Debating Campus Carry in the Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
Ohio State University is still reeling from the attack last week. A terrorist followed the Islamic State playbook as he drove his car into a crowd of students and slashed others with a knife — 12 people were injured. Fortunately, a campus police officer was able to shoot the attacker in a record time of less than two minutes.
University President Michael Drake took this as evidence that only campus police should be armed on campus. Police are very important, but they virtually always arrive after the attack has occurred and they have an extremely difficult job stopping terrorists — having a uniform is often akin to wearing a neon sign saying "shoot me first."
This latest attack raises a fundamental question: Would you feel safer posting a sign announcing your home is a gun-free zone? Criminals don’t obey these signs. In fact, to criminals, gun-free zones look like easy targets. So why do we display these signs in public places?
Some in the Ohio legislature are considering whether to lift the statewide ban on permitted concealed handguns at universities. Opponents’ fears over this are exactly the same as their fears about the original permitted concealed-handgun law, and they are just as wrong.
Today, 12 states have laws mandating that public college campuses allow permitted concealed handguns. An additional 21 states leave it up to the university. Prior to the early 1990s, states allowing concealed handguns didn’t have legal restrictions, and there weren’t any problems on school property.The rest of the piece is available here.
Permit holders are extremely law-abiding, committing any type of firearms-related violation at at a rate of just thousandths of one percentage point, and most violations are trivial. A study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that college-age permit holders in Michigan, Nevada, and Texas are at least as responsible as older permit holders. . . .