Colorado State University administrators relying on flawed study to ban firearms

After the Virginia Tech shooting last year, Colorado State's Board of Governors unanimously directed the presidents of both the Fort Collins and the Pueblo campuses to create weapon restriction policies. They are now set to finalize them in February, according to the L.A. Times. Unsurprisingly, students are fighting back. On Colorado State's main campus, the student government voted to oppose any restrictions on concealed weapons.

Colorado is a rural state and hunting is popular. In 2003, the state legislature allowed concealed weapons permit holders to carry their firearms anywhere in the state, to which the University of Colorado at Boulder replied with a ban on guns on its campus. It then won a lawsuit against gun-rights groups attempting to overturn the ban.

Colorado State's Board is relying on a study by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, which found that of 30,000 Americans killed by guns in 2005, only 147 were shot in justifiable homicides.

But this is faulty logic. For one thing, only citing the number of those killed by guns doesn't speak to those who were deterred by the suspected presence of a firearm — the basis of concealed carry laws. In fact, according to a study by Florida State University criminologist Dr. Gary Kleck, guns prevent an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year — often a gun is never fired. And the National Crime Victimization Survey, done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that every day, 550 rapes, 1,100 murders, and 5,200 other violent crimes are prevented when someone shows a gun. In less than 0.9 percent of these instances is the gun ever actually fired.

Priceless in the discussion, however, is a contribution from professor of physics Richard Eykholt, who argues in favor of the ban in the L.A. Times story: “One of the things we try to do is push students out of their comfort zones. An effort to provoke controversy is not unusual.”

Just what kind of provocation is Eykholt's physicals class engaged in that he's concerned about the presence of firearms in his classroom?

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