1. Only Licensed, Legally-Armed Citizens Would Carry.
Students for Concealed Carry does not advocate “arming students.” Our proposals do not change who can carry, but where. We believe that professors, ROTC cadets, ex-Marines, evening students or anyone who already carries a concealed weapon under existing law is no different on campus than they are off-campus. After all, under current law, armed citizens can carry a concealed weapon into literally thousands of places throughout their state, including movie theaters, restaurants, banks, shopping malls, churches and grocery stores, and have done so responsibly for years.
State laws generally require a comprehensive FBI criminal background check, fingerprints, classroom instruction and live-fire certification. Consequently, legally-armed citizens already have training and experience with firearms, and have demonstrated responsibility. Whether or not you support concealed carry, it’s already an existing right in most states. In view of this, prohibiting these same responsible concealed carry on a college campus doesn’t make sense.
2. “Gun-Free Zones” Don’t Work
History is clear, stickers on campus doors saying “no guns allowed” don’t stop criminal offenders. In fact, no law will ever affect criminal behavior because criminals, by their very nature, do not follow the law. What these signs actually do is create (and advertise!) a defense-free zone, removing legal guns and forcibly disarming victims. This is exactly what makes colleges most attractive to killers who seek easy targets.
Killers don’t take time to register their firearms or obtain permits for their murder weapons. Virginia Tech and a host of other college shootings demonstrate that. The net effect of our proposals is allowing legal weapons on campus…the very ones that could help someone make a difference in a hostile situation.
3. The Net Effect is Positive
Many students state they would not feel safe if concealed carry were allowed. However, concealed carry at Virginia Tech was blocked with the specific goal of “feeling safe.” On April 16, 2007, it became clear that feeling safe isn’t the same as being safe.
In reality, 26 colleges currently allow concealed carry on campus, including all public universities in Utah and multiple college campuses in Colorado, totaling over 70 campuses. According to crime statistics and inquiries to campus officials, there hasn’t been a single reported instance of shootouts, accidents or heated confrontations resulting from concealed carry on campus. In fact, Colorado State University’s crime rate has declined steadily since allowing concealed carry. While no one can irrefutably claim this is due to concealed carry, we can at least state with certainty that allowing concealed carry does not increase risks to a campus population and may even help.
4. Everyone deserves protection
As our opponents frequently point out, colleges are safer than cities and urban environments. However, crime rates on college campuses have risen in recent years, and statistics show that, nationwide, there are nine sexual assaults reported on college campuses each day. Furthermore, the low probability of becoming a victim doesn’t help the 47 victims at Virginia Tech, or the 27 victims at Northern Illinois University, or any of the other countless victims of crimes on campuses. Current policies give such victims the option of playing dead or huddling under desks.
5. Colleges can’t protect students
Campus officials have introduced multiple responses to the problem of campus crime — all of which are reactionary. Campus police, text message alerts and cameras are all good ideas that demonstrate an awareness of the problem. But awareness is not the same as readiness; text messages are ineffective, police are often thinly-spread across vast campus grounds and cameras will do nothing more than capture footage for the nightly news. The fact remains that colleges are open environments with invisible boundaries and little to no secure prevention measures. They cannot guarantee protection to students or prevention of armed assaults. In all honesty, it’s not fair to expect them to. It’s completely impractical to expect colleges to provide airport-grade security with a secure perimeter, metal detectors, armed guards, bag inspections and pat-downs. Even if they could, few people want the nature of a college campus changed so radically.
Therefore, any institution which cannot provide for protection for its visitors must not deprive those visitors of the ability to protect themselves.
Students for Concealed Carry is a national grassroots organization consisting of over 40,000 college students, faculty members, parents, and concerned citizens who support the right to self-defense on campus. SCC is non-partisan and not affiliated with any political party or organization. Click here to follow our daily updates on Facebook!
Click here to read additional responses to common objections.
To donate, click here or click the PayPal link on the right side of the page.
Please feel free to e-mail us to get involved.
For media inquiries, please contact SCC’s Director of Public Relations, David Burnett.