One of the common arguments offered against campus concealed carry is that “the college lifestyle is defined by alcohol and drug abuse. Why would any sane person want to add guns to that mix?” There are many fallacies to this argument, but its base stereotypes us all as the fictional heathens depicted in Animal House. This is not only offensive, but it just isn’t true.

A 2002 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that in 2001 49% of US adults consumed alcohol. 48.6% of respondents 21-25 years old who consumed alcohol are binge drinkers (defined by the CDC as someone consuming five or more drinks in one episode). 28.3% of those respondents had some college education. The rate of binge drinking episodes of respondents 21-25 years of age during the period was 18.

Extrapolation of these results tells us that 1 in 14 adults 21-25 years of age attended college and consumed 5 or more drinks once every three weeks. This conclusion assumes that the respondents are independently and identically distributed among all groups, which is a leap. Although more specific data analysis is required to derive statistical significance, it does shed some doubt on the stereotype.

The stereotype is crushed by a 2008 Ohio State Student Life Research and Assessment study. It found that 39.6% of responding OSU students were moderate drinkers and 7.8% were heavy drinkers. The CDC defines heavy drinking as consuming an average of more than 2 drinks per day, or more than 14 drinks per week for men and an average of more than 1 drink per day, or more than 7 drinks per week for women. Moderate drinking is “defined as having up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. This definition is referring to the amount consumed on any single day and is not intended as an average over several days.”

How can one say that “the college lifestyle is defined by alcohol and drug abuse” when only 1 out of 13 OSU students consume more than 2 drinks per day?

Furthermore, the predictions of violence where we’re permitted to carry in the presence of alcohol just don’t play out. We’re already permitted to carry off-campus where the parties actually happen and blood isn’t flowing in the streets. In fact, there are two very large block parties held near Ohio State every spring, Chittshow and Woodfest, where thousands of students and non-students gather to celebrate and nobody is shooting each other. There have been no incidents where an innocent person was injured as a result of a licensee carrying while intoxicated in the two years we’ve been permitted to carry into alcohol serving establishments.

Why do people continue to cling to this offensive and ignorant argument?

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