Gun group’s efforts to spark dialogue are praiseworthy

While we don’t agree with the stance of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, we welcome their recent effort to generate an intelligent discussion on the subject.

During an event organized by the group Monday, John Lott, a visiting senior research scientist at the University of Maryland spoke in support of allowing concealed weapons on campus.

We also applaud the group’s decision to invite Capt. Kevin Franklin of UK police, who defended UK’s stance on gun control and responded to audience members who opposed the school’s policy. It’s not a fair discussion when only one side is allowed to voice its opinion. The presence of both Lott and Franklin gave voices to both those to support concealed carry and those who are against it.

Monday’s event was intended to educate and persuade people about the issue of concealed carry weapons, said David Burnett, president of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, in a Kernel story yesterday. Bringing a speaker to campus and allowing an open dialogue are certainly more educational than the empty-holster demonstrations the group organizes.

UK policy currently bans carrying concealed weapons on campus, and a bill in the state legislature that would permit concealed carry on campus failed to make it out of a House committee before the legislative session ended earlier this month, according to yesterday’s story.

In his speech, Lott said that whether to allow guns on campus is a cost-benefit matter: People may commit violent acts using guns, but they may also use guns to prevent violent crimes from happening. We agree wholeheartedly, but our conclusion is the exact opposite of Lott’s.

If guns were allowed on campus, the potential for the increased endangerment of non-gun-carrying students far outweighs any protection that a gun may afford.

Regardless of our opinion, students should learn about the subject themselves and form their own opinions. Monday’s event helped to inform the student body and to spark intelligent dialogues, and such events should be continued in the future.