a Northern Illinois geology class. The gunman killed five people and wounded 15 before turning a gun on himself. Police were in the room within two minutes of getting a call.

It would be pure speculation if someone with a concealed carry permit would have changed the outcome. Would the permit holder be in a position to take down the shooter (right classroom, right time)? Would the killer immediately recognize that someone was armed and go after that person first ?

Publicity makes VT and Northern Illinois memorable, yet history shows that they are rare.
In 2006, the last year that data was released by the FBI, eight students were killed on college campuses across the country — and not necessarily with guns. It’s the lowest number of students killed on college campuses in the past 10 years. Violent incidents in general are also showing a steady decline on college campuses. According to data from Security on Campus Inc., a non-profit organization, violent crime dropped by about 10 percent on college campuses across the country from 1999 to 2006.

Cornish makes the argument that "This is going to be 21 year old students that have already been, possibly fought in the war for three years. They should sure be trusted to defend themselves."
True enough, but he might be better to argue that teachers should be licensed since they will be over 21 and by profession on campus for longer than a typical student.
Yes, we discriminate against our returning veterans … they cannot even have a beer until they are 21 despite being able to consume when overseas. Yet, I wish if Cornish was going to use our veterans as a political ploy to help advance this legislation, that he would also address unemployed veterans, PTSD and suicides, and educational benefits. {Note : Cornish is one of John McCain’s early members of Team Minnesota and McCain opposes the proposed Webb-Hagel GI Bill.}

For the record, I am not opposed to this legislation being enacted. After all, someone with a conceal/carry license would have the same responsibilities walking on off-campus streets as they would once they cross the line onto the college grounds.

All that said, the likelihood of this legislation being passed is iffy at best.
His HF498 known commonly as the “Castle Doctrine” legislation failed to get approval of the House Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee on March 13. It was opposed by the Minnesota Police & Peace Officers Association and the Minnesota County Attorneys Association. Cornish originally introduced this legislation in May of 2006 … very late in the session.

Why does Cornish wait until so late to offer these bills ?
That’s the 27,000 reasons.
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus was started just after the shootings at Virginia Tech and already there are 27,000 members.
That’s what motivates this bill… those are potential voters … and contributors to Cornish and his friends re-election campaigns. It’s really about money … after all, thus far, this year the concealed carry on college campuses legislation has already been defeated in two states.


Anonymous said...

Rep. Cornish (a.k.a. police chief Cornish) is a small-minded buffoon in the style of rural Republicans who hate government and hate anyone who disagrees with their narrow selfish goals. On the gun issue alone, Rep. Cornish brags of his A+ rating with the NRA, and cares not a whit for the safety of his own police officers and the public.

I look forward to a better representative for 24B, whoever they might be.


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Unknown said...

Hi Richard, have you met Tony? Actually he doesn't hate anyone.