Another tragic school shooting took place last week at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The shooter, who was later identified as 26-year-0ld Chris Harper Mercer, open fired around 10:40 A.M., killing nine and wounding another nine people before exchanging fire with police and eventually committing suicide. Though more information has been uncovered since the attack, the motives of the shooter are still uncertain.
In typical liberal fashion, President Obama and his drones exploited the tragedy before the bodies of the dead were even cold. According to an article in The Hill, Obama’s press secretary Josh Earnest released a statement within hours of the event to rally support for gun control:
Earnest said the “vast majority of Americans” support stricter gun laws, including closing the so-called gun-show loophole. But he said Obama is “realistic” about the dim prospects of congressional action on gun control.“The president has been quite candid about how this is and has been a source of frustration for him,” he said.“It has at all not been lowered at all on the priority scale, but at the same time the president is realistic that we’ll need to see a fundamental change” about how the public presses for action.
Gun control advocates also took to Twitter following the tragic shooting:
— Josh Nelson (@josh_nelson) October 1, 2015
Owning a gun is an act of cowardice. To keep them legal is an act of cowardice. No more guns. No more. #UCCShooting
— Lucas Neff (@RealLucasNeff) October 1, 2015
— Anna (@annahcav) October 1, 2015
Don’t know how many innocent lives need to be taken before they realise guns are a ridiculous idea and do not protect anyone #UCCShooting
— Tuff (@JoeTuffin) October 1, 2015
And don’t anyone dare tell me those tragically killed today would have been safe if they’d only been armed. I’m so done. #uccshooting
— Dr. Seema Yasmin (@DoctorYasmin) October 1, 2015
What people fail to realize, especially after a tragedy like this, is that guns are NOT the issue. Even if extremely stringent gun laws like those in Great Britain are passed, criminals will still find ways to commit violent acts. After Great Britain banned all guns, their violent crime rate skyrocketed to levels exponentially higher than the United States. In 2009, 12 years after the gun ban was passed, the Daily Mail reported that:
The UK has the second highest overall crime rate in the EU. It has a higher homicide rate than most of our western European neighbors, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The UK has the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU.
It has the fourth highest burglary rate and the highest absolute number of burglaries in the EU, with double the number of offenses than recorded in Germany and France
Great Britain has 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, compared to 466 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in the United States. Great Britain also has a homicide rate of 1.49 per 100,000 residents, and has 523 burglaries per 100,000 residents. Criminals in Great Britain are more likely to commit crimes, likely because they know they won’t face immediate armed resistance. In short, gun control simply does not curb violence.
How, then, do we make our schools safer? We empower students to defend themselves: students should be able to arm themselves if they so choose.
In one of my previous articles, I went into depth about gun free zones. Gun free zones contribute to the problem, but abolishing them will only solve part of the issue of violence. The other change that must occur is the allowance of concealed carry on campuses.
Mass shooters choose schools both because they know that there are many innocent victims there and because they will not face immediate armed resistance. It is publicly known that the average police response is at least 10 minutes, enough time for a gunman to get in the school, unleash carnage, and get out. However, if it is well known and advertised that students on certain campuses are trained and armed, shooters will more than likely choose not to shoot up that campus. Plain and simple.
Some may look at college kids and assume that all are irresponsible and should not be able to own a gun. While these concerns may be viable for some students, other students that prove they are worthy of a concealed carry permit should be allowed to exercise their permit on campus. As my colleague Bethany Bowra put it in one of her pieces on the subject: “If the state deems [a] student responsible enough to own a gun outside of their campus, they should be trusted to act with the same responsibility while on campus.”
According to NCSL.org, there are seven states that “have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public post-secondary campuses,” those states being Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin. However, Utah “remains the only state to have statute specifically naming public colleges and universities as public entities that do not have the authority to ban concealed carry, and thus, all 10 public institutions in Utah allow concealed weapons on their property.”
It’s time to empower students, not endanger them. It’s time to allow concealed carry on campuses across America. If we as a nation truly want to see the trend of mass shootings end, we must allow students to defend themselves.