Page 1

focused there,” Clark Lynn said. Lynn is a senior in psychology and president of the N.C. State chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

to be vigilantes. Zachary Diezel Senior Staff Writer

While participating in highway clean ups, the Student for Concealed Carry on Campus chapter seems like the average club doing community service at first glance. These students take safety precautions to a different level though. Along with the reflective vests and garden gloves, these students carry pistols in holsters while serving their community. “We get a pretty good amount of horn beeps and ‘woo-hoos’ and stuff while we’re out

A club’s mission As part of a national organization founded after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, SCCC advocates the legalization of handguns on college campuses. Lynn feels that the current laws are unfairly restrictive to those who have met the requirement to carry a gun. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense for most people who have concealed carry permits that…North Carolina trusts you to carry everywhere else in North Carolina, but once you cross that arbitrary street line you turn into somebody who is not trustworthy,” Lynn said. Ryan Millar,

stic k

ing

he wouldn’t go out of his way, as a vigilante, to act as campus’s guard dog. He said he carries for personal defense. “If [the gunman] is downstairs and I’m up here, why would I go down there? I’m trying to avoid that situation to start with.”

ns

efending their r DConcealed Carry on ight Campus focuses on their s by right to defend themselves, not

monday, february 4, 2008 • Page 5

gu

Technician

to their

alum and former president of NCSU SCCC, said the University’s chapter is looking to enact similar gun rights on different campuses. “Campuses in Utah have gun legislation allowing them to carry on campus and there hasn’t been one incident of violence on their campus that has been newsworthy,” Millar said. “All the other campuses that have major violent occurrences, like shootings, are gun free zones.” According to Lynn, the club currently consists of a core of 25 to 30 members. The group’s Facebook page has 276 members and is being more active this year than in the past. Activities include biweekly meetings, cleaning the adopted stretch of Tryon Road and raising awareness and petition signatures in the Brickyard. “The petition is basically saying that people support the idea of being able to carry guns on campus whether they want to or they just support other people in general,” Millar said. “When we get enough signatures we plan on getting in touch with the [N.C. Government’s] legislature.” According to Millar, the group currently has 202 signatures. Lynn and Millar are only advocating for policies that allow students, who would otherwise be eligible to carry, to be allowed to do so on campus. “If someone comes in the room and starts shooting at you, I’m probably going to shoot him, for example,” Lynn said. Lynn said

A professor’s stance Not everyone agrees with the club’s stance on campus gun control. Robert Kochersberger, an associate professor of English, recently wrote an op-ed in the News and Observer stating that firearms “hold a lot more potential for injury than any public good.” “My own personal opinion is that it would not help to have armed students walking around,” Kochersberger said. “I think there is a lot more likelihood people who are not involved in any kind of violence on campus are going to be hurt if there are more weapons on campus.”

A student’s vulnerability Standing six feet tall, Ross Pilotte did not think himself to be a likely target for robbery. On Feb. 8 at 8:16 p.m., he was walking back from the library when that presumption was rudely shattered. Near the corner of Hillsborough Street and Dan Allen Drive, a man approached him, implied he had a weapon and demanded his wallet. Pilotte said he was able to punch the perpetrator in the throat, which frightened the robber to f lee off campus down Brooks Avenue and “within 120 seconds” campus police were on the scene. A WolfAlert e-mail was sent at 8:41 p.m. “I think I’ve learned anyone is fair game [for being targeted],” Pilotte said. Pilotte is a sophomore in fisheries and wildlife science, a concealedcarry permit holder and a member of SCCC. Pilotte praised the efforts of campus police but believed that he could have handled the situation more effectively had he been permitted to carry his canceled weapon. “Concealed carry [holders] aren’t vigilantes, aren’t cowboys,” Pilotte What it takes to conceal carry in said. “They are people Wake County that are not necessarily worried, but want • $80 application fee ($75 renewal) to protect themselves, • 21 years of age their families and • U.S. Citizen other individuals form • NC resident for minimum 30 days individuals who will • “The applicant must not suffer from a physical or mental infirmity that would prevent the safe handling of a handgun” commit crimes.” • Background/psychological check In the meantime, • 8 hour training course Pilotte encourages • Valid photo I.D. and proof of residence students to keep an • Fingerprinting, registration in AFIS (American Fingerprint awareness of their Identification System, $10 fee) surroundings. source: http://www.wakegov.com/sheriff/citizens/concealed_permits.htm “Eventually someone who is smaller Locations and Regulations than me is going to be faced with [asNCSU REG 06.05.01 – Firearms sault] and I would “Firearms are prohibited on all university property and Endowment land, hate to see anexcept as allowed by G.S. 14-269.2 and except as allowed in sections 3 and ot her student 4 below.” hu r t,” Pi lot te • Exemptions for Centennial Campus private housing, College of Natural said. “We’re all a Resources, and College of Agriculture and Life Science big family here.” North Carolina General Statute 14-269.2: Weapons on campus or other educational property Subsection B: “It shall be a Class I felony for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any gun, rifle, pistol, or other firearm of any kind on educational property” • Taser counts as a weapon in this description. • Flashing/brandishing a crime, felony or misdemeanor (confirm)

An off icer’s advice Cpt. Ian Kendrick of Cam-

pus Police said while it is understandable that some want to carry firearms for protection, it is against the letter of the law to have a firearm of any type on campus. “Until the laws are changed to reflect that [sentiment], we ask that folks comply with the law and University regulations,” Kendrick said. “We understand people want to protect themselves and it’s human nature to want to protect one’s self, but the state and University have seen fit to enact laws and regulations because there is apparently a need to do so. We ask you to honor and respect those regulations.” Kendrick stated that the police department would be happy to answer any questions on the topic of gun control, or firearms in general. The non-emergency number for Campus Police is 919-515-3000. An armed and peaceful defense Standing on the Brickyard on occasional Friday afternoons, the members of SCCC set up a both to spread the word on their club and their mission. That mission, however, isn’t the stereotypical watchdog gun-owner. They feel that current regulation only hinders law-abiding citizens from their own selfdefense, obstructing their constitutional rights. Their feedback has been positive so far. “We had one person come up and say it was a bad idea, out of a few hundred that stopped by,” Lynn said. Reinforcing their view, according to Millar, are the cumbersome and multiple legal requirements for concealed carry, including time, fees and finger printing. “I don’t think people would go through the trouble of getting a permit to commit a crime,” Millar said. “If you’re going to go out and kill someone, that’s illegal. It doesn’t really matter if you’re going to carry illegally or not.” According to Ly nn, the group is planning an “open-holster protest” to take place in the coming months to raise awareness. Members will wear empty holsters for a week to help students make connections of who is allowed to carry. “People think we can just put up ‘no gun’ signs,” Lynn said. “Law abiding citizens and permit holders will obey it, but … criminals don’t pay attention to ‘no gun’ signs.”

Tim o’brien/Technician

Clark Lynn, senior in psychology, is president of the NCSU Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and advocates more gun rights on campus for student self defense.

Feeling safe does not equal being safe

C

oncealed carry of firearms is legal in North Carolina. Whenever you go to a public place like a movie theater, a shopping mall or grocery store, there could be someone carrying a f i re a r m . At most places off-campus, this is normal and there are no complaints. Alex But c ol le ge Pomeroy campuses in Student Senator North Carolina are strictly forbidden from allowing this legal behavior. What exempts college campuses from the right to selfdefense? Why make these areas unsafe? Political fear-monger-

ing has caused people to think that allowing firearms to be present on campus would be a safety hazard or distract from the learning environment. This false information is almost as threatening as the uncertainty it describes. Allowing concealed carry of firearms on campus would be a great boon to our safety. Numerous studies by state and university research teams have shown that conceal carry license owners are five times less likely to commit violent crime than non-licensed individuals. Statistically speaking, that means violent crime rates would decrease on campus by allowing concealed carry. Who wouldn’t want to be in a safer environment? However, opponents of

conceal carry say allowing firearms on campus would increase the frequency of violent altercations. They talk about how school shootings will increase or how a gun in these situations would just complicate things. Some even go so far as to say that when criminals get guns, the solution could not possibly be more guns. All these flawed arguments are at their base simple propaganda and can easily be reduced to their ridiculous assumptions. To begin, all public universities in Utah, and Colorado State University and Blue Ridge Community College in Virginia, allow for concealed carry on campus now. They have had

for continued page 6

The right to bear arms, not pick fights

O

ne of the most controversial topics in our nation’s history, and future, is the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Since its conception in 1787, the Constitution i s perhaps the most debated piece of paper. Because of t he p owe r Trey and signifiFerguson cant inf luViewpoint Editor e n c e t h i s element of history holds, our founding fathers on the right side of the spectrum created ten amendments to protect the freedoms of their country’s citizens, better known as the

Bill of Rights. The key component here is the constitutional right to protect individual’s freedoms. This is the only valid argument for citizens’ right to bear arms. Historically, the second amendment was created at a time in history when the right to protect and defend oneself was a necessity; the lack of established law enforcement required individuals to protect themselves and their families from any threat to their safety. However, in current times this right is not as necessary for protection of one’s safety as it is of their right. In an ideal world, guns would not be required for any type of law enforcement— but we are far from ideal. Many would argue the phrase “Guns don’t kill people, people

kill people,” and while this is true, a gun provides the means to kill. Yes, murderers will find a way to carry out their will, but the majority of gun-related murders, or accidents, occur when murder is not even the initial motivation. So to those who believe carrying a gun will provide them with added protection, is fighting fire with fire truly the answer? Or the real question, if someone confronts you with a gun and approaches you with intent to bring you bodily harm, will you have the courage or ability to shoot them? Will you be able to murder them in your own defense, and live with the knowledge you brought a life to its end? The answer is constitutional,

against continued page 6

5_focused_2.13  

Concealed Carry on Campus focuses on their right to defend themselves, not to be vigilantes. there,” Clark Lynn said. Lynn is a senior in ps...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you