2 October 2012
To Conceal or Not to Conceal
On October 22, 2007 Amanda Collins was walking back to her car after a late night midterm at the University of Nevada, Reno. You would think that having a second degree black belt in tae kwon do would give you the idea that you could handle yourself in a difficult situation. Unless that difficult situation happens to be a six foot man with a gun pointed at your head. Amanda Collins was raped that night and there was no way she could defend herself even with a black belt in tae kwon do. How could something like this have been prevented? Amanda had acquired a concealed carry permit for her gun, but the University of Nevada had not allowed concealed weapons to be carried on campus. This entire predicament could have been averted had Collins been allowed to carry her gun onto campus to defend herself when the need arose. So what needs to change in order to prevent crimes like this on other college campuses? I believe that college campuses would be safer and better prepared to prevent crimes by allowing students, faculty and administration to carry concealed weapons. By allowing concealed weapons onto campus, it will provide a way for students to defend themselves from attacks and it will help prevent crimes such as Amanda Collins’s.
By not allowing students and other campus attendees to carry concealed weapons on campus is in violation of the Second Amendment of the Constitution which states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. The Second Amendment allows everyone the right to have guns. Some claim that this right of having guns is only connected with you having to be in a militia. In 2008 it was decided by the Supreme Court, in the court case known as District of Columbia v. Heller, that “the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia” and to “possess a gun in the home for self defense” (Kiehl 1173). With the dangers surrounding the possibilities of attacks at college campuses, we should be able to defend ourselves more than just at home. Criminals are not the ones who follow the laws, law abiding citizens do. So how can the law abiding citizens defend themselves from a criminal gunman who is not in their home? In response to the Virginia Tech shooting, Michael Guzman, a former Marine, said “It just hit me how desensitized my generation has become about such a horrific thing and how defenseless I would be if something like that happened at my school" (Jost). People need to be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus so they can defend themselves. John Adams perhaps said it best when he stated, “resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would” (Adams 438).
The benefits of having concealed weapons on campus are numerous. The students and faculty will be able to defend themselves in any attempt another gunman might make at a college campus. The Department of Education reported that “from 2005 to 2007, more than 100 murders, 16,000 assaults and 10,000 forcible sexual assaults were reported on college campuses – amounting to an average of more than nine sexual assaults a day” (Department of Education). And those are only the ones that are reported. There may be more assaults and rapes than we know about. Students and faculty are very vulnerable on college campuses by not having very practical ways of defending themselves. David Burnett, head and founder of the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus foundation says that “when colleges deny students of the constitutional rights to carry firearms, they create ‘defense free’ zones, where evil can prey with...