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Crimes Rise Across America’s Campuses


In 2002, the Secret Service released a report on school shootings in the United States. The project, part of their Safe School Initiative, studied 37 incidents in 28 years, and among their key findings, noted that: “incidents of targeted violence at school rarely are sudden, impulsive acts” – that is, even killers didn’t “just snap” – and that only some of the shootings were preventable. (Click here to read the Secret Service report.)

Sadly, in the eight years since the Safe School Initiative was released, America witnessed multiple campus shootings at places such as Virginia Tech, prompting Campus Attacks: Targeted Violence Affecting Institutions of Higher Education, another more comprehensive report on crime, violence and shootings specifically on college campuses. The FBI, Secret Service and Department of Education each contributed to the report.

The study included all forms of targeted violence that occurred on a campus between January 1, 1900 and December 31, 2008. In 108 years of data, the project studied 272 documented incidents of targeted violence on campus. These incidents added up to 281 deaths and 247 injuries. (By necessity, the study did not account for any unreported crimes. Also excluded are crimes that occurred after December 31, 2008 – such as the University of Alabama-Huntsville shooting.)

How did college crimes compare with K-12 schools when it comes to preventing these attacks? According to the report, any way you slice it, it’s harder beast to contend with.

“[College] campuses usually comprise many buildings, often with larger classrooms, separate faculty for each department, more uncontrolled access and egress, and irregular student schedules that minimize regular contact between educators and students,” the report states. “These factors are less conducive to observing and recognizing behavioral concerns among the student population.”

In other words, multiple factors on a college environment make these crimes even less preventable. In fact, the report states that there were warning signs or “concerning behaviors” present in only 31 percent of the cases. That means that a sturdy 69 percent of attackers don’t exhibit detectable signs or behaviors – which are already harder to notice on campus.

Maybe that’s why college campuses across the nation saw 3,287 rapes, 60 killings, 5,026 assaults and 4,562 robberies just in 2008.

One of the most disturbing trends is the dramatic rise in crimes in recent decades. The survey spanned 108 years, yet 60 percent of incidents were recorded within the past 20 years. The number of documented incidents has risen every decade since 1900.

One factor may be rising college enrollment, but clearly a collegiate population influx carries worse pitfalls than just crowded dormitories.

The report includes many other illuminating facts about campus violence:

  • 79 percent of attacks occurred on the college campus grounds – 28% in dorms, 27% in parking lots or college grounds, and 26% in actual buildings. Over half of these attacks occurred in classrooms, dorms or offices – areas often assumed to be safe because of location or activity.
  • 26 percent of attackers committed suicide after their attack. (This means a quarter of them had a death wish to begin with, but more importantly, three-quarters of attackers had a will to live which could presumably be used to halt attacks.)
  • Attackers’ ages ranged between 16 and 68, but only 8 percent of attackers had any kind of criminal history.
  • 21 percent of the attacks or killings were random. In other words, you don’t have to be on the outs with someone to be find yourself at risk…your only crime could be standing nearby. And by the way, after all of this research, experts still have no idea why random targets are selected.
  • Guns were only used in attacks 54 percent of the time.
  • Females are disproportionately at risk, because a majority of college patrons (57% of students and 54% of faculty) are female.

Notably, the most recent FBI violent crime statistics show violent crime across the United States has declined, even as firearm ownership and concealed carry permits are reaching record highs.

Gun-free zones on college campuses force law-abiding citizens into a position of weakness. By insisting that no legally-armed student, professor or employee carry a concealed firearm for protection on campus, colleges are stacking the odds in favor of the violent perpetrators and assuring no citizen has the ability to resist.

Critics often claim college campuses are too dangerous to allow lawfully-armed citizens to be armed for their own protection. The research shows colleges are too dangerous not to.

Help Wanted


A famous president once said “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

SCCC isn’t your country, and we’re not your president, but for those of you wanting to know what Students for Concealed Carry on Campus has done for you, the answer isn’t hard to find; legal victories in Colorado and Texas, moral victories in Pennsylvania and Michigan, and actual legislative progress in Georgia, South Carolina and Arizona. Plus, coordinating the national protest, crafting the national presence, and offering tools for you to succeed on your on campus.

Now SCCC needs your help. We need you to ask what you can do to help us. We have some fantastic people working with us already, devoting their time and their talent to a cause they believe in, and helping make SCCC a success. But we’re always looking to add more talent to the pool.

For starters, we have openings for regional directors in the Central and Northeast regions. Are you a good coordinator and leader who would be interested in working with SCCC national, coordinating on the campus level and helping spur legislation in your region? Maybe you’d like to step up and be a state director, or assistant state director.

Are you a graphics design artist? Do you have experience with web design, photography, videography or other design/image-based media?

Do you enjoy writing persuasively and debating the issue, helping convince skeptical classmates and readers of the truth?

If you have the time and talent, SCCC is asking for your help. What if you will be the one person that provides the final push, the one that makes that last bit of difference that pushes us over the finish line? Maybe all you can do is donate (which you can do securely via the PayPal link at the top-right of the home page), which is also greatly needed.

Regardless, we hope you’ll consider contributing to – and being a part of – the the next generation of freedom’s defenders.

Please contact the SCCC Organizers if you can help!

SCCC Represented at Second Amendment March


On April 19, SCCC’s David Burnett spoke to the Second Amendment March in Washington DC about the importance of fighting for the right to self-defense on campus.

Click here to watch the speech
Click here to watch in hi-res

Empty Holster Protest A Success


On April 5 through April 9, 2010, students from 130 colleges across the nation participated in the Empty Holster Protest, SCCC’s signature event to symbolize being defenseless and protest state laws and college policies which require being defenseless.

(Click here to see the list of participating colleges.)

The event and resulting discussions received widespread media coverage both locally and nationally.

Locally, in states from Colorado, Virginia, Oklahoma and Michigan to places such as Illinois, Connecticut, Kansas and Texas.

Nationally, SCCC and the protest were featured in articles from World Net Daily, Human Events, The Christian Science Monitor, The Weekly Standard and even a mention in the disaster preparedness magazine Firestorm.

Participation even spilled over onto the floor of the Arizona state senate, where Senator Jack Harper wore an empty holster on the senate floor in an expression of solidarity with Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

Elsewhere, Dr. John Lott spoke at Texas A&M on behalf of SCCC, safety classes were held at various colleges across the country, and in Virginia, hundreds of people took advantage of online legal and safety training provided free of charge through SCCC and American Firearms Training.

The same predictable responses issued forth from the emotionally-driven anti-defense crowd. Predictably, the Brady Campaign ignored SCCC’s call for respect and continued its pattern of victim exploitation, figuratively standing on the coffins of the dead to decry SCCC’s drive for self-defense on campus.

The Truth About Guns even took time to smear SCCC on their website with multiple inaccuracies and outright fabrications. Ill-informed and illogical editorialists nationwide persist in their fanciful campaign of fearmongering.

Heedless of the facts, these critics continue to prey on fears by insisting that self-defense on campus would increase the risks to campus patrons.

Of course, these are the same critics who just months ago claimed SCCC had failed and momentum was against concealed carry on campus. They’re the same ones now having to confront major SCCC victories in Colorado, Michigan, Texas and Pennsylvania, and having to face the reality that momentum does not favor lawfully-armed citizens being disarmed simply for stepping across the invisible boundary of a college campus.

SCCC would like to thank everyone for participating in the protest and taking valuable time to labor in the cause. Don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter, and make plans to attend the 2011 Empty Holster Protest!

Dominoes in the Centennial State


Sometimes a gentle nudge is all it takes to effect social change. Sometimes it requires a District Court of Appeals ruling. Either way, one change can touch off a domino effect, rippling throughout a whole state and eventually an entire nation.

Following the appeals court ruling in Colorado which favored Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), and pressure from the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Colorado State University rescinded its intended ban of lawful concealed carry.

“They didn’t have a legal leg to stand on,” said Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. “We told them in January, in no uncertain terms, that state law did not allow them to create their own gun ban. Unfortunately, it took a lawsuit to force them to back down.”

“We’ve already seen that concealed carry works on campus,” said David Burnett, spokesman for SCCC. “It doesn’t harm anyone, and if criminals don’t know who could fight back, it makes them think twice about attacking anyone on campus. It’s unfortunate that the change required a legal threat, but we know it’s the right move and we’re glad CSU backed down from their imprudent decision.”

The Coloradoan notes that the college saw the writing on the wall; faced with a costly legal challenge with a dim hope of victory, rescinding the ban was seen as the best option.

But WAIT, there’s MORE!

The Colorado Community College System has now followed suit and modified their policies to permit concealed carry on campus!

The system consists of 13 community colleges, including: Arapahoe Community College, Colorado Northwestern Community College, Community College of Aurora, Community College of Denver, Front Range Community College, Lamar Community College, Morgan Community College, Northeastern Junior College, Otero Junior College, Pikes Peak Community College, Pueblo Community College, Red Rocks Community College and Trinidad State Junior College.

Another local paper reports the Board of Trustees at Aims Community College, which includes three campuses, will institute a change to allow concealed carry.

This means that the number of colleges allowing licensed concealed carry in the United States has more than doubled in the past week!

Naturally, critics and skeptics align against the move, but statistics have already shown concealed carry does not increase risks to campus patrons, and may actually reduce them. Students, law enforcement and parents all support continuing and expanding the successful policy of allowing legally authorized students, faculty and staff to defend themselves on campus.

SCCC wishes to thank Jim Manley for his hard work, the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners for their cooperation and efforts, and all the students, parents, faculty and staff for their labor and support.

For media inquiries, please contact David Burnett or in Colorado, contact Jim Manley.

Legal Victory in Colorado


The Colorado Court of Appeals announced a major decision on Thursday that upholds the right to carry a firearm for self-defense.

“This decision is a victory for individual freedom and a victory for the rule of law,” said Mountain States Legal Foundation Staff Attorney Jim Manley, who represents Students for Concealed Carry on Campus in its lawsuit against the University of Colorado ‘s firearms ban. “The Court vindicated the right to licensed concealed carry on campus and the constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms.”

The Board of Governors had argued that they have the authority to set rules on lawful concealed carry because the statute does not expressly forbade them from setting those rules. The court stated that it was “unpersuaded,” noting that the concealed carry law of Colorado “does not specify public universities in its list of exceptions.”

In December 2008, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus sued the University of Colorado to overturn CU’s ban on licensed concealed carry on campus. The El Paso County District Court dismissed the case in April 2009. Yesterday, the Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s dismissal of the students’ claims against the University, concluding:

“Although we express no opinion about the merits, we thus conclude that plaintiffs’ allegations that the policy unreasonably infringes on their right to bear arms in self-defense under article II, section 13 states a claim for relief concerning the ability to carry a firearm in a motor vehicle when traveling on or through a University of Colorado campus. The judgment is reversed and the case remanded for reinstatement of plaintiffs’ claims and further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

The decision was unanimous.

Click here to read the ruling.

SCCC Presents FREE Educational Training Class Online


The Students for Concealed Carry on Campus Board of Directors is pleased to announce that for all of empty holder protest week (Now – April 10 @ 11:59 PM ET), there is an opportunity for anyone with a .edu email address to obtain a FREE CHP TRAINING COURSE for Virginia. Both residential and non-residential permits are available in Virginia.

Online training is valid under Virginia law for a Virginia CHP permit (VA Code §18.2-308 (G)(7) and (P1)(7)). Education and training are key goals of SCCC. By making training available to students, faculty, and staff on campus, we will further a goal shared by both sides of the gun rights debate: to educate about the core safety aspects of firearms and self-defense.

Here’s what you do:

1) Visit: http://www.onlineconcealedcarry.com/
2) Register with a .edu email address
3) Use the following discount code: 923726
4) Finish the course before April 10 @ 11:59 PM ET.

Upon completion of the course, you will be given a printable certificate of completion. Instructions on how to submit this certificate to Virginia authorities is available at: http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms.shtm . Please note that you will be responsible for any state fee(s) and compliance with all legal standards that Virginia requires.

A Virginia CHP permit is currently valid in AK, AR, AZ, DE, FL, ID, IN, KY, LA, MI, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NM, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, and WV. Please note however that currently Michigan (MI), South Carolina (SC), and Florida (FL) only honor permits from residents of the issuing states.

News Release: Students Resist Colleges, Strap on Empty Holsters


College students across America will once again strap on empty holsters in an act of silent protest against laws and policies banning licensed concealed carry on campus.

The protest, sponsored by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), will take place April 5-9, 2010 and comes on the heels of college administrators discriminating against concealed carry permit holders, and censoring students who disagree.

According to the group, colleges have repeatedly ignored or attempted to keep students from discussing the issue. In Pennsylvania, one college banned SCCC member Christine Brashier from handing out fliers about the group, stating, “You may want to discuss this topic but the college does not, and you cannot make us.” Another college in Texas tried to block students from wearing the symbolic empty holsters on campus until a federal judge ruled that their ban violated the First Amendment. And a recent decision at Colorado State University overturned a long-standing policy that allowed concealed carry, despite the fact that crime on campus decreased rapidly since allowing concealed carry on campus, and no problems were reported among permit holders. The ban was opposed by students, Student Government, and local law enforcement.

“Colleges aren’t content to ban the right to self-defense anymore,” said David Burnett, a spokesman for SCCC. “Now they’re trying to suspend the right to freedom of speech. They want to silence us and hope we’ll go away. It’s outrageous and our membership cares too much about self defense to remain silent.”

The group was formed shortly after the Virginia Tech shooting, and advocates that persons with state-issued permits be allowed to carry concealed handguns on college grounds.

“Compulsory defenselessness doesn’t make students safer, it makes them less safe,” said Burnett. “A piece of paper taped to the door saying guns are against the rules has yet to stop a criminal, whether a mass shooter or an armed rapist. It merely assures the criminal that victims are incapable of effective resistance. There are no security checkpoints or metal detectors to pass through in order to enter a college campus and absolutely no way for colleges to control what a criminal brings on campus. Until they can take responsibility for our safety and guarantee our protection, colleges can’t be allowed to deny us the right to self-defense.”


Click here to download a copy of this press release. Campus leaders are encouraged to send a copy of this release to local news sources such as city or student papers, radio and TV stations.

For media inquiries, please contact David Burnett, SCCC’s Director of Public Relations.

Debate at Colorado State University


Colorado State University recently overturned its 7-year-old policy allowing licensed concealed carry on campus. In the wake of CSU’s decision to ban concealed carry, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus invites the public to attend a debate about the wisdom, legality, and safety of allowing licensed concealed carry on campus.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and its state ally, Colorado Ceasefire, plan to participate. Concealed carry advocates Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden and the Independent Institute’s Dave Kopel will be participating as well. The debate is expected to last about an hour, with time for questions.

Attendees can visit the event’s Facebook page to learn more.

CSU Concealed Carry Debate
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
CSU Campus, Fort Collins, Colorado, Clark A103

For event and debate-related inquiries, please contact Tim Campbell. For national media requests, please contact David Burnett or <a href="mailto:colorado@concealedcampus.org" class="spamspan"Jim Manly.

Judge Rules in Favor of Empty Holster Protest


The primary goal of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is to allow the carry of concealed handguns by licensed adults on college campuses. One of our main ways to gain public awareness is through our signature “Empty Holster Protest” event in which students wear empty holsters all week to show that laws and policies against lawful carry of firearms leaves them defenseless, with nothing but “Empty Holsters” to defend themselves should their life or safety be threatened.

In the past, thousands of students at more than 600 campuses have participated in the events. The past protests have generated an enormous amount of media coverage and attention for our cause. However, some colleges weren’t content to restrict the right to keep and bear arms; they also sought to limit the freedom of speech by prohibiting our members from participating. Among them was Tarrant County College (TCC) in Texas.

In the Spring of 2008 TCC prevented SCCC campus leader and future national board member Brett Poulos from wearing a holster anywhere on campus. They further restricted any other activity such as speeches or handing out fliers, to a 12 foot concrete platform, their so-called “free speech zone”. While TCC received a great deal of controversy from the decision, including winning some dubious “worst of free speech” awards, they were unrelenting.

In the Spring of 2009, SCCC’s new campus leader Clayton Smith attempted to participate in the Empty Holster protest at TCC. When Smith sent an informative letter to campus administration to let them know about the upcoming protest, he was warned that empty holsters would not be permitted anywhere on campus. If he wanted to pass out fliers or discuss the campus ban on firearms, he would have to restrict such actions to a similar “free speech zone.”

Clayton contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and began exploring his options. When TCC repeated their refusal to allow the Empty Holster Protest in the fall of 2009, Clayton and fellow SCCC member John Schwertz filed suit against the college with the assistance of the Texas ACLU. A temporary restraining order was then issued that allowed Clayton and John to participate in the fall protest.

On March 15, after months of trial hearings and legal paperwork, a final ruling came down. Federal judge Terry Means permanently banned TCC from preventing any empty holster protests throughout campus, stating in part that

“[T]he disruptive activities provision, as applied to student SCCC members to prevent them from wearing empty holsters on campus or in the classroom, violates such students’ First Amendment right to free speech. … Tarrant County College District, its officials, employees, and agents, be and they are hereby PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from prohibiting Clayton Smith, John Schwertz Jr., and any other Tarrant County College District student from wearing empty holsters in TCC’s classrooms, on the TCC campuses’ streets and sidewalks, and in the TCC campuses’ outdoor common areas, such as lawns and plazas.”

The ruling also struck down parts of the TCC student handbook dealing with sponsorship of campus protests. (Click here to read the full ruling.)

Click here to read FIRE’s article regarding the lawsuit.
Click here to read the ACLU’s press release

For media and other official inquiries, contact SCCC’s Regional Director for the area, Daniel Crocker, or David Burnett, Director of Public Relations.