Students for Concealed Carry argue against gun ban

Column by David Burnett. E-mail [email protected].

I was awoken from a sound sleep twice in the last week by my phone ringing.

No, it wasn’t someone needing a ride…it was UK’s emergency text alert system, notifying me of armed robberies on campus.

I should probably unsubscribe, since I graduated more than a year ago. But it so happens the issue of campus safety is still important to me. (That, plus I don’t know how to unsubscribe.)

There were two other notifications this week, bringing the total number of armed robbery reports on campus to five. Five armed robberies. For those of you who already feel like this semester will never end, classes haven’t even been in session for a month.

Naturally, I’m very disturbed to hear this, and not just because I’m woken up at all hours of the night. It’s disturbing because it shows that illiteracy is still alive and well in this country.

It’s spelled out in black and white in the student handbook that guns aren’t allowed anywhere on campus. The ban exists courtesy of your benevolent administrators for your protection. Now that we’ve had five armed robberies in two weeks, it’s becoming clear the administration’s current measures aren’t enough.

It’s time the university invests in more brightly-colored signs to properly warn offenders that carrying guns on campus is against policy. (I’m sure it will work just as well as the no-smoking signs!) While we’re at it, we might want to add a footnote to the sign reminding readers that armed robbery is also against the law. And, we should probably spend money on educating the criminal class so they can read these signs.

Failing increased signage to boost security, we need to ask ourselves what we need to do to protect the campus.

How far are we willing to go to guarantee safety? If we were dead-serious about keeping armed bad guys off campus, we’d have security checkpoints. UK will never do this; the federal government spends about $7 billion securing roughly 600 commercial airports — about $12 million per airport. In short, it costs too much to guarantee your safety. (That, and no student wants to get patted down and screened on her way to a communications class, even if it would make a great excuse for being late.)

So failing that, chew on this for a minute. If you’re a criminal, are the current security measures really going to stop you? Will it really threaten you if the 50 officers of the UK police increase patrols of the 700 acre campus? Are you really never going to be able to find another student walking alone?

One of these robberies took place in the parking lot of Commonwealth Stadium. That’s the same lot where last year, a young graduate student had his legally-owned firearm confiscated and was fired for having a gun locked in his car while he worked in the hospital emergency room. (The college graciously continued to accept his tuition money.)

Just exactly who are we protecting here? If you’re a criminal, and you knew there was a chance your next victim would be armed, how much would that scare you?

If the state allows someone to carry a gun, then they trust them to act properly. The same people could get into fights, get smoked on drugs or get their guns stolen and used against them. I’ve heard all those arguments before. Reality doesn’t match those fears. Thousands of other legally-armed citizens (myself included) carry concealed firearms every day for protection.

Most of us don’t have to use them, but just like a seat belt, it’s there if we need it. Additionally, the knowledge that victims could fight back is a powerful deterrent to crime. At UK no such deterrent exists because criminals know the law-abiding population is dutifully disarmed.

I understand the university has a tough job balancing budget and safety. It’s a balance everyone has to find in life. I don’t expect the college to take full responsibility for our safety.

I do expect them to let me take responsibility for mine. Until they can guarantee I am safe, they must not be allowed to stop me from doing everything the law allows to protect myself.