Some things are simply impossible to comprehend. “Gun Free Zones” are a perfect example. That any reasoning person could actually believe that a sign prohibiting the carrying of weapons, whether at a government office, a school, or a private business, will somehow cause a homicidal maniac (or a garden variety armed robber) to suddenly rethink their plans is almost laughable.
Yet the push for restricting the rights of gun owners, especially those of us who carry for self-defense, continues. The reason is simple. Having failed to prevent the passage of carry laws in state after state, the fallback strategy of the gun-phobic activists has evolved to enacting as many ridiculous restrictions as possible, just as happened in Chicago and D.C. after the Heller and McDonald decisions.
The locations where lawfully armed Americans are prohibited from carrying are different in every state. Some ban carry in government buildings, at sporting events, or in other public venues. Nearly all states prohibit carry by anyone other than law enforcement personnel in public elementary and/or high schools.
However, some state legislatures have proposed laws that would allow teachers in K-12 schools to be armed, and we support those efforts. But there is also no legitimate reason on earth that any legal adult who is attending a college or university should be prevented from having access to a firearm, at least in their dormitory or campus apartment.
And if a student has a legal permit/license to carry a firearm, it is simply unconscionable that they have to give up their ability to legally defend themselves as soon as they set foot on campus. Thankfully, this view is growing.
Just last week in my newly adopted home state of Florida, a bill was approved by a Senate committee that would allow any student or teacher with a concealed weapons license to carry a firearm at state colleges and universities. As reported by CBS Miami:
“People with concealed-firearms licenses could carry guns at state colleges and universities, under a proposal narrowly approved Monday by a Senate committee.
The guns-on-campus bill (SB 176) was approved in a 3-2 party line vote by the Republican-controlled Senate Criminal Justice Committee. It would lift a longstanding ban on carrying concealed weapons on campuses.”
In addition, there was this interesting tidbit:
“Meanwhile, people without concealed-firearms licenses could carry weapons during emergency evacuation orders, under a separate measure backed by the committee.”
No surprise, there were arguments against the measures. Some were downright silly:
“Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, argued that the proposal would allow ‘mini-militias’ to form on the state’s campuses.”
Other objections defied logic. Professor Marjorie Sanfilippo, a professor of psychology, called the bill “dangerous,” making the following inane assertion:
“Proponents will tell you that allowing conceal carry will protect female students from sexual assault. I will point out the obvious; you’ll be arming the assailants, too.”
I would point out to Ms. Sanfilippo what should be glaringly obvious to anyone: violent assailants will be armed regardless of any law or regulation. That she does not understand this reality is emblematic of the stupidity that currently reigns supreme in academia.
Finally, whether you have kids in college or not, support such initiatives in your state. If no such effort is currently underway, work with your local gun rights groups to start one. After all, no one’s child should be left defenseless. “Carry on Campus” is long overdue.