Under current law, California college campuses forbid guns…unless the gun owner has a legal permit to carry concealed. If Democratic State Senator Lois Wolk gets her way, though, that exception will be a thing of the past. Wolk got a little bit closer to realizing her goal this week when she craftily included an exemption for retired police officers. That was enough to bring the California Police Chiefs Association on board as well as the Peace Officers Research Association of California.
According to Wolk, concealed carry permits are “more prevalent and easier to obtain” than they were in years past, making her bill – SB 707 – a necessity. As some gun journalists have pointed out, however, several California lawsuits have been filed by residents who claim it is nearly impossible to obtain such a permit. That logic would suggest Wolk is either lying or misinformed, but she is forging ahead anyway.
The bill is one of many efforts around the country to rid college campuses of guns, even when those guns are held by those with concealed carry permits. They are a reaction to infrequent college shootings, few (if any) of which were committed by law-abiding citizens with the kind of permits Wolk claims are so easy to get. One hysterical teacher wrote last month that, should guns be allowed on campus, professors might be forced to hand out unearned A’s to armed students for fear of their personal safety. This is the level of logic being brought to bear by the anti-gun left.
The fact of the matter is that the Constitution does not magically stop protecting your rights once you step onto a college campus. Private institutions have the right, sometimes, to restrict those rights under a mutual contract with those who submit to the rules, but public universities must obey the law. It is not clear how Wolk’s bill can exist without infringing on the right to bear arms, but then again…that can be said for a lot of gun control measures that have sailed through in recent years. Like all of them.
We’ve decided, both in the courts and as a society, to put up with a certain amount of that government infringement. Gun control isn’t so much a for/against issue as it is a continuum. Some extremists believe it should be possible to go out and buy an AK-47 at the local gun store without question. Other extremists believe guns should be outlawed, even for the police. Most Americans fall somewhere in the middle, and that is where most of these battles take place. The problem is that, after years of skirmishes, the extremists are the ones making the most noise. Right-wing extremists, of course, are called extremists while left-wing extremists use (and are granted use of) terms like “common sense gun safety.” And it is through this slanted prism that we are seeing our liberties go up in smoke.