Rapes and robberies on Ohio college campuses highlight fallacy of "no-guns" zones

Recent incidents of violence on two of Ohio's largest college campuses are once again drawing attention to the plight of our state's defenseless college students.

On the campus of The Ohio State University, The Lantern is reporting that University Police issued a public safety notice regarding a reported rape in an on-campus residence hall.

From the article:

Recent information about the rape, which allegedly happened in “the early morning hours” of Jan. 25, and the suspect – who reportedly returned to the residence hall – caused police officers to believe there is a “continuing threat,” the notice read.

The suspect was described by witnesses as a black man with a “wide” build, between 18 and 20 years old and standing between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 9 inches. He has short, black hair and a lighter, pockmarked complexion, with scars “over most of his face,” including a possible scar over an eyebrow, and was last seen wearing a Cincinnati Bengals sweatshirt, according to the notice.

It is unknown whether the suspect is an OSU affiliate, University Police Chief Paul Denton said Friday. The suspect’s return to the residence hall was not this week, but Denton said the forensics reports from the initial incident came back this week, which was partly what led to the decision to release a public safety notice.

According to the article, five rapes have been reported on OSU’s campus since the start of the academic year, all of which are listed as “investigation pending” on the University Police daily log.

Meanwhile, a bit farther south, police are investigating a series of armed robberies of students near the campus of University of Cincinnati.

From WCPO (ABC Cincinnati):

At least four University of Cincinnati students have been robbed in the past 24 hours.

Police said the latest armed robbery happened at about 8 p.m. Wednesday night Ohio Avenue and Parker Street.

Officers said the student was jogging when he was robbed at gunpoint by two people. The robbers took the student’s cellphone.

The first robber was described as a black male in his late teens. He was described as 5 feet 8 inches tall with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants, and armed with a handgun.

The victim was not able to describe the second robber.

Three other students were robbed Tuesday night.

Police said one student was robbed at gunpoint in the 3200 block of Vine Street.

Shortly thereafter, two more students were robbed near Brookline and Jefferson avenues.

Investigators said they are unsure if the robberies are related.

In the first two incidents, police said they are looking for a heavyset black man, described as about 25 years old, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.

Ohio law prohibits persons licensed to carry a concealed handgun from taking a gun on campus, other than to store it in their parked car. Thus the many university students who live off campus and walk to class are forced to be defenseless victims as they walk to class through the dangerous urban neighborhoods that surround the campus.

Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Maag's House Bill 231, which would allow college campuses to permit concealed guns on their campuses if they choose to, languishes in committee.

Why does the state of Ohio refuse to recognize the needs of college students to protect themselves? Why is the life of an 21-year-old college student on a campus like OSU's or UC's any less valuable and in need of protection than when she is off-campus? Why are 18-year-olds any less trusted with firearms on college campuses than they are when serving in our armed forces?

This gun control policy continues to result in students being victimized both on and off-campus, and should be repealed immediately.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, and BFA PAC Vice Chairman.

Additional Information:

The Cruelty of Gun-Free Zones

Law enforcement recognizes that gun-free zones leave shooting victims defenseless.

By John R. Lott Jr.

Related Articles:

Ohio State University shooting proves need for concealed carry on campus

Six Ohio State students victimized in violent robberies, five at gunpoint [UPDATE: Again...so make that seven, six at gunpoint]

Victim of an on-campus rape publicly shares the story of her horrific attack, fights to overturn campus carry bans

Education: the key to fighting ignorance in the concealed carry on campus debate

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

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

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More Ohio State students robbed at gunpoint; Buckeye state continues to enforce campus victim zones

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College campuses have never been and never will be Gun Free Zones: It's time to trust the students

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