The opinion article “How ‘concealed carry’ equals concealed ignorance” by Ryan Villwock is flawed to say the least. I am a concerned K-State student that is strongly in favor of allowing concealed carry on campus.
Our college campus should be a safe environment for everyone. However, gun-free zones are a target for mass murders because there is no threat to the shooter from faculty, staff or students who are carrying a gun. The Crime Prevention Research Center indicates that in the U.S., 92 percent of mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones since 2009. Many people vividly remember the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 in which a mentally unstable shooter killed 32 people on a gun-free campus. The gunman chained doors from the inside of a science and engineering building to prevent the police from stopping him and to keep his victims from escaping. The locked doors slowed down the police response at Virginia Tech.
When time is of the essence, the police will most likely not be there to help you soon enough. If someone in the building had a concealed handgun, perhaps less innocent people would have died. I personally do not want my college campus to be the target of a mentally unstable active shooter and be the topic of CNN’s Breaking News.
The 2015 Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report for Manhattan indicates that there were 23 reported sexual assaults in 2014. This number has gone up significantly from six and eight reported sexual assaults in 2012 and 2013, respectively. What if those victims could have defended themselves with a handgun, preventing an attack? We all have seen the blue emergency phones scattered around campus that are intended to provide some type of security to students and faculty. How will a blue phone prevent you or your daughter from being mugged, assaulted or raped? Could you have been able to reach a blue phone or get your cellphone out of your pocket to make a call before you were victimized? Violent crimes happen quickly. Ponder that next time you are walking across campus after dark.
Contrary to the belief of some people, more guns do not equal more violence. It will not become, and has not become, the Wild West with shootouts being commonplace as portrayed by Hollywood movies. The FBI shows that violent crime has decreased by 14.5 percent from 2004-13. At the same time, background checks for gun sales have increased 41.2 percent over the time period of 2004-13, courtesy of the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System reports. Fox News and the Crime Prevention Research Center report the murder rate in the U.S. has decreased over the last eight years while concealed carry permits have increased by 178 percent. The facts show that when people own more guns and carry concealed handguns, society does not become a more dangerous place, but a safer one.
Contrary to an earlier opinion published by the Collegian on Nov. 8, guns are used in self-defense often. According to Dr. Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University, guns are used in self-defense situations close to 2.5 million times annually. Protecting yourself with a gun in most cases does not require shooting the criminal. The FBI reports that from 2006-10 there were less than 233 justifiable homicides committed annually by private citizens with firearms. The numbers show that guns are great deterrents to criminals without lethal force being necessary nearly 100 percent of the time.
Before you decide whether you agree with concealed carry being allowed on campus or not, look at the facts. Allowing concealed carry on campus will not turn Kansas State into a battlefront. Instead faculty, staff and students will be able to defend themselves and fellow Wildcats. The possibility that a criminal could likely encounter someone with a concealed handgun decreases the criminal’s safety and may be deterrent enough, making our college safer. Most criminals are cowards who strike only when they are sure there is no risk to themselves. If you do not support concealed carry on campus, will the blue emergency phone be able to save you?
Senior in Agronomy