Abduction and robberies at or near Ohio campuses exposes need to lift concealed carry ban

By Gerard Valentino

Another wave of armed robberies put Columbus college students at risk yet again due to the archaic ban on legal concealed carry on campus. As a result, students are easy pickings for criminals looking for a sure thing.

In this case, one student from Capitol University in Bexley was robbed and two different students at Ohio State were targeted. One student was kidnapped from the OSU campus at gunpoint and taken to an ATM to get cash for his attackers. Luckily, none of the students were harmed. An employee at a UniPrint store on the OSU campus, however, wasn't so fortunate. Two armed suspects, both described as black males wearing ski masks, forcefully entered the store before it had opened (bypassing the "no-guns" signs prominently displayed on the front doors) and pistol-whipped the employee.

(See news coverage here and here and here.)

Once again, Ohio's ban on concealed carry on campus left several college students at the whim of armed thugs. To think armed robbers don't know that students are disarmed because of our current concealed carry law is laughable. Of course armed robbers know where to go in order to find unarmed victims.

Criminals are cowards despite their bravado and willingness to wave a weapon in people's faces. Only a coward bullies innocent people and takes things that don't belong to them. Most of us grew out of that behavior by the time we left the sixth grade. Thugs, however, make a lifetime out of picking on the weak and survive by creating misery for the innocent.

Oddly enough, there are only two professions that thrive on the misery of others: criminals, who pick easy targets, and gun control activists, who use tragedy to push their illogical agenda on America.

The problem is the latter have largely succeeded in keeping legal concealed carry out of schools at all levels, leading to the very tragedy they then exploit.

It's as if they know a tragedy at a school will stir up emotion and they can use such tragedy to gain an advantage in the debate over guns. After all, we know if they cared about saving lives they would put their time to better use since kids are more likely to drown, or die in a car accident than through gun violence or accidents.

In other areas concealed carry advocates have made in-roads and eliminated victim zones that disarmed law-abiding citizens where they truly need a gun for self-defense. Several states have recently lifted the ban on concealed carry in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol without any subsequent threat to public safety.

That was largely thought to be a place where gun advocates could never get a ban on concealed carry lifted – yet it is happening.

Schools are next on the list, and it is imperative for the safety of our children that legal concealed carry is allowed there. All of the arguments against concealed carry have proven to be red herrings, and the same is true of bans on carrying in schools. Students who take the time to get a concealed carry permit aren't going to shoot each other during debates, and aren't going to shoot each other in the lunch line in their college cafeteria - just like their parents didn't shoot each other over the last parking spot at Wal-Mart during the Christmas shopping crunch once they started carrying guns.

The simple fact is we are leaving college students, and students in general, at the whim of armed robbers, spree killers and thugs over an emotional based argument that ban guns in schools and on college campuses.

Until that ban is lifted, those that stand in opposition have the blood of countless victims on their hands. They can't claim concealed carry won't work on campus since it works perfectly everywhere else.

To ignore the mandate to let our college students take advantage of Ohio's concealed carry laws is irresponsible. Now is the time to lift Ohio's ban on concealed carry on campus - otherwise we are asking for the next Virginia Tech or Columbine to happen in Ohio.

If we don't act, it will happen here, and ultimately that makes us all responsible.

Gerard Valentino is Buckeye Firearms Foundation Treasurer, and author of the Valentino Chronicles (paperback) now available through Amazon.com.

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