In an era where school shootings are on the rise and seemingly the only proposed solution involves a large restriction upon the right to bear arms, Second Amendment supporters are pushing for something different: allowing students to conceal firearms on college campuses. A right already guaranteed in various states, it is a practical idea that avoids the dangerous precedents set by other solutions.
The idea is not new to the country. As many as ten states across the nation have a law on the books that allow for some form of “campus carry.” In many others, there is no law specifically banning it. These states have seen no negative impact of allowing students to conceal firearms on campus. However, universities across the state and nation have adopted the policy of expelling or firing any student or university employee caught concealing a firearm on campus.
The standard approach of banning guns sets a dangerous course that should worry even the left. Under current regulations, there is no credible law to prohibit firearms on campus. Every other right enumerated in the Bill of Rights has been incorporated on college campus using the Supreme Court Case Tinker v. Des Moines, with the exception of the Second Amendment.
Incorporation is either all or nothing. Why should an unelected body be able to tell us what rights we are entitled to and what rights we are not entitled? Without any rational reasoning for universities to take away the right to bear arms, there is no precedent stopping universities from requiring students to house police in their dorms, taking Due Process away, or, worse yet, censoring speech on college campuses.
Ironically enough, individual rights activists groups like the ACLU and others have largely been silent on this issue because it does not fit their narrative.
One of the largest criticisms facing the campus carry movement is that a valid concealed weapons permit holder has never stopped a school shooting. This is true. However, what the left doesn’t tell you is that valid concealed weapons permit are less likely to commit a felony than a police officer, yet the left continues to argue that permit holders cannot be trusted.
According to the Director of the Office of Student Conduct at West Virginia University, there has never been a student prosecuted for carry a concealed firearm on campus as of the Spring 2018 semester. West Virginia University is bound to not be alone in this analysis. The question becomes, are the current laws even enforceable?
The idea behind concealing a firearm is to ensure that people do not know that you have a firearm. It is nearly impossible to catch a person on campus concealing a firearm because it is just that— concealed.
Instead of permitting students the basic human right of protection, colleges across the nation are impeding students’ ability to protect themselves against legitimate threats. Opponents of campus carry argue that college campuses are inundated with drugs, alcohol, and students with psychological conditions that would make firearms on campus that much more dangerous. However, those issues are not isolated to just campus. Those issues are still present, if not more common, after leaving campus property.
With school shootings on the rise and no real solution being suggested by the left that has the ability to save lives, campus carry is an important state-level policy issue. All arguments that suggest it will increase the threat on campus are invalid, and its implementation would cost nothing.
The nation needs a legitimate solution to the school-shooting issue plaguing the nation. Campus Carry is the solution to the problem worth trying.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.