23 October 2007

Empty Holster Protests on Ohio and U.S. Campuses Pick Up Steam

Protests of bans on lawful concealed carry at American college campuses is picking up. Student newspapers around the nation, and mainstream newspapers and television news outlets, are carrying stories of "The Empty Holster Protest," organized by a new national organization, Students For Concealed Carry on Campus.

Across the nation, students with concealed carry permits want to be allowed to carry their guns on campus. Using the Virginia Tech massacre as an example, they say students who met the requirements to carry a concealed firearm could have changed the outcome that day. The empty holsters they are wearing every day this week while they attend classes signifies how lawmakers have denied them a means of protection.

Coverage in the Buckeye State is starting. The Columbus Dispatch has coverage of the issue, where, interestingly, while the Ohio State assistant police chief, Rick Amweg, says he thinks its best to have trained law enforcement officers as the only people armed on campus, he understands the protest.

Here is a story from the University of Akron's Buchtelite newspaper. University of Cincinnati Sophomore Michael Filtcraft told the local CBS affiliate, WKRC, in a recent report that taking away students' weapons leaves them helpless in an attack. "Obviously criminals don't pay attention to laws, that's why they're criminals. So, taking innocent people and disarming them, leaves them no effective means of resistance to see their family at the end of the day." Click here to see the television report. At college campuses near and far the protest is getting ink. Here is coverage from the Daily Collegian of Penn State, and coverage from the O'Collegian at Oklahoma State University. WBKO television in Bowling Green, Ky., an ABC affiliate, has a story and video about the protest taking place at Western Kentucky University.

As for the comment from the Ohio State University police spokesman, I would remind Assistant Chief Amweg that criminals on and adjacent to his campus are frequently armed. While concealed carry in Ohio is a privilege, self defense is a basic human right. THAT is why students who have passed through numerous legal hoops to legally carry a concealed sidearm are more than just a little frustrated. Their right to self defense is being denied on campus.

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