Is the push for campus carry being won or lost?
By Brent Greer
The retired editor of The Blade, the daily newspaper in Toledo, Ohio, writes in an op-ed that self defense advocates are losing the battle to allow professors, staff and students to lawfully carry concealed firearms for their protection.
Of course, he doesn't say it is self defense advocates who are losing, he says it is the National Rifle Association. Nothing like pulling out a popular punching bag when your argument is a bit thin. An easy target, the NRA's lobbying power is unmatched. So if results aren't coming at lightening speed, of course the media and others automatically conclude, and tell everyone who will listen, that our battle is lost.
Still, rather than even talk to anyone at the NRA, or at ConcealedCampus.org, the student-run organization that is the primary force behind this national movement, he talked to Toby Hoover. The one-woman show in northwest Ohio whose financially questionable organization -- and credibility -- is continually propped up by the legacy media. Here is another example of the cheerleading going on for Ms. Hoover's bankrupt argument:
College students themselves think guns on campus are a bad idea. Toledoan Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, remembers an appearance before a class of about 150 students at the University of Cincinnati. She asked their opinion about allowing students to carry guns. All but "a handful" were opposed, she said. What about professors, she asked. This time the response was unanimous: no way. There was nervous laughter but a point was made.
And have you talked to students who have been on campuses where there were shootings, Mr. Walton? Have you talked to students who wore empty holsters a few different times on college campuses to protest their inability to protect themselves on wide-open campuses that are ripe for violence by thugs who know the kids cannot fight back? Did you bother to contact students at Virginia Tech, or in Dekalb, or in New Orleans who support CampusConcealed.org, and get their view?
No, Mr. Walton, the battle isn't being lost. It is only just beginning. For just as the Second Amendment rights of Americans were incrementally taken away over a period of decades, they are incrementally being won back. Legislatively, and in the courts. Reform of antiquated, ineffective gun control regulations is happening everywhere. Take a look around.
All the cute little sound bytes and emotional anecdotes you wove into your column will not stop the next attack. But a coed, trained and armed, might make the difference between the life and death of your child, or grandchild, on a college campus.
And THAT is worth talking about.
Brent Greer is a long-time civil rights activist in Ohio. A former newspaper reporter, editor, columnist and PR practitioner, Mr. Greer is currently the elected Secretary (and a past chairman) of Peoples Rights Organization (www.peoplesrights.org). He blogs at The Ready Line.