by Jonathan M. Metzl, The Conversation, 3/10/16
Missouri is poised to become the latest state to allow guns into college classrooms.
The Republican-led state senate is currently finalizing deliberations on a bill that, if passed, would remove restrictions on carrying concealed weapons on college campuses statewide.
The specter of loaded firearms in college classrooms raises particular concerns in no small part because the dynamics of learning often depend on professors challenging students to step beyond their comfort zones.
But beneath these concerns lies a broader question: do guns change the ways that people engage with each other?
Scholars who research guns and gun violence, myself included, often track the impact of guns through homicide and injury rates. But the impact of guns on everyday interactions, and instances when guns are neither drawn nor discharged, remains a largely unstudied topic….
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Note especially that researchers “found that the state’s 2007 repeal of its permit-to-purchase handgun law “was associated with a 25 percent increase in firearm homicides rates.” Between 2008 and 2014 the Missouri gun homicide rate rose to 47 percent higher than the national average.”
And also: “In Missouri there are now virtually no remaining laws governing gun safety or storage. And the state now leads the nation in accidental shootings by toddlers – instances where young children find unlocked guns and accidentally discharge them.”