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Students for Concealed Carry Announces Fall Empty Holster Protest

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Students for Concealed Carry is once again hosting an Empty Holster Protest to call for decriminalizing licensed concealed carry on college campuses.

The nationwide protest is the group’s signature event to raise awareness for the increased risks that college students face with crime and mass shootings, and the deadly illusion perpetuated by colleges that posting signs will ward off criminals.

“If you have a state-issued permit, the government has approved you to carry a concealed firearm anywhere the law allows, said David Burnett, a spokesman for the group. “Yet when it comes to one of the few places mass shooters favor, universities arbitrarily overrule that trust and forbid responsible citizens from defending themselves if the unthinkable happens.”

“Time and again, these murderous psychopaths have shown a preference for gun free zones because the rules guarantee no one can shoot back,” Burnett added. “Yet instead of developing proactive solutions to prevent shootings, college administrators threaten to ruin our lives with prison time or expulsion if we carry. They won’t be the ones in the classrooms with us when a criminal opens fire.”

The group points to hundreds of campuses in at least ten states which already permit campus carry, due largely to the group’s legislative and lobbying efforts since their formation shortly after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. Despite predictions to the contrary, “campus carry” colleges haven’t seen increased crime or shootings. The group notes this is because persons obtaining concealed carry permits must, in most cases, be over 21 to qualify, as well as passing a litany of background checks and qualifications.

“Bottom line, posting signs requiring students to leave their guns at home is a useless and discriminatory, and makes the campus more appealing to criminals. It’s time for colleges to give up the pretense that they can protect us, and let responsible, mature adults choose for themselves.”

The protest, which involves symbolically wearing empty holsters while on campus, is nonviolent and nondisruptive, and will occur October 7th – 11th, 2019.

For more information, visit ConcealedCampus.org or the Facebook event page.

CONTACT:
David Burnett
Media Coordinator
Students for Concealed Carry
David.Burnett@concealedcampus.org

ABOUT:
Students for Concealed Carry is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization advocating for legal concealed carry on college campuses.

Millennial Results Mixed on Guns, Carry

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A new survey of 2300 college students has put another data point on the map of opinions regarding campus carry.

The survey — or at least, the authors of its subsequent news release from College Pulse — attempt to suggest college students are less likely than their forebears to support armed self-defense, particularly on campus.

“[J]ust 30% say the right to own guns is essential to their personal sense of freedom, compared to 41% who say it’s important but not essential and 28% who say it’s not important,” the report begins, before proceeding to say women are more likely than men to support gun control proposals and 36 percent of students would be very likely or somewhat likely to transfer colleges if campus carry were legalized.

Of course, as with any poll these results are subject to some interpretation and context. For starters, the same poll noted that 71 percent of these students said the right to own guns was either “important” or “essential” — including 65 percent of female respondents.

62 percent of students say they weren’t likely to consider transferring colleges if campus carry were allowed ⁠— 75 percent male, 53 percent female. 

A full half of respondents support concealed carry “most places” or “almost anywhere.” A full third of students favor allowing college professors and school administrators to carry on campus (such as Tennessee’s law).

With College Pulse being a relatively new player on the field, a review of more established polling organizations may also be in order to place these results in context. For example, the Pew Research Center’s polling of Generation Y and under-30 (different measurements of essentially the same demographic) show a years-long rise in support for firearm ownership and a steady decline in opposition. A full 43 percent of respondents under 30 responded that they own (or live with someone who owns) a gun — the highest-performing age group except for adults 65 and older.

Gallup results from 2015 indicate only half of America’s under-35 population endorses more gun control, while another Gallup poll showed two-thirds of millennials believe guns make them safer. According to CNBC, 26 percent of millennials have purchased a gun. (If this sounds like a small number, remember that the oldest possible age for millennials is 38.) Shooting sports in high school and college has been on the rise in recent years.

The phenomenon has journalists at Slate, the Washington Post and others puzzled that millennials seem more supportive of gun rights. And indeed, there’s data to which both sides can point as an intellectual victory. Clearly, America’s college students aren’t just accepting every political narrative they’re fed regarding campus carry. Suggesting America’s varsity population is choked with mental illness, alcohol, suicide and reckless irresponsibility is probably not the best means of currying favor with them. Given that the average age of US Army recruits is under 21, while eighty-four percent of marines recruits are twenty years or younger, clearly the American public doesn’t share the same contempt and distrust for college students as do professional anti-gun lobbyists.

In the end, it’s apparent the positions of Students for Concealed Carry are not in the radical minority. They’re mainstream, and due to tireless efforts from our members and supporters, they’re the law of the land in at least ten states.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t work still to do, but there’s far too much progress to be dismissed by a few cherry-picked numbers from one poll.

What’s Going On at Johns Hopkins University?

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In addition to opposing licensed, armed self-defense on college campuses, some gun control advocates take their opposition even further and oppose law enforcement being armed.

The troubled city of Baltimore has set new records for homicide, continued to fight racial tensions, changed police commissioners three times in five years, and is facing corruption scandals from both their mayor and the police department.

In a bid to protect the campus population of over 15,000 students and 4,500 faculty, Johns Hopkins University introduced a plan for a private, armed police force. (The college presently relies on a combination of off-duty Baltimore police officers and unarmed security.)

The change would require legislative approval from the Maryland General Assembly.

The move has been met with controversy, as 100 professors signed a letter of opposition, protestors branding themselves Students Against Private Police (SAPP) marched on JHU President Ronald J. Daniels’ house, as well as invading campus buildings and chaining doors. The protests culminated in 7 arrests.

“Nobody deserves to have the right to play God, to take someone’s life in such a brutal force and not be held accountable just because he or she wears a badge. It’s utterly ridiculous and unacceptable,” said protestor Tawanda Jones. The movement says a campus police force would lack accountability and threaten its student population, and JHU should shift its focus to strengthening social safety nets and improving inner-city education.

“I don’t want those people to have guns because I know who they would use them against – and that is me,” said Jamie Grace Alexander, a self-proclaimed representative of the Baltimore trans community.

Opponents are currently collecting signatures to prevent the measure from appearing on the 2020 ballot.

Strangely, an armed police force has seen public support from one of the staunchest proponents (and financiers) of the gun control movement – billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg, a JHU alumnus and donor, called it “irrational” that the college doesn’t have their own security. “When you have a city that has the murder rate that Baltimore has, I think it’s ridiculous to think that they shouldn’t be armed,” Bloomberg told the Baltimore Sun.

While colleges have been increasing the presence of armed police officers in recent years, the presence of law enforcement on campus is hardly a guarantee against mass shootings. Even major universities often have only a few officers on the clock patrolling hundreds of acres of classrooms, dorms and facilities.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “A majority (92 percent) of public institutions used sworn officers, compared to 38 percent of private campuses. Nearly all sworn campus police officers were armed. Most sworn campus officers were authorized to use a sidearm (94 percent), chemical spray (94 percent) and a baton (93 percent). Nearly all campuses (95 percent) operated their own law enforcement agency.”

Students for Concealed Carry remains neutral on whether campuses should employ armed security. Responses to the unique threats of mass shootings are the responsibility of each college and state government, and we respect the weight and responsibility shouldered by law enforcement.

What is clear is that so-called “gun-free zones” enforced by signs alone amount to nothing more than a deadly illusion of security. Assuring psychopathic killers their victims are disarmed is a lure, not a deterrent. Among the many solutions on the table, threatening responsibly armed citizens with jail time and expulsion for wanting to defend themselves does not protect them. Gun free zones invariably make students less safe.

Students for Concealed Carry Foundation Reaches Settlement with Ohio State University

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Columbus, Ohio – After a nearly half-decade long legal battle challenging the legality of the university’s campus-wide ban on firearms, Students for Concealed Carry Foundation (SCCF) has finally reached a settlement with The Ohio State University. OSU has changed its Student Code of Conduct, a part of the Ohio Administrative Code, to comply with laws passed by the Ohio General Assembly.

The student group, with a mission to fund research and litigation, initially filed the suit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in 2014, before refiling in Marion County.  Individually named lead plaintiff Michael Newbern began taking and teaching classes at the OSU-Marion branch after finishing his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at OSU’s main campus. During his time as an OSU undergraduate student and leader of the campus chapter and later Ohio director of Students for Concealed Carry, he witnessed first hand the struggles of students who desired to exercise their right of self-defense.  In the lawsuit, Newbern, along with SCCF and Ohioans for Concealed Carry, contended that the Student Code of Conduct’s provisions completely prohibiting the student possession of firearms both on campus and off-campus at University activities at all times violated the intent of Ohio Revised Code section 2923.126(B)(5), which expressly permits storage of firearms in a locked motor vehicle on a college campus by concealed handgun licensees.

In the settlement reached with the Plaintiffs to conclude the latest litigation filed in Marion County Common Pleas Court, OSU agreed to change the Student Code of Conduct to permit the lawful storage of firearms in motor vehicles by qualified Ohio State University students at all campuses no later than March 1, 2019.  The OSU Board of Trustees passed a resolution at their regular meeting on February 22, 2019, amending Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3335-23-04 “Prohibited conduct,” at paragraph (E), “Dangerous weapons or devices,” in accordance with the settlement agreement. The Plaintiffs then dismissed the remaining claims in their lawsuit.

“We’re happy that Ohio State has changed the student code of conduct so that vetted, trained, licensed students will be able to store their lawfully possessed firearms in their cars parked on campus,” Newbern said. “It’s unfortunate that the rights of those students codified by the General Assembly some 15 years ago weren’t recognized until we challenged the University in court at great expense to the Ohio taxpayer.”

“We’re hopeful that other Ohio public colleges will follow OSU’s lead and restore the right a student has to go armed during his or her commute,” Newbern added.

Of note is that over the course of the litigation, OSU also changed its employee and staff rules to no longer prohibit lawful possession of concealed handguns by permit holders in their vehicles.  The Plaintiffs viewed that as a significant victory for the Second Amendment as well, even if the courts never ordered it.

Columbus-based attorneys Derek A. Debrosse of Barney DeBrosse and Michael R. Moran of Gahanna, who jointly represented the Plaintiffs, have mounted several successful legal challenges to government officials’ illegal laws and ordinances since the passage of Ohio’s state firearm preemption statutes by the legislature. These OSU cases are the first of their kind in Ohio challenging public university policies on Second Amendment, plus state statutory and constitutional grounds.

“We believe this outcome is precedential despite a lack of a final ruling by the court on all of the issues,” Mr. Moran stated.

Mr. DeBrosse added, “This settlement recognizes a right the General Assembly was very careful to protect when it implemented the concealed carry program in Ohio in 2004.”

Case(s):

Students for Concealed Carry Foundation, et al., v. The Ohio State University, Marion County Common Pleas Court, Case No. 2016CV0621 (Judges Jim Slagle and Warren T. Edwards).

Students for Concealed Carry Foundation, et al., v. The Ohio State University, Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Case No. 2014CV006927 (Judges Dan Hogan and William H. Woods).

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ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus.

Keeping Your Gun Safe at University: A Foolproof Guide

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flickr/BB and HH. CC BY-NC 2.0

At this moment, ten states allow concealed handgun license holders to carry guns on campus. Essentially, this measure aims at maximizing the protection of the students, faculty, and staff, especially in light of the many shootings that have taken place in schools and public spaces.

Nevertheless, carrying a gun comes with a range of responsibilities. When you decide to carry a gun with you, you should take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent unwanted scenarios from happening.

First, you should assess the risks. While it appears that the likelihood of accidental death in a house with a gun is ten times higher than in the case of a house without a gun,the question that needs to be asked is why. The major issue in this respect is forgetting to secure the firearm. At the same time, storing it accordingly is just as important.

Safeguard the Gun at All Times

Normally, at home you would have a sturdy safe to keep your firearm at all times. If you haven’t considered investing in a safe until now, then we advise you to do this, as it’s highly recommended for the preservation of your valuables (and your firearms) in a disaster, and dissuades theft. If you’re undecided about the item that suits you best, check the Minute Man Review for some useful guidelines on the topic.

Moving on to carrying your gun on campus, you should know that it’s your responsibility to protect it. We advise you to utilize a retention holster. These usually comes with a locking mechanism that prevents unauthorized access to the weapon. Usually, concealed carriers aren’t too concerned about this aspect, as most people won’t be aware that they’re carrying a gun with them. Nevertheless, even in this situation, there are retention issues that shouldn’t be overlooked.

For example, at university, people might bump into you – at the cafeteria, on-campus – wherever there are crowds of people rushing in a specific direction. Thus, by using a retention holster, you can be 100 percent confident that the gun won’t come out unintentionally.

Use a Good Holster and Belt

Carrying a loaded handgun is serious business. This is why, at first, you might feel anxious or agitated. Nonetheless, there’s also the risk that, once you get used to carrying the gun with you, you might become careless and ignorant, thus, forgetting to respect the primary safety procedures.

And while it is true that a gun can be very dangerous, as long as you include the right habits into your daily routine, you’ll prevent unwanted incidents from happening.

With that in mind, there are two critical pieces of gear you should invest in – namely an adequate holster and a decent gun belt. Even if these might require a notable investment, they are meant to maximize your safety and the safety of those around you.

So, you should put the firearm in a holster; preferably, the holster should be made from leather or kydex. These materials are form fitted to the specific model of the firearm, which will maximize safety. On the other hand, generic one-size-fits-all holsters cannot possibly secure all types of firearms. At the same time, you should stay away from holsters manufactured from cloth materials, as they are far from being safe.

The purpose of the holster is to secure the gun and keep it in place during the day. Hence, it should keep it tight. Simultaneously, the trigger guard of the gun has to be covered at all times. Only this way can you be 100 percent sure that the gun won’t discharge regardless of the type of activity you engage in.

Furthermore, it is highly recommended for the holster to be securely affixed to the belt through the clips or loops. The belt should easily cope with the weight of the gun. In general, regular belts tend to be on the flimsy side, making them widely unsafe for carrying a firearm – especially at university. Plus, if you want to attach the holstered gun to a regular belt, you might feel uncomfortable and self-aware throughout the day.

Avoid Handling Your Weapon If Unnecessary

In order to eliminate the likelihood of negligent discharge, you should minimize handling of the firearm if it isn’t absolutely necessary. Now, let’s say that you securely position your gun in its holster when you leave the house. Ideally, the gun should stay put until you return home. There isn’t any reason you should access your firearm – unless you must use it for self-defense purposes, of course.

In case you have to remove the gun because you need to enter a restricted area, make sure you are very careful when handling the firearm. In fact, many people choose holsters that come with clips – as this makes it easier to take the holster off and back on without removing the firearm.

You might be surprised, but there are many irresponsible people out there, who are quite careless when it comes to gun carrying and handling – especially in public. For example, numerous surveillance videos have shown individuals unholstering their guns unnecessarily. The bottom line is that gun handling should be done only in the appropriate circumstances. It is not a joke; it isn’t something to brag about. It’s as simple as this: you shouldn’t unholster your firearm unless you have to defend yourself.  

On a final note, when carrying a gun with you in public, you should develop a sense of self-awareness. Eventually, it will become second-nature. However, as a piece of advice, if you carry a strong side hip holster, then you should learn to protect that specific side.

Also, when eating at the cafeteria, if you have the choice, you should sit with the gun side away from the person sitting next to you. Plus, if it’s possible, avoid making any contact with the firearm.

We all wish that dangerous situations never occur and that we all never face life-threatening conditions. But we should all be prepared and learn how to handle a gun safely in case something goes wrong.

Antonia Okafor Had Nothing to Do With Passing Texas’ Campus Carry Law

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flickr/Jonathan Cutrer. CC BY 2.0

AUSTIN, TEXAS – In the two years since the Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) board of directors dismissed former Southwest Regional Director Antonia Okafor, SCC leaders past and present have held their tongues as, time and time again, she has repeated the false claim that she was involved in the drafting and passing of Texas’ campus carry law.

By portraying herself as the person who passed campus carry in Texas, Okafor—who joined SCC six weeks after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 11 into law and who served as an SCC leader for fourteen months of the eighteen-month interim between the 2015 and 2017 Texas Legislative Sessions—has secured invitations to appear on high-profile TV news programs (both in the U.S. and abroad), speak on college campuses, and be honored as the invited guest of far-right politicians and organizations.

If members of the gun-rights community want to honor Okafor as a pillar of Second Amendment activism, that is a subjectively defensible choice. However, it is objectively indefensible to suggest that she played any role (beyond, perhaps, being one of thousands of concerned Texas college students who reached out to Texas lawmakers) in the passage of Texas’ campus carry law.

Students for Concealed Carry, the National Rifle Association, and the Texas State Rifle Association spent eight years fighting for the passage of campus carry in Texas. In the latter years of that fight, SCC, NRA, and TSRA were joined by groups such as the Open Carry Texas, Texas Carry, Texas Firearms Freedom, and the Texas Concealed Handgun Association.

Madison Welch served as SCC’s Southwest regional director during the 2015 Texas Legislative Session (the session in which campus carry finally passed). Prior to that, the position was held by Adrienne O’Reilly, who succeeded Daniel Crocker, who succeeded Brett Poulos, who succeeded Mike Guzman, SCC’s original SWRD. These are the people who deserve the credit for leading SCC’s efforts to pass campus carry in Texas.

At no time during the eight-year fight to pass campus carry in Texas did Antonia Okafor hold a leadership position with SCC or any other organization instrumental in that fight. The first time she so much as tweeted about campus carry or SB 11 was two weeks before the end of the 2015 Texas Legislative Session.

In March 2017, six months after Okafor was dismissed from SCC, SCC Assistant Director of Public Relations Mike Newbern reached out to her to politely ask that she stop making false claims about her involvement in the passage of SB 11. Okafor responded by blocking Newbern and several other current and former SCC leaders from viewing her social media pages.

In February 2018, a former SCC director detailed many of Okafor’s misstatements of fact (ranging from misstatements about her involvement with SCC to misstatements about her education) in a lengthy internal memo/essay titled “Who Is Antonia Okafor?” That memo/essay can be downloaded here

Newbern commented:

When the board made the decision to let Antonia go, none of us harbored any ill will toward her. We simply felt we needed a regional director who, like Antonia’s predecessors in that role, better understood the issue. We even offered her a less-demanding role within the organization, an offer she declined.

It’s easy enough to look at the press releases, op-eds, and TV commercial SCC released during the 2015 Texas Legislative Session and see that Antonia was not the organization’s Southwest regional director at that time. It’s easy enough to look at her social media accounts and see that she wasn’t even talking about campus carry until two weeks before it passed.

For the past two years, we at SCC have hoped that somebody in the media would take the time to question Antonia’s story. It is a disservice to the countless organizations and volunteers involved in the passage of campus carry in Texas to let her false claims go unchallenged, and it has become apparent that nobody is going to question those false claims unless we call attention to them. So let me state unequivocally and for the record that Antonia Okafor played no role—at least no more so than thousands of other college students—in the passage of Texas’ campus carry law.

I’ve been with this organization for years. I’ve seen this group defeat a campus carry ban in Colorado and advocate for the successful passage of campus carry laws in over half a dozen states. The real hero of campus carry in Texas never publicly took credit and has quietly moved on to other endeavors, out of the spotlight of activism, including motherhood.”

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RELATED:

Texas Tribune: Federal appeals court upholds Texas campus carry law.

AmmoLand: Texas Legislative Candidate/Former Professor Omits Important Facts.

AmmoLand: SCC’s Amicus Brief in Glass v. Paxton (Fifth Circuit).

Student Activists Must Learn to Be Students of the Issues They Address

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flickr/University of Saskatchewan. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 08/06/2018

CONTACT: media@concealedcampus.org

AUSTIN, TEXAS – There is nothing more frustrating than seeing an otherwise well-reasoned op-ed destroyed by a blatantly untrue statement. Such is the case with Jack Kappelman’s August 6, 2018, Texas Tribune op-ed, “Texas leaders are wrong to oppose red flag laws.”

Kappelman, a recent graduate of Austin’s Liberal Arts and Science Academy magnet high school, offers a relatively articulate, factual defense of so-called “red flag laws,” until the latter part of the column, when he writes:

Our lawmakers are out of touch with reality. They work in areas far better protected than our schools, our churches, our movie theaters, our grocery stores and our homes. Because no guns are allowed on the House or Senate floor, our elected representatives, unlike the students of Texas, have never had to practice active shooter drills. They have no reason to be afraid.

Anyone who has spent significant time studying Texas gun politics knows that the licensed, concealed carry of handguns is allowed throughout the Texas Capitol, including on the House and Senate floors and in legislative offices. The Capitol security checkpoints famously have special lines allowing Texas license to carry (LTC) holders to bypass the metal detectors.

It’s possible that Kappelman, intending to make a case for the efficacy of licensed concealed carry, meant to say that the UNLICENSED possession of guns is prohibited on the House and Senate floors; however, it’s more likely that he, like the anti-campus carry activists who parroted this same bogus argument throughout multiple sessions of the Texas Legislature, is taking his talking points from people who don’t know the Lone Star State or its gun laws.

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Texas’ Campus Carry Law Turns Two

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flickr/raymondclarkeimages CC BY-NC 2.0

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 07/30/2018

CONTACT:
Students for Concealed Carry Media: media@concealedcampus.org

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Wednesday, August 1, marks two years since Texas’ campus carry law took effect at public universities and one year since it took effect at community colleges. During that time, no Texas college has reported a resulting fatality, injury, assault, threat, or suicide attempt.

Texas is one of six states­—along with Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Georgia, and (as of February of this year) Arkansas—that allow anyone with the appropriate license* to carry a concealed handgun inside the buildings of public colleges, including in classrooms. Nationwide, such policies are in effect on more than 350 college campuses. After a combined total of more than 2,000 semesters of campus carry, not one of these institutions has reported a resulting act of violence.

Since 2007, when Students for Concealed Carry launched the national campus carry movement, the number of campus-carry campuses in the U.S. has increased more than tenfold. Mike Newbern, assistant director of public relations for SCC, commented, “We’re pleased but not surprised to see that campus carry has worked out exactly as we predicted.”

*Since July 1, 2017, Kansas has allowed the unlicensed, concealed carry of handguns in campus buildings, including in college classrooms. No problems have been reported.

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ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus. For more information on the debate over campus carry in Texas, visit WhyCampusCarry.com or tweet @CampusCarry.

RELATED:

“Texas Legislative Candidate/Former Professor Omits Important Facts”: https://www.ammoland.com/2018/07/texas-legislative-candidate-former-professor-omits-important-facts/#axzz5M150Mn96

“Everytown for Gun Safety Continues to Ignore the Facts”: http://concealedcampus.org/2018/05/everytown-for-gun-safety-continues-to-ignore-the-facts/

SCC’s Amicus Brief in Glass v. Paxton (Fifth Circuit): https://www.ammoland.com/2018/02/scc-sccf-file-amicus-brief-u-texas-professors-campus-carry-suit/#axzz5CzmeJ49g

“What ‘Rolling Stone’ Got Wrong About the ‘Fight Over Guns on Campus'”: http://concealedcampus.org/2017/03/what-rolling-stone-got-wrong-about-the-fight-over-guns-on-campus/

“Johns Hopkins Report on Campus Carry Is Seriously Flawed”: http://concealedcampus.org/2016/11/johns-hopkins-report-on-campus-carry-is-seriously-flawed/

“A Refresher on the Case for Campus Carry in Texas”: http://concealedcampus.org/2016/05/a-refresher-on-the-case-for-campus-carry-in-texas/

SCC’s Oct. 2, 2015 – Aug. 1, 2017, Texas press releases and op-eds: https://www.scribd.com/document/319141232/Texas-Students-for-Concealed-Carry-Campus-Carry-Press-Releases-Op-Eds-Oct-2-2015-Aug-1-2017

SCC’s 2015 Texas legislative handout (includes Dec. 9 – May 22, 2015, press releases and op-eds): https://www.scribd.com/document/255815743/SCC-s-2015-Texas-Legislative-Handout

SCC Challenges Founder of Everytown for Gun Safety to No-Holds-Barred Cage Match

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 06/06/2018

CONTACT:
Students for Concealed Carry Media: media@concealedcampus.org

SCC Challenges Founder of Everytown for Gun Safety to No-Holds-Barred Cage Match

AUSTIN, TEXAS –

Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) announced today that Michael Newbern, the organization’s assistant director of public relations, is formally challenging Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, to a WWE-style cage match to determine the future of campus carry in America.

Newbern explained, “We’ve given this a lot of thought, and we’ve concluded that the best way to decide this very nuanced policy question is to have a competitive powerlifter compete against a mother of five in a no-holds-barred contest of hand-to-hand combat.”

SCC was inspired to adopt this unconventional approach after seeing that gun-rights activist Kaitlin Bennett, who became a highly-publicized viral sensation after tweeting graduation photos of herself walking across the Kent State University campus with an AR-10 rifle, has challenged gun-control activist David Hogg, who rose to fame after surviving the Parkland High School shooting, to an arm wrestling contest to decide the future of the Second Amendment.

“We saw Kaitlin Bennett’s tweet challenging David Hog to an arm wrestling match,” said Newbern, “and it was like a light bulb went on. We asked ourselves, ‘Why are we wasting so much time and energy participating in policy debates when we can settle this with a display of brute strength and athleticism?””

SCC’s challenge to Shannon Watts is obviously satire, but it raises legitimate questions about the direction of the debate over guns in America. What does it say about political discourse in this country when so much attention is paid to activists like Kaitlin Bennett, whose advocacy eschews factual arguments in favor of efforts to “own the libs“? There are legitimate reasons to criticize David Hogg, who favors insults over policy discussions; however, his unnecessarily caustic rhetoric neither merits Ms. Bennett’s personal attacks nor reaches her level of childishness.

Kaitlin Bennett posted this meme accusing David Hogg’s mother of drinking and smoking while pregnant.

This meme taunting liberals with a picture of an AR-15 was posted to Liberty Hangout, where Bennett is grassroots director, digital content producer, and founder of the Kent State chapter.

Bennett used this picture of herself holding two guns, to taunt liberals about the existence of only two genders.

During SCC’s first decade of political activism, the organization successfully used policy debates, op-eds, and information campaigns to help effect a tenfold increase in the number of U.S. college campuses that allow the licensed concealed carry of handguns in classrooms. Unfortunately, this brand of fact-based activism is quickly falling out of fashion. The new brand of activism is all about inflaming rather than informing. Groups like #CocksNotGlocks and Turning Point USA are teaching the next generation of activists that successful political engagement is all about going viral.

Newbern commented, “Real activism seeks to win over fence sitters and rebut opponents, not simply spit in the eye of the opposition. Real activists effect change by focusing on political discourse, not publicity stunts. Kaitlin Bennett isn’t an activist; she’s a narcissist. She’s not trying to influence public policy; she’s auditioning for cable news.”

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POSTSCRIPT: As Students for Concealed Carry was doing the final edits on this lighthearted press release, public discourse involving David Hogg took a dark and nearly tragic turn. On the morning of Tuesday, June 5, SWAT teams responded to Hogg’s Parkland, Fla., home after someone called police to report that a hostage situation was underway at the residence. The call turned out to be a hoax—a dangerous and highly illegal prank known as “swatting.”

Although this incident did not result in any injuries, one past swatting incident resulted in serious injury to a responding police officer, and another led to the death of the targeted victim. Such hoaxes are a federal crime that carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Mike Newbern commented, “This wasteful and dangerous use of police resources is completely unacceptable. Although we can’t be certain that Hogg was targeted for his gun-control activism, we can say without hesitation that the gun-rights community has done an inadequate job of self-policing its activists and calling out bad actors. Both sides of this debate have a responsibility to tone down the heated rhetoric and personal attacks and refocus their efforts on productive civic engagement.”

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Everytown for Gun Safety Continues to Ignore the Facts

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 05/22/2018

CONTACT: media@concealedcampus.org

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control conglomerate that falsely told both state legislators and the public that Texas’ then-pending campus carry law would allow guns in fraternity houses, off-campus parties, and football stadiums, is now blaming that law, which allows licensed adults to carry concealed handguns on college campuses, for last week’s mass shooting by an unlicensed minor armed with a shotgun at a Santa Fe, Texas, high school.

Everytown, which also funds the conspiracy-peddling online magazine The Trace, recently purchased a full-page ad in the Houston Chronicle and used that premium ad space to publish an open letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, signed by 41 student gun-control activists. In the letter’s opening paragraph, the signers criticize Abbot for having “signed dangerous policies to force public colleges in Texas to allow guns on campus.”

Texas is currently one of six states that allow the licensed concealed carry of handguns in public college classrooms[i]. In these states, campus carry is allowed on a total of more than 350 campuses and has been for a combined total of more than 2,000 semesters. Not one of these states/campuses has reported a resulting assault, suicide attempt, or fatality. So what are Everytown and its 41 student activists complaining about?

The vast majority of peer-reviewed studies on the issue of licensed concealed carry have concluded that it cannot be shown to lead to an increase in violent crime. Furthermore, licensingconviction, and license revocation statistics maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety suggest that a person on a Texas college campus is hundreds of times more likely to be assaulted by an armed student who is not licensed to carry a handgun than by one who is. So, again, what are Everytown and its 41 student activists complaining about?

It speaks to the cogency, or lack thereof, of Everytown’s arguments that they were forced to pay for a full-page ad in order to make their case to the public. Students for Concealed Carry (SCC), which lacks even one-tenth of 1% of Everytown’s massive and often misspent budget, has traditionally used op-eds, which cost nothing but do require well-articulated arguments, to get its message in front of Houston Chronicle readers.

Quinn Cox, Southwest regional director for SCC, commented, “The purchase of this full-page ad is par for the course for Everytown. After an impartial poll by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Tribune found more Texans in support of campus carry than opposed to it, Everytown spent a small fortune commissioning their own internal poll with the purpose of getting the opposite result. Suffice it to say, we’re not exactly shocked that they’ve chosen to address the problem with cash rather than facts.”

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[i] Kansas allows unlicensed carry in college classrooms, and several other states have laws that allow carry by only faculty/staff or that allow concealed carry on campus grounds but not in campus buildings.