Campus Carry Analysis

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The campus carry law refers to policies that allow appropriately licensed students and faculty to carry a handgun on campus as long as the gun is hidden from sight. Several states, including Texas, have passed a bill allowing campus carry; as a result, polarizing debates have ensued over the effectiveness of the law, or more specifically, whether campus carry is truly effective in decreasing gun violence on campus. In the article “How Guns Could Censor College Classrooms” the author, Firmin DeBrabander, argues against the law allowing the concealed carry of firearms in college campuses. DeBrabander believes that “[c]ampus carry will make students and faculty less inclined to engage in the critical intellectual work that must take place in the …show more content…
To begin the article, he includes several quotes from the University of Houston’s faculty members such as, “ ‘[b]e careful discussing sensitive topics’ ‘[d]rop certain topics from your curriculum’ ‘[don’t] go there if you sense anger’ ” (DeBrabander). Starting his article with these quotes, DeBrabander tries to grab the audiences attention, while setting up his argument that guns would censor the classrooms. Throughout the text, the author uses phrases such as, “open discussion”, and “free speech” (DeBrabander). He includes such phrases—which suggest freedom—knowing that his intended audience care about such issues, thus helping to influence his readers to stand against guns on campus. To further persuade the readers—especially students and professors—the author also tries to appeal to the emotion of concern about the effects of campus censorship and abandonment of intellectual engagement. He does so by stating that allowing guns to censor intellectual debate is “damaging to the country’s democracy” and a “threat to free speech”; furthermore, there will be a “lack of creativity among new generations of voters”, and the “American democracy will be poorer for it” …show more content…
For people who are concerned about the possibility of losing freedom of speech and expression and intellectual engagement in classrooms, this article may be convincing, especially since it’s written by a professor with expertise in political theory. However, this article will be difficult to persuade the opposing side. One reason for that is the people arguing in support of campus carry might value their right to exercise the second amendment more than the right to freedom of speech or intellectual engagement in classrooms. Furthermore, they prioritize their safety over intellectual engagement. Also, as mentioned by Hsiao, one of the weaknesses of DeBrabander’s article is that his critique of guns on campus is not very open minded and he does not provide enough empirical data. Thus, people in support of campus carry would consider his article biased, and may be unwilling to believe his

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