Student Group Advocates Concealed Weapons

    Dear Editor:

    Guardian senior staff writer Hadley Mendoza’s Feb. 24
    article “Students Should Say Farewell, Not Hello, to Arms” exhibits a
    disconcerting lack of understanding of the aim and purpose of organizations
    like Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

    SCCC simply proposes allowing the same trained, licensed
    individuals, ages 21 and above, currently permitted in 39 states to carry
    concealed handguns in virtually all other unsecured locations (anywhere without
    metal detectors), to carry concealed handguns on college campuses. Why should
    anyone assume that the same individuals who, on a daily basis, carry concealed
    handguns without incident at office buildings, movie theaters, grocery stores,
    shopping malls, churches, banks, etc., would show any less discretion or sound
    judgment while carrying concealed handguns on college campuses?

    Contrary to Mendoza’s
    claims, nobody suggests allowing all students to carry guns. In most “right to
    carry” states, the rate of “concealed carry” is about 1 percent. That means
    that only one person out of 100 is licensed to carry a concealed handgun. That
    fact alone negates Mendoza’s
    comments about filling lecture halls with “well-meaning, gun-toting” students.

    Mendoza’s
    argument that allowing concealed carry on college campuses might lead to an
    increase in suicides is also without merit. Japan
    has a suicide rate that is more than double the U.S.
    rate, despite Japan’s
    virtual prohibition on the civilian ownership of firearms. Clearly, the
    availability of guns is not the determining factor in whether a person will
    commit suicide. None of the schools in Utah,
    Colorado or Virginia
    that currently allow concealed carry on campus have experienced any resulting
    suicides. In fact, after allowing concealed carry on campus for a combined
    total of more than 60 semesters, none of these schools have seen any resulting
    incidents of gun violence, gun accidents or gun thefts.

    Nobody is suggesting
    that allowing concealed carry on campus is a panacea or magic bullet that will
    stop violence on college campuses. SCCC simply proposes that it is one of many
    steps that can be taken to mitigate school violence. Reaction and prevention
    are not mutually exclusive. Allowing concealed carry on college campuses would
    take the advantage away from dangerous criminals who have no regard for school
    policy or state law.

    — W. Scott Lewis

    Media Coordinator,

    Students for Concealed Carry on Campus

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