The Vermont Cynic

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Campus should allow for Second Amendment rights


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We have seen in our nation’s past the deadly failures of gun-free policies.

Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Aurora movie theater, Pulse nightclub, and Virginia Tech were all areas in which the carrying of firearms was prohibited, and mass carnage ensued.

Since those intent on inflicting mass casualties are not deterred by a gun-free zone sign posted on a front door, it is time that policies restricting the possession of firearms on college campuses be rescinded in the name of public safety.

Here at UVM, the possession of any weapons other than pepper spray or knives under three inches is prohibited by University policy, unless one obtains the permission of the chief of police.

I fail to see how a public university such as UVM has the authority to place restrictions on the possession of firearms. The state of Vermont allows the carrying of firearms in public, and that policy should apply to all public lands, including UVM.

Public universities should not get special exemptions from the law.

The University cannot censor this newspaper or my words due to First Amendment protections.

It cannot prohibit me from peaceably assembling or from practicing my religion on campus. Why is it able to single out the Second Amendment as the one constitutional right it gets to disregard?

One might respond with concerns about public safety.

Opponents of campus carry bring up concerns of students engaging in violent acts and of accidental discharges. These are valid concerns that must be taken into account.

Claims regarding licensed students intentionally shooting each other are unfounded in states that allow campus carry.

Of the states mandating that public universities allow concealed carry, there have been no firearm-related acts of violence carried out by licensed concealed carriers on college campuses.

However, there have been five reported accidental discharges at universities by either students or staff that occurred shortly after the enactment of campus carry, none of which resulted in life-threatening injury.

Accidental discharges are serious, and appropriate action should be taken on an individual basis. An entire group of people should not be stripped of the right to self defense due to the negligence of a few.

When examining public policies such as campus carry, it is essential to disregard emotions and rely solely on empirical evidence.

Based on the facts, it is evident that gun-free zone policies are utter failures nationwide, these policies have cost many lives, and that concealed carriers are not a danger to public safety.

Many of you will disagree with me when I argue that guns should be allowed on campus. However, I want you to weigh the following options you have if you ever are faced with an act of violence.

You can hide and pray the police get there in time, you can try to pepper spray an attacker or use a knife under three inches for protection, or a law abiding concealed carrier sitting in class with you can help neutralize a threat.

God forbid the unthinkable were to ever happen here, I presume you will be wishing you had more effective means of defending yourself.

I acknowledge that a violent tragedy at UVM is unlikely to happen. However, I still wear my seatbelt despite the small chance I get into a serious accident. I still have insurance on my house despite the small chance that it gets destroyed.

I don’t expect to be faced with an act of violence, but
in the event that I am, I don’t want to be disarmed by misguided policies and suffer the consequences as a result.

As the saying goes, if you ever need a parachute and don’t have one, let’s just say you’ll probably never need one again.


5 Responses to “Campus should allow for Second Amendment rights”

  1. John Klar on March 24th, 2017 3:54 pm

    Well said! Millions of Americans own guns responsibly, and attackers seek out targets where they know guns are prohibited — an armed populace is the best deterrent to would-be mass-murderers. And I question the legality, as well as the wisdom, of a state institution prohibiting the exercise of a Constitutionally-shielded right such as that clearly ensconced in the Second Amendment. Will UVM ban abortions too?

  2. Barry Hirsh on March 25th, 2017 12:23 pm

    Well said.

    But it won’t bring the psychotically paranoid to Jesus. They are, after all, psychotic….

  3. Rich.... on March 25th, 2017 1:07 pm

    mindless gun-free zones are what mass shootings have in common. They are killing zones, free from good guys with guns. That’s why the Aurora movie theater killer chose the more distant theater where guns were not allowed and thus where he wouldn’t have to worry about his plan being foiled.

  4. Jim Macklin on March 28th, 2017 12:57 am

    Gun free zone are as silly as Ivory Towers. Public Schools have ceased any actual firearms safety training or training in the details of lawful use of force [aka self-defense]. I guess that they want more accidental discharges, leaving training to Hollywood movies. The NRA is demonized because they actually teach firearm safety, proper use including self-defense.
    Public schools punish any thought of self-defesne.
    It is an insane world that expects teh insane or the terrorist to obey a law that provides unarmed victims for their cause.

  5. stephen on March 28th, 2017 12:28 pm

    A 23 year old son of a homeowner shot and killed three teenage intruders entering his house in Oklahoma yesterday afternoon. The teenagers were attempting a robbery. The shooter and robbers exchanged words and the shooter opened fire. Two of the teens died on the spot and the third dropped dead in the driveway of the family home. Two of the teens were armed, one had a knife the other a set of brass knuckles. The son of the homeowner had an assault rifle, an AR-15, the same type rifle used by the Oklahoma City Police.

    ‘The fatal shootings could be viewed by prosecutors as falling under Oklahoma’s “Make My Day” law, which says a resident has the right to use deadly force if an intruder has entered or is in the process of entering the resident’s home.’ -TulsaWorld

    I think every UVM student should carry a weapon at all times, just like a laptop. In fact, the University should be obligated as a public institution to insure the safety of its students, and there is no better way than if everyone is armed at all times. The University should upon full payment of tuition, issue every incoming freshman a sidearm. The rapes, physical assaults, and thefts would be reduced to zero. Professors should also be required to ‘Constitutionally Carry.’ That way, any disputes over grades would have both parties on equal footing.
    What could go wrong?

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Campus should allow for Second Amendment rights