On August 5, 2014 a diverse group gathered at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. for the third Students for Concealed Carry National Conference. College students and faculty, firearms instructors and attorneys, and supporters of all walks of life gathered to discuss the issue of concealed carry on campus.
Several panels spoke on topics from campus activism to firearms education, but the most memorable moments came as victims of violence recounted their stories and brought home the reality of what actual people face every day.
This was not a politician speaking on television about some state across the country, this was Taylor Woolrich, a Dartmouth student who requested permission to carry a firearm because she has an active stalker who has followed her across the country. After her stalker violated a restraining order and was arrested with a knife, slip noose and gloves in his car, she requested special permission to carry a firearm for self-defense.
“Absolutely not” was the response given by the school, who instead recommended that she request escorts from campus security. Their inability to protect her and unwillingness to let her protect herself may drive her away from the Ivy League university.
Alli Lainez is one of the plaintiffs from the recent lawsuit Florida Carry won against the University of North Florida. However, shortly after filing the lawsuit, she also became a victim of sexual assault.
The University of North Florida had policies in place unlawfully prohibiting her from storing her firearm in her vehicle. Alli commuted 30 minutes each way to class, and from the time she left her house in the morning to the time she got home from work at night, the school’s long arm prohibited her from being able to protect herself.
The school was not responsible for her safety, but they were denying her the option of taking responsibility. The call boxes scattered across campus, campus security, and walking with another person at all times were not effective alternatives.
Alli probably stated it best when she closed with, “Just remember, you are your only protector.”
Students for Concealed Carry is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization which advocates for legal concealed carry on college campuses.