Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fear of Campus Carry Unfounded

Note: A shortened version of this article was printed in The Ranger, San Antonio College's newspaper. It reached an audience of 6,000, which I'd consider a success for the campus carry crowd. Link.

Fear of campus carry is rampant. Many students are being exposed to anti-gun indoctrination at their schools on a daily basis. The cover of the latest copy of the San Antonio College newspaper depicts a man’s shilloute, dressed in a baggy hood, pointing a gun at the back of an unsuspecting female, with the text, “Armed campus LOOMS.” This obviously plays on student’s fears in order to sway their opinions. The word for this is, “Propaganda."

Students are terrified campus carry will increase the rate of crime at school, and their faculty only fan the flames. There is no reasoning behind these reactions; only purely emotional responses. When we relax and examine the facts intellectually, we discover this hysteria is much ado about nothing.

According to the Texas DPS web-site, CHL holders commit 0.15% of all serious crime in this state. Their rate of crime is so low it’s nearly non-existent. Conversely, criminals who commit gun crimes are un-deterred by gun laws. They are criminals, after all. Gun laws only disarm the law abiding.

Well over 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” We’ve seen this demonstrated at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and even at SAC, where a student was robbed at gunpoint.

When firearm carry laws are lightened, we see a corresponding decrease in crime rates. Wyoming, Alaska, Arizona, and Vermont all have unlicensed carry and experience low crime rates. Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C. all have the toughest gun control laws in the nation; and also the highest crime rates. When CHL was legalized in Florida, criminals only targeted rental cars because they knew visitors from other states would be unarmed. A similar tactic is being practiced here.

Students are being victimized on campuses because criminals know disarmed students are defenseless. While campus carry is no guarantee students will be able to survive crime unharmed, they will have the best fighting chance. Gun prohibitions remove that, leaving the options to run, fight unarmed, not resist, or call the police (Who waited outside as Columbine students were being slaughtered, and stopped the Virginia Tech shooting only after 31 people had been slain). Do you really want less options to save your life?

Given the facts, it’s hard for any objective person to oppose campus carry. It took the worst mass murder in America at the time (The Luby’s Massacre) for Texas to get CHLs. I ask you- will it take another preventable tragedy for us to pass campus carry? Let’s legalize campus carry before more innocents are lost forever.

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