Presence of guns good for defense
In response to the editorial "Guns Don't Solve Violence," which ran on March 30: Now that you have stated your opinion on the matter of concealed carry on campus, allow me to air out the facts behind the issue. While one would think that more guns on campus would lead to more accidental shootings, more violent crimes or drunken rampages, you would be wrong. It would be hard to defend the above stated arguments because it simply hasn't happened on college campuses that allow concealed carry. In fact, since the fall semester of 2005, in all nine public colleges in Utah licensed students are allowed to carry concealed. Since 2003, students at Colorado State University and Blue Ridge Community College have been allowed to carry concealed. At these 11 schools, after a combined total of more than 80 semesters none of the schools have seen a resulting incident of gun violence, not a single gun accident or a single gun theft.
Violence is never the answer — that's why in about 2,000,000 cases a year where guns are used for self-defense, they are fired only 3 percent of the time. The presence of the gun alone is enough to deter an attacker. For example, in 1997 at Pearl High School in Mississippi a student, Luke Woodham, went on a shooting rampage and was stopped by the school's assistant principal after he retrieved a handgun from his truck. Vice Principal Joel Myrick was able to subdue the young man at gunpoint until the police arrived. A year later there was a shooting at a school dance in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, which was ended abruptly by a local restaurant owner, who showed up with a shotgun and disarmed the shooter before he could kill anyone else.
In 2002, two students at Appalachian School of Law in Virginia used their personal firearms to end a shooter's rampage; they were able to hold the shooter until the police arrived. Guns are violent weapons but how else would you stop a sociopathic killer, have them hug it out? I have talked to a few students from Virginia Tech and they believe that allowing students to carry concealed on campus could have helped save lives on that tragic day.
There is a strong anti-gun bias, especially in New Jersey. My advice to those who are biased about guns: get educated about them. I find that most people who are biased against guns know nothing about them. If you would like to become educated about firearms and the issues behind them, please feel free to contact me or visit concealedcampus.org.
Aaron Williams is a Rutgers College junior majoring in economics. He is president of the Rutgers Firearms Association and a member of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.