Article I submitted for my school paper.
Empty Holster Demonstration Planned
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (www.concealedcampus.com) is planning a week-long demonstration from October 22nd through October 26th. The demonstration will, in part, consist of holders of concealed weapons permits wearing a visible, empty handgun holster to school in protest of state laws and campus policies that stack the odds in favor of armed killers by disarming law abiding citizens.
The idea is not as outlandish as it sounds. Since fall of 2006, the state of Utah has allowed their students and faculty to defend themselves and others on college campuses. Many people argue that adding guns in a learning environment would mean an increase in violence, at a time when campus shootings are already making the news on a seemingly constant basis. The evidence just doesn't support this claim. Utah's universities have not had a single violent act as a result of the new law. Furthermore, multiple studies, including those done by universities and state agencies, show that concealed weapons permit holders are five times LESS likely than non-license holders to be arrested for violent crimes.
Over the past twenty years, the vast majority of multi-victim “shooting sprees” have taken place in gun free zones, where law-abiding citizens are forced to disarm. The Luby's Cafeteria massacre in Texas in 1991 to the Virginia Tech shootings in April this year are both examples of what happens in so-called gun free zones. At the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia on Jan. 16, 2002 a gunman came to school armed and shot and killed the school's Dean, a professor and another student. Two students went to their cars and retrieved the firearms they had stored there, and with the help of an unarmed student were able to subdue the shooter.
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus does not want to arm every person at the school. In fact, the belief is that only competent, trained and stable individuals should ever carry a firearm. The State of Nevada requires concealed weapon permit holders to be at least 21 years of age, undergo a mandatory safety class, pass a written test, as well as pass a range proficiency test. After that, they submit the paperwork to the Washoe County Sheriff, who does a background check, fingerprints and takes a $105 application fee. If there are no problems, the applicant must then wait up to 120 days to receive their permit. So, if you see someone walking around campus with an empty holster this month, they're just exercising their First Amendment rights in order to support their Second.