Concealed Carry Supporters are not “nuts”

According to a  report in Inside Higher Education that legislation in Missouri and Texas that would allow students to carry concealed weapons on college and university campuses.  Meanwhile, students on my campus and at UConn are joining nationwide “empty holster” protests.   I share the same concerns raised here and here, yet I’m just as disturbed by comments that refer to gun supporters as “nuts.”   This is insulting to both gun enthusiasts and to persons with mental illness.  It perpetuates  myths that only “crazy” people want guns, and that all “crazy” people are potential killers.    Although I disagree with the arguments made in favor of guns on campus, they aren’t “insane.”  Furthermore, it’s naive to think that only a “nut” would shoot a professor or fellow student.  The Craigslist killer case shows all too well that  “clean cut, nice (i.e. white) college guys” can be cold-blooded killers, and their reasons for killing — e.g. spurned affections, bad grades, gambling debts — are quite rational.

So, let’s stop using “nuts” indiscriminately, and focus on these facts about college mental health issues.

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4 Comments

  1. Point of fact: I never said anyone was “nuts,” although one commenters used the term “gun nut,” which does not actually imply mental illness. My analysis is that the fact that the connection between men and guns is disturbingly sane, when you look at the violent and controlling masculinity that prevails in this country.

  2. I read this earlier today, then caught myself about to say that something was “insane” during class later. Mental illness and a negative opinion of extreme positions (usually with which we disagree) is really embedded in our language, isn’t it?

  3. Gun “nuts”, like car “nuts” are not really “nuts” as a mental illness like term. It’s the uncontrolled moment of “nuts” that might define them as “nuts”. So the Columbine kids were not “nuts”. They were smart, did good planning, but applied poor logic to the solution of their problem. That’s not “nuts”. They were momentarily “nuts”, as in loss of touch with reality. “Road Rage” is an example of this kind of “nuts” but with with a car (or as in my case, a guy with a huge truck). And I had a car “on me” when this guy was allowed to have car and momentarily went “nuts” and plowed into me. Having a gun on campus is not “nuts”, it’s “nuts” to want *any* guns on campus. The idea that having a gun on ya when a when someone with a gun goes “nuts” will save you is also “nuts”. The solution is not having weapons on campus. I can recover from a blow with a fist.

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