Concealed carry banned on college campuses: Increased safety or death sentence?

by Stacey Hess

What was once the subject matter of fiction is now ingrained in the minds of many as concrete history. Campus shootings and violence have become a genuine concern in the lives of students, faculty and citizens across our nation today. Only several weeks into the new year, this nightmare has already become brutal reality for various Ohio college campuses.

Over the course of two months, southweastern Ohio's Wright State University has been the target of several armed robberies and assaults. A number of incidents have occurred between campus and its neighboring off-campus housing, while others have taken place on the campus itself. Fortunately, no victims have been seriously injured in these incidents. However, who's to say the next armed robbery or assault will not be deadly?

On January 20, 2011, at 2:30 am, a female was walking outside her dorm when a male approached and asked her where she was going. When the female kept walking, the male appeared to pull an object out of his coat and yelled at the female student to walk toward him. The female student ran and called the campus police.

On January 24, 2011, at 1:15 am, a robbery occurred off-campus at the Province Apartments. The robber displayed a handgun and demanded money from the victim. The very same day, between 7:30 and 7:45pm, three separate robberies occurred off-campus in the area between the walking path from campus parking and Meadow Run Apartments. The robber displayed a handgun and demanded cash.

Most recently, on February 3, 2011, at 7:00 pm a female was walking to an on-campus dumpster when she was approached from behind by a male. The assailant stuck an unknown object in the victim's back and ordered her into a vehicle where she was then sexually assaulted.

Unfortunately, crime and violence are an ongoing battle in today's society and they are taking over our schools and college campuses at an alarming rate. How are students and faculty expected to protect themselves when concealed weapons are not permitted on campuses?

Wright State University senior, Dylan Hall, sums up the feelings and uncertainties of many when asked his opinion of the recent incidents.

"The idea that a student may need to carry a firearm on a college campus for self defense is both repulsive and necessary. However, the right and responsibility of a qualified student to defend their own well- being as well as their peers' from a gunman's fury should not be limited to areas off campus."

Although able to carry a weapon in one's vehicle on campus property, how does this restriction protect students while going between the parking lot and campus? How are students protected when walking to their off- campus residence? As Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman Chad Baus observes, the experienced criminal knows college students are leaving campus unarmed. This chilling fact makes college students a prime target for criminals.

As Hall suggested, "Perhaps the next time a class lecture is interrupted by a declarative gunshot, students should have the right to defend their lives."

Rather than sitting and waiting impotent for help to arrive, students should be granted the right to protect themselves before another school's death and injury totals make headline news.

Stacey Hess, a 28 year-old mother of two, is a senior psychology major at Wright State University.

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

Georgia college student saves 10 lives with gun; Ohio's defenseless students targeted by criminals

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