This OSU student understands what too few state legislators do: It's time to allow CCW on campus

A recent spate of crime on the campus The Ohio State University has brought the question of campus security once again to the forefront. And a letter to the editor of the OSU Lantern reveals that at least one college student has a better grasp on the problem than many legislators who spend their time just down the road from his campus.

Guns on campus necessary for safety

My thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the recent violence on our campus.

Events on our Ohio State campus over the last couple weeks — two alleged sexual assaults, one alleged physical assault, and now an alleged shooting resulting in the murder of at least one and the hospitalization of at least two — demonstrate that something more must be done to ensure the safety of everyone who sets foot on the campus.

We can set up all of the blue lights that we want, promote the student escort service endlessly, tell people to walk in groups, screen people for psychological disorders and employ more police officers — all fine ideas — but the fact would remain that we are vulnerable on our campus.

This is not to knock anyones effort's to improve security, and I am certainly not giving our OSU Police anything less than the full admiration that they deserve, but we could hire 10 times as many police officers and they still wouldn't be able to be everywhere at all times.

We would still be vulnerable. This is because OSU does not allow its law-abiding students and employees to carry a concealed weapon, even after the extensive background check, training, and certification that is required in order to obtain a concealed carry permit.

We have, for all intents and purposes, set our campus up as a target for crimes, because criminals know that, by law, the victims that they prey upon here cannot be armed in order to defend themselves. The area where it is legal to carry a weapon to defend yourself stops before the campus border, making you instantly more vulnerable once you cross High Street.

Here is my point — we should not be legally mandating the defenselessness of our students on this campus. We should be given the choice, the option, the freedom to responsibly carry a weapon and defend ourselves if necessary. Women should not fear a sexual assault on this campus. Students should not fear a gunman opening fire on a crowded classroom. Employees — staff, administration, faculty — should not fear disgruntled workers taking out their anger on them.

This is not to say that allowing concealed carry will guarantee our safety — nothing can absolutely guarantee it — and I am not claiming that concealed carry would have prevented all of the recent crimes, but the more reasonable steps that we can take against potential criminals the better. Every option, including concealed carry, should be on the table. We should all have the right to protect ourselves from these situations.

The sooner we get past the political correctness and the squeamishness about guns, the sooner that we fix this, the better. Bigger things than our comfort level are at stake because, as the past couple weeks have shown (and as the much worse school shootings at places like Virginia Tech should constantly remind us), people's safety and people's lives are literally at stake.

Jerry Dunleavy
Senior in Psychology, political science, security and intelligence

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