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By Sophia Armendariz

Point-Counterpoint: Should concealed carry remain legal?

JagWire staffers Tanner Smith and John Lehan debate over the pros and cons of concealed carry

April 26, 2019

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Concealed carry does more harm than good

What do a bar, a college campus and a state park have in common? They’re all places where you can bring your gun because of Kansas’s laws on concealed carry. This means that just about everywhere you go, people can carry a gun. This should not be allowed. Concealed carry should not be legal.

While some gun advocates will argue that concealed carry helps to stop crime, the overwhelming data suggests that putting guns in more situations actually leads to more shootings.

According to a study by the the National Bureau of Economic Research, concealed carry has increased crime by 15 percent in states that allow it.

If you put guns in more situations, more people get shot by those guns. According to a study by Giffords Law Center, at least 32 mass shootings and 1,289 killings have been a direct result of concealed carry laws.

Another huge problem is that the laws surrounding concealed carry are ineffective at best. For starters, you need no permit to concealed carry in Kansas, meaning that if you purchased your gun by legal means you can take it pretty much anywhere.

While laws should be able to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, through processes like buying guns at a gun show people can legally get guns without ever having training or a background check. The final issue with concealed carry is that in places like college campuses, bars and even just walking down the street, places where you should be safe, there can be guns all around you.

This needs to change. We cannot let people walk around with a firearm without proper vetting pretty much anywhere they want. It is vital that we stop concealed carry because it does much more harm than good.

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Concealed carry is an important freedom

Imagine leaving your life’s largest decision up to someone else, even if they are more experienced, and will arrive at the best decision. Even though making the decision personally may not result in the ideal solution, many would prefer something so important be handled personally. Concealed carry lets you personally protect you and loved ones’ lives.

Concealed carry allows for a worst case scenario contingency plan. Without concealed carry, we are at the mercy of criminals, left hoping the police can save us. Removing concealed carry makes obtaining guns harder for criminals, but completely paralyzes the rest of the population.

Evidence concealed carry increases crime often fails to account for many variables. Evidence on criminals being concealed carry holders wrongfully assumes removing concealed carry prevents criminals from obtaining guns. With such loose evidence, stripping away concealed carry lacks sufficient justification.

Even if concealed carry does increase crime overall, each individual should retain the right to respectfully carry a gun. Removing concealed carry presumes everyone is guilty for a fews’ mistakes. Despite guns’ potential danger, governments restricting rights is a very slippery slope.

This is precisely why smoking isn’t illegal. According to the Center for Disease Control, secondhand smoke exposure kills 41,000 Americans annually, compared to 38,658 firearm deaths in 2018. Others smoking is more likely to kill you than concealed carry, and unlike guns, lacks benefits.

Smoking isn’t illegal because freedom is invaluable, and concealed carry isn’t illegal because not only does it protect freedom, it also enables citizens to play a part in their self-protection. Despite the risk, shaky data cannot justify stripping perfectly innocent citizens of their rights.


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