A girl on the commentary staff of The Cowl (the paper I write for at school) recently wrote an article decrying the idea of concealed carry permits on campus. She questioned the rationale behind allowing concealed carry on campus, and she said that she did not believe that another person with a gun would have been able to stop school shootings, and that this “only works in theory.” I believe that she is dead wrong, and that concealed carry should be allowed on college campuses.
Take for instance, our neighbor to the north, Canada. Concealed carry is effectively banned in Canada, and one has to prove that their life is in danger and a gun is necessary to carry one. Quebec and Ontario both have very strict gun control laws.
In 1989, Marc Lépine was angry with regards to the concept of female engineers and decided to use a gun to back up his anger. He entered the École Polytechnique, the engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal, and proceeded to kill 14 women (mostly female engineering students) and injured 10 others before shooting himself. Nobody had a gun to fight back, and there were even reports of male students fleeing the classrooms, leaving the females to their deaths.
Montreal was also the location of the shootings at Concordia University and Dawson College in 1992 and 2006, respectively. Quebec’s gun control laws ensured that the only person with a gun at Dawson College, Concordia University, and École Polytechnique was a person who planned on killing college students. Twenty people are dead as a result of gun control.
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered Columbine High School armed with several guns and numerous explosives. They killed 12 students and one teacher, before killing themselves in their cafeteria, after armed SWAT teams showed up. Nobody in the school had a gun to stop them. The SWAT team arrived far too late for the 13 victims.
Recently at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, T.J. Lane wandered into the cafeteria with a gun and proceeded to shoot six students before being tackled by an incredibly brave teacher. Again, nobody had a gun to stop him. Three people died and three others were injured in this tragic, senseless act of violence.
Columbine High School and Chardon High School are “gun-free” zones. Sixteen people are dead because there was nobody armed with a gun to protect them.
In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a student at Virginia Tech, went on a shooting rampage that killed 32 people and injured 25 others before killing himself. Nobody had a gun to stop him, and he was able to enter classrooms full of students who were essentially sitting ducks. All of the people killed in the attack had at least three gunshot wounds. He had time to re-load his gun and move on to other classrooms. That’s absolutely mind boggling. Virginia Tech had a gun-free “safe zone” policy that basically ensured nobody but Cho had a gun on campus. 33 people are dead as a result.
Now, let’s examine the “theory” that the presence of a gun will end shootings:
In 2002, Peter Odighizuwa, a former student at the Appalachian School of Law, opened fire in an academic building on campus. It should be noted that Appalachian School of Law is not a “gun-free safe zone.” After hearing gunfire, two students ran to their cars to retrieve their guns. Seeing armed students coming at him, Odighizuwa then dropped his weapon, and other students tackled him to the ground. Three people died.
In 1997, Luke Woodham brought a gun to Pearl High School, a “gun-free” zone, after stabbing his mother to death at home. He proceeded to kill his former girlfriend and another girl. He also wounded seven other people. Woodham got in his car, planning to continue his shooting at another gun-free zone, Pearl Junior High School. Thankfully, the assistant principal of Pearl High School carried a gun in his car, which he then proceeded to threaten Woodhead with, ending the shooting spree. Two people died.
In 2001, Charles Andrew Williams took his father’s .22 caliber revolver from his house and brought it to Santana High School, killing two people and wounding 12 others. Williams had reportedly said weeks before that he was going to, “pull a Columbine.” Williams shot two students in a bathroom, and then left to shoot randomly at other students. Williams had the time to reload his revolver multiple times. Unarmed school officials, including a “campus security supervisor” responded to the shooting by attempting to talk Williams down. Williams then proceeded to shoot the “campus security supervisor” five times. An off-duty police officer was at the school at the time registering his daughter, and a Sheriff’s deputy was two blocks away responding to a traffic stop at the time the shooting began. Both had guns. The two men, plus an additional second deputy who had arrived, drew their weapons and proceeded to subdue Williams in the bathroom where the shootings began, which kept him from killing anyone else until more armed police officers could arrive. Williams’ killing spree was ended before it could reach Columbine levels thanks to men with guns.
The original commentary article is even more upsetting when one considers that it was written by a woman. Approximately 11% of rapes involve the use of a weapon, whether it is a gun, knife, or something else.
Honey, if a man is coming at you with a weapon with the intent to rape you (or worse) the self-defense techniques taught at Providence College, which include how to properly fall down, won’t actually protect you. A gun will. Providence College is located in an urban environment, and there are a handful of crime reports involving guns each year. I don’t want the only people around campus with guns to be criminals.
Guns save lives. Concealed carry saves lives. Gun-free zones, on the other hand, turn people into easy targets. I’m not okay with that. I don’t want the only person on campus with a gun to be a person who plans on killing me or any of my friends. Sadly, that is far too often the case.