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.