Katie Kasprzak" />
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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Gun rights should extend to campus

In an effort to combat university policies and state laws, college students across the nation have joined forces in the battle to permit concealed handgun license holders the right to carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

In January 2009, Texas Legislators will debate the issue of concealed carry on college campuses, an idea Republican Gov. Rick Perry publicly supports.

"It is every American’s constitutional right to bear arms and that right should not stop at the edge of college campuses," Perry said. "I fully support efforts of all, like Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, who continue to pursue extending this right within our places of higher education."

More guns on campus is not a problem if those guns are in the hands of law-abiding citizens, and taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens only stacks the odds in favor of dangerous criminals. This provides criminals a government guarantee that their intended victims will be incapable of defending themselves.

Eleven U.S. universities (all nine public colleges in Utah, Colorado State University and Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Va.) allow concealed carry on campus and have done so for a combined total of more than 70 semesters without any resulting incidents of gun violence, gun accidents or gun theft.

Just as these universities haven’t seen an increase in problems resulting from concealed carry on campus, no other institution that allows concealed carry has seen an increased rate of violent crime since the legalization of concealed carry in these respective places.

Texas concealed handgun license holders – students, faculty and staff – need the same important safety option on college campuses as they do off college campuses in virtually all other unsecured locations, such as office buildings, movie theaters, grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, churches, banks and more.

Proponents of concealed carry on college campuses may be mistaken as being paranoid about mass shootings, but opponents must understand this is not simply about preventing mass shootings of college students. It is also about deterring rape and other violent crimes that happen on college campuses every day.†

Critics of concealed carry on campus will argue the general public does not favor this idea. This is what is called argumentum ad populum: a false argument that concludes a proposition to be true because many or all people believe it.

Critics will also argue that lower crime rates on college campuses can be attributed to the strict gun control laws they have. To assume a cause-and-effect relationship between unenforceable gun control regulations on college campuses and the relatively safe environment of college campuses constitutes an astoundingly naive leap in logic.

A comparable discrepancy can be found between relatively low crime rates in affluent neighborhoods and higher crime rates in cities in which those neighborhoods exist. After all, what are college campuses but essentially large, affluent neighborhoods? Methods of gun control, such as declaring a "gun-free zone," only serve to disarm law-abiding citizens.

A 1997 FBI study concludes most shootouts last less than 10 seconds and the rate of concealed carry among individuals in their 20s is typically about one half of 1 percent.

How can nine seconds of exchanged gunfire between two armed individuals possibly lead to a greater loss of life than a nine-minute, uncontested execution-style massacre, as at Virginia Tech? Likewise, how can one of these brief shootouts lead to multiple students drawing weapons and losing track of the shooter, when statistically only about one out of every 200 students would be armed. Given the fact that even a huge 400-seat lecture hall would statistically contain only two students with concealed handgun licenses, the chance of one of those armed students losing track of the actual shooter during a few seconds of exchanged gunfire is highly unlikely.

The same gun-free policies critics claim to be working at their respective colleges and universities are the same gun-free policies that failed Virginia Tech. Since 2000, they have also failed at the University of Arkansas, Northern Illinois University, Miles College, Louisiana Technical College, Louisiana State University, University of Memphis, Delaware State University, University of Washington, Duquesne University, Shepherd University, University of Cincinnati, Butler University, Benedictine University, Case Western Reserve University, Farleigh Dickinson University, Arizona Nursing College, Appalachian School of Law, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Arkansas and the University of Washington, resulting in 68 dead and 56 wounded individuals.

Kasprzak, director of public relations at Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, can be reached via [email protected]

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