Guns Should Be Allowed On Campus
By Larry Pratt
Gun free school zones have proven to be a dangerous delusion that has resulted in people being forced to be victims.
The only people guaranteed to be safe in gun free zones are criminals. They can count on the law-abiding being disarmed. In reality, gun free zones are nothing more than criminal safe zones.
Criminals have proven that they not only disrespect laws, they are willing and able to break them. The island nation of Great Britain has banned guns. In 1997 they confiscated virtually all legal guns. Yet today, the police there estimate that England has twice the number of guns in the country -- illegally. The press in Manchester refer to their city as "Gunchester."
Stricter gun control laws than those in the United States have not prevented Canada, Scotland and Germany from suffering from mass murderers striking schools in those countries.
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The solution is to empower the most responsible people in America to be intermixed with potential victims so that they might have the opportunity to be the first responders to head off such attacks such as the one at Virginia Tech. We have enough people licensed to carry concealed firearms that we can now say with certainty that these are the folks who commit the fewest crimes in our society.
Concealed weapons carriers commit even fewer violent crimes than do police.
Yet our federal and state laws (with a few exceptions such as Utah and Arizona) prohibit these potential Good Samaritans from being armed on our college campuses. One concealed carry permit holder is a graduate student at Virginia Tech. After a murder at the edge of the campus last August, he wrote a letter to the editor.
In that letter, he confessed that he had not been carrying his gun on campus because he did not want to jeopardize his graduate career should he get caught. After the murders, he said, he has been considering that had he been killed, that would have jeopardized his graduate career!
We have seen that armed civilians, students and staff alike, have been able to get their guns and stop campus killers in the past -- such as in Pearl, Mississippi (1997) and Grundy, Virginia (2002). But in those cases, the heroes had to run to their cars and get their guns and run back to the scene of the crime to stop the killer, losing valuable time.
Armed self-defense works. Disarmament kills.
Larry Pratt is the executive director of the Gun Owners of America (GOA).
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