Concealed weapons reduce risk, add security

In an Oct. 26 editorial, the Kernel Opinions Board stated that while they support free speech, they do not support concealed carry on campus. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus would like to thank the Kernel, as well as the university faculty, for recognizing the right to free speech.

SCCC does not advocate arming any or all students randomly. We endorse only state-recognized licensees being allowed to carry on campus. State laws permit only individuals over 21 to be licensed after an eight hour course, a written exam, a live-fire exercise, a state background check and an FBI criminal background check.

Creating a weapons-free zone is no more effective than being a drug-free zone, and is instead tantamount to creating a “defense-free zone” attractive to criminals like the men who robbed the student on Complex Drive Tuesday morning.

We’re told that the police are sufficient protection.

But the sad fact is, according to the March 6, 2006, Kernel article “Understaffed UK Police Force Spread Thin,” there is just one officer for every 580 students, not including the estimated 11,000 staff employed by the college, across 670 acres of campus.

The police force cannot possibly be expected to cover this area effectively. School shootings like Virginia Tech illustrate this poignantly; 30 of the 32 Virginia Tech victims were killed after police arrived, according to Time magazine.

SCCC respects and applauds our police force for the job it does, but recognizes its limitations. Rather than pouring more university funds into hiring two or three more officers, SCCC asserts that allowing licensed students or faculty the same privilege already granted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky would better serve as additional security against crime for a competent but not omnipresent police force.

Critics claim concealed weapons create more risks than benefits. They create imaginary scenarios of “vigilante justice” to play on emotions. The truth is that the Commonwealth recognizes this right already, with no vigilante gunplay taking place in Kentucky streets.

SCCC looks forward to continued dialogue on this matter and encourages all students to examine the facts of the issue for themselves.

David Burnett

UK Campus Coordinator for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus