December 30, 2007
Inspired by the history of College Protests against the “establishment,” the “Viet Nam War” and the perceived Social Injustices of the 1960’s decade, today’s College Students have once again began protesting on Campuses around the nation.
While memories of the College Student Protests of the 1960’s may bring visions of long haired, pot smoking hippies angrily storming and occupying Administration buildings or mobs of students facing off against Riot Geared Police or National Guard Troops, today’s protesters are strapping on Empty Holsters in protest to laws that prevent them from carrying their own legal handguns in defense of themselves.
Concerned over the horrific massacre of 32 students and faculty, and the gunman himself, at Virginia Tech in April 2007, students are organizing to demand they be allowed to defend themselves on campus by being able to exercise their Right To Carry handguns of their own.
Published in the January 2008 issue of America’s 1st Freedom, the “Official Journal of the National Rifle Association,” Marshall Lewin asks,
“Why are we not allowed to defend ourselves against campus attacks?”In the subsequent article, The New Campus Revolt: Empty Holsters, Lewin wants to know,
“If you’re mature enough and responsible enough to cast a vote, fight a war, own a gun, carry a gun and exercise every other right of citizenship that every other adult citizen enjoys, then why should you be disarmed and defenseless at institutions of higher learning?”
Starting out small, as most movements do, the protest grew to include over 110 college campuses in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
Chris Brown, founder of the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and a political science major at North Texas University says,
“My state allows me to carry a handgun in public, but there is some imaginary line drawn around college campuses for silly reasons. And those silly reasons are getting people killed, raped and robbed.”
As previously mentioned in my Post, Gun Control Kills People, Gun Free Zones restricts law-abiding persons from exercising their right to self defense by prohibiting them from carrying a legal handgun, while criminals ignore the law. The resultant loss of life and property is all too apparent to these students who desire to learn in College and better themselves, without the fear of losing their life.
Not too surprisingly, not everyone agrees with the symbolic protest. An editorial from Middle Tennessee State University, Keep guns off campus, makes the point,
“Making it legal for students to carry guns on campus will not automatically train these students to use them responsibly, in emergency situations and it will not teach them how to use their weapons without hurting innocent bystanders.”
Missed by MTSU Editors is what was said by W. Scott Lewis, SCCC spokesman and resident of Austin, Texas,
“This is not a debate about keeping guns out of the hands of immature, substance-abusing college students. This is a debate about allowing licensed individuals, age 21 and above, in most states, to carry their concealed firearms on college campuses, the same way they carry them virtually everywhere else.”
Doug Pennington, of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said,
“When it comes to colleges and universities, they should be havens, a bastion of safety. You’re supposed to go to class to learn stuff, not wondering if the person next to you is competent enough to actually possess a firearm.”
With all due respect to Mr. Pennington, if the adult student is licensed and in possession of a state issued Conceal Carry Permit, haven’t they already been deemed competent by State Authorities?
Col. Gordon Hoffman of the Texas Tech Police Department said,
“You see somebody firing a weapon, and how are we to know if that person is a potential victim defending their-self or if they’re the active shooter? That’s where I'm coming from. I know it’s an emotional issue, and I can see some pros and cons, but I can go against more than I can for.”
In reply to Col. Hoffman, I would direct his attention to the Pearl, Mississippi School Shooting in 1997, the Edinboro, Pennsylvania School Dance shooting in 1998 and The Appalachian Law School Shooting in 2002. Someone else having access to a firearm, stopping the shooting and holding the shooter until Police arrived stopped all 3 incidents of shootings. In simpler terms, the shooting was over by the time Police could arrive to take the gunman, subdued by others present, into custody.
The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence tells us The Gun Lobby Is Threatening School Safety, making the claim that,
“College gun owners are more likely than the average student to Engage in binge drinking, Need an alcoholic drink first thing in the morning, Use cocaine or crack, Be arrested for a DUI, Vandalize property, and Get in trouble with police.”
Again, ignored by the Brady Campaign, is that those desiring to legally defend themselves if need be, are adults who have been found competent by State Authorities to be licensed to carry a firearm, already. If what they claim were true, wouldn’t gun crimes by those holding Concealed Carry Permits off campus be proliferating?
As this movement grows and more students strap on empty holsters around campuses, don’t expect to see much media coverage, as was the opposite during the protests of the 1960’s. Unlike their predecessors, today’s protesters, desire to educate others to support their right to self-defense. They do not congregate on school grounds, waving placards, burning articles of clothing or documents or causing civil unrest, the normal actions that draw media attention.
They merely desire to be able to protect themselves during the length of time it takes for the Authorities to arrive, should a tragic shooting occur again.
To that end, Peter Hamm, spokesman for the Brady Campaign, reportedly said
“You don’t like the fact that you can’t have a gun on your college campus? Drop out of school.”
I wonder if that advice was also meant for the 27 Students ‘dropped out’ last April at Virginia Tech?