Grassroots Commentary

Guns on Campus

John Longenecker · Aug. 9, 2011

I have written a great deal on guns on campus over the years. Let me summarize some of those articles here.

Repeal of gun laws would be a great stump issue for Congressional and Presidential candidates in 2012. The repeal of gun laws will begin to unwind a great many bureaucracies built on gun control theories and ought to be the first step toward smaller government.

As for guns on campus, you don’t check your civil rights at the Admissions Office. Gun control on campus is an intentional interference with the rights and property of adult students. [Including damages] Self-defense is enhanced by being armed, and gun owner adults are not nearly the aggressors they are smeared to be. Armed students on college campus works at colleges where it is affirmed.

Fearing anger during passionate debates, a rather self-accusatory statement by faculty, betrays their lack of control for the passionate and is a disgrace if such things have gotten out of hand. It is insulting to students.

Being ‘uncomfortable’ sitting next to an armed student is a silly notion if they don’t know who is armed. Concealed carry on campus won’t permit very many students to even know who is armed from who is not. The critical part is that thugs soon become aware that armed students on campus are affirmed and commonplace.

The idea that gun owners are inept is misguided smear. Trustees are more inept when they have to fork over $11 Million in settlement for their very poor and ‘watered down’ student alert system so far behind notification that the evening news broadcast it all sooner. Several students died because that student alert system wasn’t even warmed up and operating for anyone but faculty and pals. The students weren’t notified for more than an hour while Cho rampaged. The students then had nothing to protect them.

Violence prevention programs refuse to inform students of their options in practical self-defense. Virginia Tech mentions its approval of self-defense in its 2007 Report To The Governor, but this withers away into lip service when students are ejected for ‘fighting’ or other utilization of that option. Self-defense is not tolerated after all, it seems. Experts regularly extol resistance as superior to surrender for improving the odds of survival and lessening personal injury.

The deeper purpose and benefit of a ubiquitous armed student body is this: imagine one out of ten adult students knows CPR and First-aid. All Police and EMS assets on your average campus require time for the reporting party to recognize the emergency, time to process the request for aid, time to travel to the scene, and generally cannot always arrive with a life-saving response time of under four minutes. This response time was the foundation of the American Heart Association’s movement to teach citizens CPR in the seventies. Today, tens of millions in America alone know about CPR and such lay intervention is accepted worldwide.

In time of cardiac arrest or even a lesser emergency, doing nothing permits the conditions to evolve into more serious outcomes. The criminal emergency generally occurs even faster, and you have one added component over the medical emergency: you have someone who will not let you call for help.

Picture one out of ten adult college students who are armed and picture the college campus who publicizes this. The idea is to put thugs on notice and to back it all up. Trustees are not making their students safer, they are making everyone unsafer. Armed students do not intimidate their peers, they inspire confidence. They set examples. And they impeach bureaucratic self-interest.

Too many crimes of violence have occurred since Cho’s marauding of Virginia Tech and since. As if the trustees never learned anything, Annie Le was killed on the V-tech campus months after Cho had come and gone, and students continue to go missing and are never found. Indoctrination of violence prevention is proving fatal.

Violence on campus may be complex, but the solution is not. Isn’t it about time adult students participated in their own safety? The solution is not in educating trustees, but one of values. For instance, more than seventy campuses affirm the armed students and without regret. Those trustees are possessed of integrity, respect for the law, and shared values. For them, if the law says armed students, then armed students it is, and the law is not disputed. The problem is not education, it is integrity.

No, the balance of trustees who stubbornly refuse their adult students’ right to be armed are not in need of education, they are in need of instruction, and from the Attorney General if necessary.

NBC Washington.com reports [Guns on Virginia Tech illegal? Maybe not.] that attorney general Ken Cuccinelli enunciated that the University of Virginia did not have the authority to ban people from bringing guns into school facilities, as long as they have concealed carry permits. The thrust of the article was that policy is insufficient to trump state law permitting armed adults.

You need to remember that a CCW means three things; 1. the person is known to police; 2. the person has passed a background check, and; 3. the person is trained in tactics, is taught the law he or she had better observe, and other elements of reasonableness. Many gun owners take training far beyond what is required.

NBC goes on to report that trustees will be meeting with people to decide how to resist this.

Why? That would be another case of intent to defy state law affirming a civil right which would better contain violence on campus. So far, the gun bans have never worked for those beatings, rapes and abductions. They continue.

The campus is not to be thought of as the turf of the trustees. It does not belong to them. Fighter jets do not belong to their pilots. Teachers may not think of their students as their own children, they belong to their parents. The trillions under the custody, care and control of Congress is not their money.

It’s a question not of education, but of values and integrity.

Gun bans removing the student from shaping outcomes in a criminal emergency make about as much sense as banning Citizen CPR in the absence of Paramedics.

John Longenecker is author The CPR Corollary. Read more about how the armed citizen is identical to Citizen CPR in Even Safer Streets 2011 – The Second Amendment as a Mainstream Value.