Kevin Yuill, whose article on concealed carry on campus I responded to HERE, has written a reply to the article that I reproduce unedited here.


“Hi John,

Thanks for taking the trouble to read and respond to my article. I’m sorry I didn’t respond earlier but, hey, I needed that holiday!

Just to clarify a few things, I think we agree on the basic proposition. I am completely opposed to gun controls; this article was a questioning of the response of some who ostensibly share my views to shootings.


“I also believe that students should be allowed to carry as a matter of principle, in addition to the matter of practical self-defense. But Kevin Yuill doesn’t think so.” Yes, I do! I made the point that to restrict the rights of adults to carry weapons on campuses implies that they leave their adulthood at the gate (I occasionally have to stop myself from thinking this, teaching at a university as I do!). I do think adult students should be FREE to carry weapons.

My position is that I want a world where all are free to carry weapons but no one feels the need to. I object to the SCCC’s tactics for a couple of reasons that perhaps I didn’t make clear enough in the article.

1. We cannot win arguments based on emotional responses and must resist them wherever they come from. The usual response to school shootings is entirely emotional – our response is to insist on cold, hard facts. Reacting in the same way can only take away from the insistence that we respond on the basis of real statistics rather than emotional responses.

2. “Even a statistically favorable risk is still a risk, and students are not exempt from it.” This is the argument used to justify metal detectors in schools.

3. This is a freedom issue. There is nothing magical (or frightening) about guns and we should not accord them special powers. Who knows whether any of the students with a gun at Virginia Tech would have saved lives?

All the best,