Apparently Fedex bans permitted concealed handguns in its facilities

Well, I believe that Fedex doesn't have this sign in many states that they can't restrict permitted concealed handguns (Virginia and Pennsylvania), and I assume that they have had no problems in any of those locations. It is not clear why they should ban permitted concealed handguns in Florida.

Thanks to William Ewans for sending this to me.



"Columbine To Va. Tech To NIU: Gun-Free Zones Or Killing Fields?"

I have a new op-ed at Investors Business Daily:

As Northern Illinois University restarts classes this week, one thing is clear: Six minutes proved too long. It took six minutes before the police were able to enter the classroom that horrible Thursday, and in that short time five people were murdered, 16 wounded.

Six minutes is actually record-breaking speed for the police arriving at such an attack, but it was simply not fast enough. Still, the police were much faster than at the Virginia Tech attack last year.

The previous Thursday, five people were killed in the city council chambers in Kirkwood, Mo. There was even a police officer already there when the attack occurred. . . .

UPDATE: Fox News is reporting a gun threat at at small Ferrum College (1,000 students). I guess I would like to know if this is a concealed handgun permit holder. If it is the school's president is threatening suspension as a first initial response. The president obviously doesn't understand the notion of deterrence. From Fox News:
Ferrum College canceled classes and went on lockdown Tuesday as police searched for a suspicious person on campus.

A Franklin County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman said college President Jennifer Braaten activated an alert system and ordered the lockdown after receiving reports of a suspicious male on the campus. Classes were canceled for the day. . . .

No shots have been fired and there have been no injuries.

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Kentucky Considers Letting Permitted Concealed Handguns on University Campuses

This article is from the middle of January, but it continues to show how the debate is slowly changing on this issue:

As the rhetoric in Frankfort rolled to a boil, Kentucky's public universities expressed solid opposition Wednesday to a bill that would allow people to bring firearms onto campuses as long as the weapons remained in vehicles.

In Frankfort, state Rep. Kathy Stein, chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the bill amounts to "micromanaging" institutions of higher education, and the legislation is unlikely to get out of her committee for a vote in the full House. "Meddling in the affairs of the universities and community and technical colleges is not high on our list of priority issues," Stein said.

That infuriated the bill's sponsor, Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, who said he plans to step up his work to force the bill past Stein, whom he labeled a "gun-control Sally."

Damron said he thinks he now has more than 50 co-sponsors and could win if Stein doesn't block House Bill 114.

The Jessamine County lawmaker, who is not on the Judiciary Committee, predicted his bill could get approved by 10 of the 15 committee members and would pass on the House floor 85-15. He declined to identify the members who would vote for the bill but said the list of co-sponsors gives a clear indication of overwhelming bipartisan support. . . .

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Peter Bronson with the Cincinnati Enquirer has a nice piece about visiting a gun show

Peter piece can be read here:

As I waited in the parking lot for the doors to open at 9 a.m., two guys pulled up next to me in a black Chevy pickup. They wore camo ball caps, jeans and sweat shirts. Nothing unusual there - until one slung a rifle over his shoulder as they headed for the door.

Anywhere else, people would grab their cell phones and dial 911. But this was the Pro Gun Show at the Roberts Centre in Wilmington. Dozens of guys were toting shotguns, rifles and handguns, not to mention swords and knives.

It looked like a not-very-well regulated militia from Red Dawn, reporting for duty.

As the line spilled out the door, each gun was carefully inspected and tagged to certify that it was unloaded, and safe to sell or swap.

"No cameras," said a sign. It occurred to me that I could get kicked out for carrying a Kodak, but nobody would blink if I flashed a Glock. Apparently, gun owners and dealers value their privacy. . . .

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A nice discussion of the arguments surrounding multiple victim public shootings

The Daily Telegram in Adrian, Michigan has a very useful discussion of the various issues raised after the couple of recent multiple victim public shootings. There are a lot of useful details in this long piece, and I am only quoting from the beginning of the article:

Gun bans only assist ‘gun-free zone’ killers

At issue: More calls for gun bans after another college shooting.

Our view: The rise in school shootings has followed the creation of “gun free zones,” not the presence of guns in American society.

The pattern is numbingly familiar. A gunman attacks defenseless people in a supposedly “gun-free” area. Gun control activists respond by demanding and receiving tougher restrictions. Yet shootings in “gun-free” zones only escalate, and the disconnect continues.

After last Thursday’s campus massacre in which five students were murdered and 16 wounded at Northern Illinois University, the anti-gun Brady Campaign responded by stating, “Our weak gun laws make weapons too readily available to dangerous people,” and urged further crackdowns on gun shows.

But NIU shooter Steven Kazmierczak did not buy the shotgun or any of the three handguns he used at a gun show. Each was purchased over time from a licensed gun store in accordance with restrictive laws in Illinois, which already had some of the nation’s tightest state gun regulations.



University Police Chiefs in Arizona oppose letting concealed carry permits on campus

This story can be found here:

Police chiefs from Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University testified that allowing gun-permit holders to bring firearms onto school grounds would create confusion when officers respond to a shooting incident. It could lead to the loss of additional innocent lives, they said.

"Our job is difficult enough. I don't think there is a solution to the violence and the shootings we are experiencing on campuses," said ASU Police Chief John Pickens, who previously served as director of public safety at Northern Illinois University, where a gunman last week killed five people and wounded more than a dozen others before taking his own life.

Can they point to any examples where these concerns have actually occurred? No. Just hypothetical worst case examples. But it would be helpful if they could point to even a few examples to justify their fears. Then at least the discussion could be one of benefits versus costs.

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Appearance on Roger Hedgecock's Show on Tuesday

It was fun to be on Roger's show again. We talked about the problems with gun free zones. You can listen to an MP3 of the show here. While all of Roger's show is interesting, the interview with me only starts about half way through the file.

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Chicago Public Radio Panel Discussion on Northern Illinois University Attack

Chicago Public Radio's 848 had "a panel of experts for a roundtable discussion on guns and violence in Illinois and beyond." I was one of the members of the panel. You can listen to the discussion here.

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More on eliminating gun free zones on campuses

Neil Cavuto has a segment on it here.

ABC News GMA has a discussion here.

I guess that I don't know why the proponents of letting concealed handguns on campus (particularly in the Cavuto interview) don't address the objections more directly. In particular, the concern about the risks of something bad happening. Why not simply point out that we have a lot of experience where permitted concealed handguns are allowed and yet no one can point to bad things happening. Point out that when these attacks have been stopped it usually is stopped without shots even being fired.

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Newsweek Interviews Students for Concealed Carry on Campus

The Newsweek interview can be seen here:

It was a sickeningly familiar scene. A student-gunman opened fire Thursday during a lecture at Northern Illinois University, killing five and wounding 15 before turning the gun on himself. The deadly spree was the fifth school shooting this week—and a traumatic reminder that for all the efforts to improve campus security nationwide since the massacre at Virginia Tech last year, students and faculty remain disturbingly vulnerable.

A nonprofit organization called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus would like to change that. The group, whose 12,000 members nationwide include college students, faculty and parents, champions legislation that would allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons on campus, in the hope that an alert and well-trained citizen could stop a deranged shooter before he or she could do serious damage. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 13 states are currently considering some form of "concealed carry" legislation aimed at campuses. Utah is the group's model; after a state Supreme Court ruling found that the state university had violated a law allowing permit holders to carry concealed weapons, the school agreed that guns could legally be carried on its grounds. Some states, like Colorado, do not explicitly ban licensed students and faculty from carrying hidden weapons onto school grounds, though most universities in such states impose restrictions of their own.

There are signs that the "concealed carry" group was making headway even before the tragedy at Northern Illinois. Earlier this month the South Dakota House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to force state universities to allow students to carry weapons on campus, according to GOP state Rep. Tom Brunner. The bill, which Brunner sponsored, recently died in the state senate, but Brunner said he intends to bring it back as soon as he can. "It's not an issue that's going to go away," Brunner said. "We feel pretty passionate [that] students and teachers should have a right to defend themselves, and weapons on campus should be a part of the plan." . . .

Those interested in joining Students for Concealed Carry on Campus can do so at facebook here. The group has a second national protest coming up from April 21 to 25th.

Thanks to Rich for sending the link from Newsweek to me.

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A couple of mentions about the Northern Illinois University Attack being in a gun free zone

An editorial in the Texas A&M University school newspaper:

A cross the nation, the death toll on college campuses continues to climb. Virginia Tech, 21 wounded, 33 dead. Louisiana Tech, two dead. Northern Illinois University, at least 16 wounded, six dead. The travesty is, these deaths might have been prevented had students been allowed to carry firearms on campus. . . .

Here is another mention at KXMB television in Bismarck, ND:

This one, like some others before him, even stopped to reload. One gun. That’s all it would have taken. But that campus, like all the others, is a “gun free zone”

Here is a press release from CCRKBA:

The tragic shooting at Northern Illinois University late Thursday is another failure of the "gun free zone" mentality that has created a false sense of security on college campuses and other public venues across the country, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

"Gun-free zones have given us nothing but body counts," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. "This giant loophole in public safety is becoming a national disgrace and it is time to dramatically change our perspective on self-defense in this country. . . . .

On the blogs, Bill Quick and Jay Tea quote the Northern Illinois University Student Code of Conduct:

Northern Illinois University The Student Code of Conduct
3-1.5 Dangerous Weapons:
1.5a Possession, use, sale, or distribution in any residence hall, building, or grounds under university control of: fireworks, firearms, shotguns, rifles, hand guns, switchblade knives, any type of ammunition, explosives, and all other serious weapons.
1.5b Misuse of martial arts weaponry, BB guns, pellet guns, clubs, knives, and all other serious weapons.
Students who wish to bring firearms to the campus must obtain written permission from the chief security officer of the university. Firearms must be stored at the University Security Office except with written permission of the chief security officer of the university. At no time will any of the above dangerous weapons be allowed in the university residence halls.

UPDATE: Gun control groups unite on proposals after the Northern Illinois University attack. The problem is that none of these proposed regulations would have stopped the attack:

WASHINGTON, DC - February 15 - Following yesterday’s mass shooting at Northern Illinois University which left six dead, including the shooter, and 16 wounded, America’s leading national gun violence prevention organizations, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the Violence Policy Center, issued the following joint statement:

“Our sympathies go to all those affected by this terrible tragedy.
America is in a gun crisis. Yesterday’s shooting at Northern Illinois University was the sixth mass shooting in less than two weeks. On college campuses, in malls and stores, and in our neighborhoods, our nation is paying the ultimate price for the ease with which we allow almost anyone access to increasingly powerful weaponry. Yet all too many of our elected officials remain deaf to the daily toll guns exact across our nation. Mass shootings are not a force of nature unstoppable by man. They are the predictable result of our nation’s weak gun policies, and much can be done to prevent them.
To prevent future mass shootings we must begin to ratchet down the firepower that is available to civilians. For years, we have outlined proposals to reduce gun violence. We call on the presidential candidates to make gun violence prevention a priority issue. We demand that Congress hold hearings on gun violence prevention. And we urge federal and state policymakers to act immediately to implement policies such as those outlined below that will work to reduce the carnage:
o An effective ban on all semiautomatic assault weapons. In addition, the Bush Administration should act immediately to better enforce the existing federal ban on the importation of foreign-made assault weapons.
o A complete ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
o Ensure that all gun sales at gun shows are subject to a background check.
o Establish a system whereby university officials are notified when a student purchases a gun from a gun dealer.”



Yet another shooting in a gun free zone

Here is a story on the latest tragedy:

DE KALB, Ill (CBS) ― Several people have been shot on the Northern Illinois University campus. The suspect killed himself and officials say the danger has passed.

Officials confirmed that several people were shot at Cole Hall, a large lecture hall on campus, shortly after 3 p.m. and the campus was immediately placed on lockdown.

Kishwaukee Hospital reported that up to 13 people were being brought to the hospital and that three to four of those victims had suffered head wounds.

Student journalists at the school's Northern Television Center reported that there were 18 victims, two of them fatalities, including the gunman. . . . .

Illinois is of course one of two states that completely ban people carrying concealed handguns anyplace.




W. Scott Lewis with Students for Concealed Carry on Campus announces that they will again protest gun free zones on campuses on April 21-25, 2008.

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Debate in Washington State over Whether to Create or eliminate Gun-Free Zones

Sonya Jones sent me this link and all I can say is that Senator Murray should be thankful that Sonya isn't working on the Senate Committee on Higher Education.

The bill offered by Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, would ban weapons at colleges that host high school students. That would include community colleges that offer the Running Start program, and universities when high school students are touring.

In response to Murray's bill, Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, introduced her own measure that would prohibit universities from banning concealed weapons. Her argument is that people with permits to carry weapons would make campuses safer. Most universities now ban weapons on campus, but that is not a state law. . . .

But Roach declared, "Based on the policy of the last 30 years, it may be evident that this is a failed policy, there have been 38 college and school shootings since the prohibition of guns in schools was enacted. There were only two recorded during the 150 years preceding that prohibition." . . .

"I want to make sure the record reflects that Virginia Tech was a gun free zone, and results (were) painfully predictable," said Brian Judy, testifying for the National Rifle Association. "Only the victims were gun free."

But gun foes said guns on campuses would create more trouble.

"Well-intentioned people who have firearms and want to save the day often end up adding to the violence of the situation or becoming victims themselves," said Kristen Comer, executive director of Washington Cease Fire. "Any time we start to get into the area of vigilante justice, it's a bit precarious."

I think that I have an easy response to Kristen Comer's concern below about what might go wrong with allowing concealed handguns onto campuses: its called experience. Why do we have to debate about what might happen when we have a lot of experience about what actually happens in these circumstances?

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Citizens banned from Carrying Concealed handguns where City Council Attack occurred

At least five people were killed in Kirkwood, Missouri last night at a city council meeting:

A total of seven people were shot, including the mayor and several city officials, before police shot and killed the gunman. The mayor is in critical condition. . . .

Citizens are banned from having concealed handguns at these public meetings. The only exception are members of the city council and a reporter might have inside information on whether any of them have concealed handgun permits.

Apparently some people were reduced to throwing chairs at the killer to stop the attack:

At some point he fired at City Attorney John Hessel, who told McNichols he fended the attacker off by throwing chairs. She saw Hessel later, appearing uninjured except for a knot on his head.

While there was a police officer in the room where the attack occurred, apparently the killer shot the officer immediately when the attack started. This is a typical problem with uniformed guards where killers either wait for them to leave the area or kill them first. This is one big advantage of concealed handgun laws.

Meanwhile, there was a shooting at a University in Louisiana on Thursday and of course it occurred in another gun free zone.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A young woman killed two female students in a college classroom at a vocational college Friday, then killed herself, police said.
The students apparently were shot in their seats in the second-floor classroom at Louisiana Technical College, Sgt. Don Kelly said.
Officers ran into the building within four minutes of the first 911 call, which came at 8:36 a.m., he said.
"There was mass pandemonium, people running," Kelly said. "One officer - the first into the classroom - told me he could still smell gunpowder."
The students' names and ages were not immediately released, and it was not clear whether the shooter also was a student.
The school offers classes in a dozen subjects including early childhood education, practical nursing, drafting and welding.

In this case, even though the police officer got to the classroom very quickly it was still not fast enough.

UPDATE: Three attacks in gun free zones in one week discussed here.

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Another Shooting in a Gun Free Zone

Of course, permitted concealed handguns do not exist any place in Illinois given that this is one of two states that completely ban them any place. Yet, the ban doesn't seem to have stopped this attack:
TINLEY PARK, Ill. — A gunman fatally shot five women in a robbery at a store in a suburban Chicago strip mall and fled Saturday, prompting police to sweep through neighboring shops as terrified customers watched. . . .



Places where concealed handguns can be carried in Georgia expanded

See this:

Debate continues in the Georgia General Assembly over weapons. But on Thursday the House voted 111-58 to allow Georgians with concealed gun permits to carry their weapon at bus stops, other transportation facilities, houses of worship and restaurants. According to the Telegraph, the House vote expands a move by the Senate allowing people holding permits to carry guns at public parks & restaurants without alcohol licenses.

More on what is happening in Georgia regarding gun free zones can be found here.

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Moves in Virginia and South Dakota to allow permitted concealed handguns on college campuses

Here are articles on what is happening in Virginia and South Dakota on this issue. In Virginia, one bill is quite broad:

One bill, proposed by Delegate Todd Gilbert, would prevent a Board of Visitors from prohibiting people with concealed handgun permits from carrying a gun on state property, which would include the campuses of state universities. . . .

From South Dakota:

The only opponent to the bill was Jim Shekleton, legal counsel for the state Board of Regents, who said allowing students and faculty to carry guns could make campuses more dangerous.

If other people exchange gunfire with a madman in a classroom or sports arena, more people could be hurt or injured in the crossfire, Shekleton said. When law officers arrive, they might mistakenly shoot the wrong person if several people in the room are holding guns, he said.

"A free-fire zone is more likely to do more harm than good," Shekleton said. . . .


Armed Teachers stop Terrorist Attack in Israel

A dramatic story can be found here:

Two Palestinian terrorists disguised in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uniforms entered the study hall at Makor Haim High School in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion southeast of Jerusalem.

Al-Aksa Brigades: Assassinate Fayyad Armed with guns and knives, the terrorists managed to stab several students before armed school counselors arrived and shot them dead.

"The terrorists came inside and began stabbing the students," a defense official said.

"This could have ended much worse," said another in Central Command. . . .

Another version of the story is here:

In Gush Etzion, southeast of Jerusalem, two Palestinian gunmen wearing IDF uniforms burst into the Makor Haim yeshiva high school. Wielding guns and knives, they lightly injured two Israeli counselors before being shot dead.

The terrorists infiltrated Makor Haim, a kibbutz, sneaking into the main building of its high school seminary, run by world-renowned Talmudist, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. The terrorists entered a library room where seven of the boarding school's counselors were meeting. Dressed as security guards, and armed with a knife and what appeared to be a gun -- it later turned out to be a toy -- ordered the seven to line up on one side of the room. A counselor, realizing they were terrorists, drew his personal firearm and opened fire. Another grabbed the fake gun from the other terrorist, wrestled him to the floor, while the first counselor shot him. The terrorists managed to stab two of the counselors before falling dead.

At the same time, the Beit Medrash (study hall) -- adjacent to the library -- was packed with students taking part in the weekly Thursday night "mishmar" all-night Torah study session, Israel National News reported.

An army official praised the quick response of the students and their counselors. "This could have ended much worse," a source in the Central Command said.

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Movement in Arizona to cut back on gun free zones

Now Arizona joins other states in discussing ending these gun free zones:

The proposal, Senate Bill 1214, would exempt concealed-carry permit holders from a state law that bars individuals from knowingly carrying deadly weapons onto school property. If it becomes law, the measure would allow teachers and anyone else with a valid permit to carry their weapon onto the grounds of any public or private K-12 school, college or university in the state.

Supporters say the measure would provide an additional ring of security on campuses hit with a string of shootings in recent years. The most recent of which was last year's at Virginia Tech, which left 33 dead. The shootings have come in spite of heightened campus security and policies that are increasingly aimed at scrubbing any and all weapons from school grounds.

"Apparently, it hasn't really protected us . . . " noted Senate Majority Leader Thayer Verschoor, a Gilbert Republican and co-sponsor of the proposal. The primary sponsor is Sen. Karen Johnson, R-Mesa.

Verschoor noted that concealed-carry permit holders must pass a criminal background check and take a gun-safety course, among other requirements.

But Rep. David Lujan, a Phoenix Democrat and president of the Phoenix Union High School District board, said he is "uncomfortable with having weapons on school campuses." . . .

WIth all the decades of experience in right-to-carry states before these gun free zones were imposed in 1995 it would be nice if those who are uncomfortable could point to some bad examples where permit holders have caused problems.

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Learning from Virginia Tech in Indiana?

A bill has been introduced in Indiana to help stop a similar attack from occurring there:

INDIANA - A new bill could allow you to bring a gun into a state building.

For those of you who wish you could carry your hand gun into state buildings. Your wish may soon become a reality. An Indiana senator is trying to pass a bill that would allow that to happen.

Incidents like this one at Virginia Tech is what prompted Indiana Senator John Waterman to introduce a bill that would allow folks to carry guns inside state buildings. Buildings like Indiana State University.

"If something would happen like Virginia Tech at least you'd have some people on campus that would be armed and be able to stop it before too many people get hurt," said Waterman. . . .

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Virginia House of Delegates Overwhelmingly Reject making Their Chamber a Gun Free Zone

Virginia's House of Delegates reject making their chamber a "gun free zone."

Delegates reject bill to bar guns in state House

An effort to keep guns out of the House of Delegates chamber, its meeting rooms and similar areas was shot down in the House yesterday 77-18.

The resolution introduced by Del. Lionell Spruill Sr., D-Chesapeake, would have allowed only state law-enforcement officers on official duty to be in House-assigned areas with a firearm. Spruill questioned yesterday the need for a gun in the House chamber or the General Assembly building.



Bill to let concealed handguns in places that served alcohol in Tennessee

A debate is being stirred up over cutting back on gun free zones in Tennessee:

The latest example of this pro-gun mindset is a proposal in the legislature to allow people with handgun-carry permits to carry guns into establishments that sell alcohol. The bill would allow a gun to be carried into the place as long as the person with the gun is not consuming alcohol and as long as the owner of the establishment has not banned firearms and has not posted a sign saying no guns are allowed.
The Senate passed the bill 24-6.
When assessing all the places where an ounce of public safety should be considered, barrooms would be one of the last places where any sober soul would allow guns to be carried. But here's a move afoot in the legislature saying it makes perfect sense to allow people to pack heat in saloons.
Proponents of the bill say it's all about self-defense, with a litany of scenarios where it would be a good idea to have a pistol handy. Some recount real-life situations where, by gosh, if only someone had a gun they could have stopped this bad thing from happening, naturally assuming the shooter would always make perfect decisions and have perfect aim, just like in the comic books. Or they think of all the "what-if" situations, like what if a bad guy is going to throw the prom queen on a railroad track and wouldn't it be great if somebody had a gun to shoot the bad guy down before a train came roaring by. So we need a law. . . .

1) Name some examples where a concealed handgun permit holder has harmed others in such a place. (I can think of one minor example.)
2) "Some recount real-life situations" -- well, I can give you lots of examples, and when this happens it is amazing how infrequently permit holders have actually had to fire their weapon to stop the attack. The problem is that these "gun free zones" attract attacks.

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"Professor Wants Right To Carry"

Dorn Peterson, an avid shooter with a valid Virginia concealed-handgun permit, travels to JMU's campus almost every weekday for his job as a physics professor. But he can't bring his gun with him.
I wish that I could understand why there is such strong opposition to even professors carrying concealed handguns on university property. This article provides an example of one professor who would be willing to bear the cost of carrying in order to be able to protect others. It also provides no explicit evidence why people should be fearful of him carrying his gun with him.

He said he favors broader legislation allowing those with concealed-handgun permits to carry guns at colleges and other places, including government office buildings, that aren't specifically outlined in the Virginia laws.

Peterson said he would rather see a legislator vote on the matter rather than have an "unelected bureaucrat" make the decision for him.

"The president of the university is unelected," Peterson said. "Why should he be able to override the legislature?"

Peterson said that law-abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves and, in some cases, help minimize shooting sprees like the one at Virginia Tech.

"It helps defend everybody," Peterson said. "If somebody had been prepared and carrying, this guy wouldn't have been able to go around and kill people after he chained the door."

People with the proper firearms training who get a permit are not the ones who shouldn't be allowed to carry guns, he said.

"I understand that people that aren't around guns are upset about the concept, but people that plan ahead and get the training are less likely to commit a crime," said Peterson.

Thanks very much to Scott Davis for sending this link to me.

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

From the NRAILA legislative alert:

"Incredibly, the Commission even refused to add language that would exempt the discharge of a firearm for self-defense in campgrounds."

Well, at least bears might not be as attracted to gun free zones as killers are. Though come to think about it, they may begin to learn over time that they have less to worry about so it might have the same impact.

Thanks to Sonya Jones for sending this to me.

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Tennessee Whittling Down The Number of Gun Free Zones?

Senate passes bill permitting guns in bars, nightclubs
Thursday, January 17, 2008
By Andy Sher
Nashville Bureau
NASHVILLE -- Tennesseans with gun permits could carry their weapons into nightclubs, bars and restaurants that sell alcohol under a bill that sailed Wednesday through the Senate on a 24-6 vote.

One Senate critic raised the specter that the would-be law might result in Wild West-like saloon shoot-outs.

But the bill's sponsor, Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, argued that similar laws in 34 other states have resulted in no such problems.

"I've had people say that guns and alcohol do not mix, and I will agree that until you look at the facts -- until you understand this issue -- that is certainly an emotional argument," Sen. Jackson said. "But unfortunately, it's an argument that does not carry the day." . . .

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Update on Oregon School Teacher Carrying Gun

An update on the Oregon public school teacher who wanted to carry her permitted concealed handgun with her to school is here:

Shirley Katz, who teaches at South Medford High School, is seeking to overturn last year's Circuit Court ruling upholding a school district policy that forbids employees from carrying guns on campus. . . .

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Guns Might be Allowed in Public University Parking Lots in Kentucky?

This is a small step in the right direction:

State Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, signed up 44 co-sponsors Tuesday for his bill that would allow people who park on public university property to keep a legally registered gun in their vehicle.

Currently, this can be prohibited by weapons policies set by the state universities. . . .

Disappointingly there is significant opposition from even this small proposal:

Morehead State University President Wayne Andrews said the bill "gives me great concern. I think we need to tread very lightly with the issue of weapons on campus."

Andrews said "if people have weapons on campus, they might use them," endangering the campus community. . . .

It would be nice if they could point to some systematic evidence to justify their concerns, though I suppose the reason they don't is because there isn't any.



Finally the last of the three big Iowa public universities have started letting campus police carry guns

The story on the University of Northern Iowa can be found here (emphasis added):

The University of Northern Iowa police have been carrying firearms since Dec. 23, following an October vote of the Iowa Board of Regents allowing arming of campus police.

Iowa State University became the first of the state's three public universities to arm officers when it allowed sworn police to carry guns Nov. 12. The University of Iowa followed on Nov. 22. . . .

a change long sought by the public safety directors. Iowa's public universities were the only schools in their athletic conferences that did not allow officers to carry guns.

Thanks very much to Mike Miller for sending me this link.

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Push in Texas to Repeal Gun Free Zones for Colleges

For a discussion of the current push in Texas see here.

Thanks to Scott Davis for this link.

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"Nebraska may consider assault weapons ban"

Well, here is one fall out of the recent mall attack in Nebraska: "Nebraska may consider assault weapons ban"

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Making the question of gun free zones clear

VIN SUPRYNOWICZ at the Las Vegas Review-Journal makes the point very clear about the Colorado church attack that was stopped by Jeanne Assam:

Authorities and her minister say Assam saved untold lives -- lives that would have been lost, had Murray attacked in a disarmed-victim city like Los Angeles, New York or Washington.

In any of these other places there would have been no volunteers with permitted concealed handguns. In any of these places, it would have taken minutes, possibly a half hour, possibly more before someone with a gun was there to stop this attack. If so, how many people would have died? We still would be talking about this story.



Arming Professors?

The professor here writes that this professor finds it necessary to write under the pseudonym of "Thomas Benton" when discussing the gun issue tells you something about academia.

What can be done to protect faculty members from potentially dangerous students?

Ultimately, nothing. Or so it seems.

Teachers are all, in varying degrees, personally vulnerable for three reasons:

First, it is our job to demand difficult tasks of people and judge the results in ways that can have consequences for their future. Sometimes we are called upon to challenge students' beliefs in ways they may deem offensive.

Second, we cannot pursue disciplinary action within a college unless we are willing to accept the possibility of personal retaliation by the student outside the college's area of jurisdiction, off the campus, or after graduation. Moreover, disciplinary action against one student does nothing to restrain the actions of a disgruntled student's allies, possibly after a long interval.

Third, it is increasingly difficult for us to maintain our personal privacy because of the circulation of information on the Internet. . . . .

During the past seven years, there have been several incidents of vandalism at our house in the country about 10 minutes from the college. Our mailbox has been destroyed twice, incidents I have written off as teenage pranks. We frequently hear gunshots in the night, but there are a lot of hunters in the country who shoot at animals and other targets from their cars. About once a year, we find bags of garbage split and scattered on our property, but people dispose of things that way around here without personal malice, I assume.

Some things can't be dismissed, however. One night I heard a chainsaw running, opened a window, and realized someone was in our front yard, cutting down one of our trees. I came out with a flashlight, and the chainsaw-wielder ran to the passenger side of a pickup truck, and the two people roared away. I didn't get the license number; the car's lights were off. The next day a police officer took notes and said nothing could be done.

After that, we installed more outdoor lighting and adopted a German shepherd, and I bought a 12-gauge shotgun and learned how to use it. There is no way I am going out in the middle of the night to investigate intruders again with nothing but a flashlight in my hands. . . .

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Two letters in USA Today make point about gun free zones

'Gun-free zones' make vulnerable people targets

It appears that malls, schools and businesses that post "gun-free" signs increasingly are becoming prime targets for people who want to cause harm to unarmed citizens ("Police seek link in Colorado attacks," News, Monday; "Lives, loves cut horribly short," News, Friday).

When will those who pushed for gun-free zones realize that they are contributing to tragic situations? They are preventing legally armed citizens from interceding and preventing casualties. By the time law enforcement arrives, the shooter either commits suicide or escapes. Thankfully, New Life Church in Colorado Springs had armed security guards, and one shot the shooter, who then killed himself. This probably saved many lives.

Arnie Krause

Columbus, Ind.
. . .

Nebraska and Utah, where mall shootings recently have occurred, have laws that allow individuals with permits to carry concealed weapons. Both states also allow some private property owners to declare their property as gun-free zones.

The conclusion is that people intent on killing do not obey the laws, and disarming law-abiding citizens results in more death. The Omaha mall was a gun-free zone. One would think that this was at least as important as the type of weapon used because it shows that the young killer was not deterred by the signs or the law. In fact, he was probably emboldened by it, knowing that there would be no armed resistance to his killing spree.

Raymond D. Trombino

Green Valley, Ariz

Thanks very much to Rich for sending this link to me.



Cartoonist Mike Lester "channels John Lott"

Well, at least more people are talking about this. (Thanks to Frank Stephenson for putting this up.)

On the other side, Chuck Carlson has this column. What this piece fails to note is that there are no problems created by those with concealed handgun permits. It is also not necessary that everyone carry a concealed handgun. To me the interesting fact is how incredibly rarely people have to fire their guns to stop these attacks. Even if a small percentage of people carry a gun, you can have a strong deterrent effect. Pennsylvania and Indiana for example have 6.5 percent of the adult population with permits. Even a group of 16 people means that on average, if all permitted people carry a gun, you have about a 100 percent chance that on average an attacker will find that at least one of his potential victims will be able to protect themselves.



Follow up coverage on the Gun Free Zone Multiple Victim Public Shootings

Jason Lewis on KTLK has some very useful discussions here and here. Jason has designated me the "resident scholar at radio free Minnesota." I am honored to have this new line on my CV.

Instapundit has a discussion here.

If you can listen to Dennis Prager's and Lars Larson's shows from Thursday, I strongly advise people to do it. They both had great shows. Dennis Prager suggested this sign during our discussion:

One thing that was stated on Dennis' show was: could you imagine how different the debate on guns today if the media kept on reporting the fact that there was another shooting in a gun free zone?

See also Clayton Cramer, Michael Bane, Wayne's Dirty Lab, Keep and Bear Arms,Freespeech, Liberty Zone, Plains Feeder, From the Heartland, Armed Canadian, Three Dogs and a Camera, Buckhorn Road, Free Libertarian, IFCONFIG, Northern Muckraker, News by Us, James Taranto, Dustin's Gun Blog, A Deo et Rege, and Pat Dollard. Some discussion on this can be found here, here, and here.

Some malls have learned their lesson and taken down these "no gun" signs.

Thanks also to Andrew Breitbart for helping to publicize the gun free zone point.



New op-ed: Media Coverage of Mall Shooting Fails to Reveal Mall's Gun-Free Zone Status

The oped can be read here.

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Evidence that the Omaha Westroads Mall was yet another gun free zone

Nebraska allows people to carry permitted concealed handguns, but it allows property owners, such as the Westroads Mall, to post signs banning permit holders from legally carrying guns on their property.



Another Gun Free Zone Killing


Finally, University of Iowa Police will begin carrying guns


75 School district Employees in three Oregon School Districts have Concealed Handgun Permits

It is difficult to get a handle on the number of people in schools with handgun permits. 75 employees might not be a large number, but it would be useful to first figure out how many this implies on average per school in those districts.

More than 75 school district employees in the Eugene, Bethel and Springfield school districts have concealed handgun permits, but it is unclear how many, if any, carry their weapons to school.

The lawsuit of Shirley Katz, a Medford teacher who wants to carry a 9mm Glock on the South Medford High School campus, has garnered national attention, and last week a Jackson County judge denied Katz’s request to carry her gun to school.

State law is clear that holders of concealed handgun licenses can carry concealed weapons into schools. But in his ruling, Circuit Court Judge G. Philip Arnold said the Medford district’s policy, which prohibits employees from carrying weapons on school property, overrules the law.

Katz plans to appeal the ruling, and the question remains: Should teachers with concealed weapons permits be allowed to take guns into the classroom? . . . .

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Iowa State University campus police start carrying guns

Iowa State University campus police apparently started carrying firearms on Monday.

Thanks to Mike Miller for sending this to me.



Another Multiple Victim Public Shooting in Another Country


Texas Tech Students help push for ending gun free zones on campus

This is a surprise at Texas Tech? Hardly, but it is nice to see even more attention for Students for Concealed Carry. I have lost count how many stories that I have linked to on all this, but it is nice to see them getting as much attention as they did.

Some Texas Tech University students who believe concealed hand guns should be allowed on campus with proper certification are wearing empty holsters this week to protest gun-control policies.

Hoping to raise awareness about the issues surrounding the prohibition of licensed firearm possession on college campuses, students attending approximately 110 college institutions nationwide organized a protest at their respective campuses.

An estimated 6,000 members of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the national organization of discontented gun owners, will symbolize their plight all week by donning empty holsters.

The group, however, is not advocating just any possession of weapons, he said. It designed the protests specifically to promote licensed and responsible carrying of handguns throughout all parts of campuses. . . . .

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Fred Thompson on Gun-Free Zones

Generally, I thought that Senator Fred Thompson gave a very good interview on Meet the Press this morning, though I was somewhat disappointed with his answer on gun free zones. I get the impression that Thompson believes that individual property owners have the right to decide to use their own property, but I would have liked to see Thompson asked to differentiate public and private universities. I understand and support his desire that people should have the choice what rules to adopt when they own the property, but I would have been nice if he had clearly reiterated what was stated in the quote that Russert read. Possibly Thompson thought the quote was enough, but I would have appreciated something more supportive in this interview.

MR. RUSSERT: And we are back. Senator Fred Thompson is our guest.

Virginia Tech, last April 32 killed, terrible tragedy. You had a radio report back at that time, and I’d like to share it with you and our viewers. “Virginia Tech,” the “administrators overrode Virginia state law and threatened to expel or fire anybody who brings a weapon,” on the “campus. Many other universities have been swayed by an anti-gun, anti-self defense ideology. Whenever I’ve seen one of those ‘Gun-free zone’ signs, especially outside of a school filled with our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, I’ve always wondered exactly who these signs are directed at.”

My sense in reading that is that you would be in favor of licensed citizens of Virginia, students, including students, to carry concealed weapons on a college campus.

MR. THOMPSON: It would have to be consistent with campus rules. I don’t think that all students need to be carrying weapons on the school campus. What I would, I would feel more comfortable with, if a child of mine was on campus, when I read about these people, 30 people or so being lined up and systematically killed without anybody apparently around to do anything about it, I think some, some thought really needs to be given as to who should be properly qualified and permitted and, and armed on campuses and other places where large people gather. But...

MR. RUSSERT: But you would, you would allow a campus to bar their students from carrying concealed weapons?

MR. THOMPSON: Yeah, it, it would have to be consistent with state law and, and, and school rules. And different schools would have, you know, the, the freedom to, to have their own rules as, as, as they see fit. . . . .

The take at the National Review Online was pretty positive:

Having just watched it on the DVR, I thought it was a very, very solid performance. Ground rule double.

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Students for Concealed Carry Versus Gun Control Groups on Campus

Still, more of the highly symbolic demonstrations have taken place in towns or cities than on college campuses, and that’s partially an indication of who’s doing the organizing. The protest at UNC, for example, was co-sponsored by the local Million Mom March chapter and North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (NCGV) but no student groups.

At the University of Virginia, though, students organized a lie-in on Oct. 16 that coincided with the six-month anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings. Spangler has also tapped Facebook to try to recruit more organizers in college; her group currently has 218 members, not an insignificant number but far less than that of many advocacy organizations on the site — including Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, which has 7,542 members. . . . .

Well, 218 to 7,542 is progress, though I suspect that we have a ways to go still.

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Finally, Iowa Campus Police Allowed to be Armed


Some News Coverage for Students for Concealed Carry

Here are just a few of the many news stories that Students for Concealed Carry had written on them. Good for them.

(CBS 11 News) DALLAS A nationwide effort is underway to give college students the right to carry concealed guns on campus. Those who support the idea are being asked to wear empty gun holsters around their waist.

"At Virginia Tech, if someone would have stopped that student from going into those classrooms, or from shooting the very first kid, we could have stopped a lot of murders," said Michele Connole.

Connole is a recent University of North Texas graduate who is still active with her alma mater. In 2004, she was pushing for the rights of students to carry concealed weapons. She had little sympathy back then, but today support is growing.

"As we saw with Virginia Tech, laws that prohibit people from carrying weapons on campus didn't really stop the shooter," said Shawn Griffiths, a member of the UNT Young Conservatives of Texas. . . . .

Here is a negative editorial:

Students may have noticed some of their peers wearing empty gun holsters around campus. While this choice in attire may seem bizarre, these students are participating in a weeklong national peaceful protest of state and university policies banning concealed firearms from campus.

We unequivocally support these protesters' right to express their opinions peacefully, and we are glad to see students exercising their First Amendment rights. But UK should not change its firearms policy.

UK is currently a deadly-weapons-free campus, a fact that UK's Students for Concealed Carry on Campus hopes to change. Students at Western Kentucky University, Eastern Kentucky University and Northern Kentucky University, along with local gun shops, are also participating in this event, according to a Kernel article on Tuesday.

The protesters are just trying to raise awareness of the policy prohibiting concealed weapons on campus, said Dave Burnett, a member of SCCC at UK, in the article. . . . .

The following artcle has a small mistake about the number of people killed at Virginia Tech (32 not 33), but it is still useful. (I blame this mistake on the media usually including the killer's death in their numbers so it isn't surprising that some people would think that all 33 were killed.)

A small number of Ohio State students have been wearing empty gun holsters around their waists this week in protest of a campus law prohibiting the possession of firearms on college campuses.

This protest is just a small part of a larger national movement - Students for Concealed Carry on Campus - of more than 5,000 people started by a student at the University of Cincinnati who used Facebook to rally support for the issue.

Evan Peck, a senior in sociology and math, is one of the OSU students participating in the protest and lent holsters to students who did not have one of their own. . . . .

This next article is more than a little biased. I know more than several students at just one school, let alone

Cleveland -- Several college students statewide are coming to campus wearing empty gun holsters.
They are protesting the prohibition of firearms on college campuses.

The group, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, is organizing the protest on more then 100 Ohio campuses this week.

Cleveland State University Junior Joe Rodriguez is attracting attention around campus with his holster.

Rodriguez says gun free zones are an invitation to those who would do harm to a disarmed student population.

The Virginia Tech ambush was just one example Rodriguez says where a student with a license to carry a concealed weapon, could have saved lives. . . . .

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New Op-ed: Teachers Packing Heat?


Students for Concealed Carry on Campus push for Nationwide Protest


Oregon School Teacher will carry gun with her


News coverage of Shirley Katz's attempt to carry a concealed handgun on school property

South Medford High School English teacher Shirley Katz won the first round of her legal bout for the right to carry a pistol onto school grounds today.

Jackson County Circuit Judge G. Philip Arnold dismissed a motion by the Medford School District to dismiss the case because she has not actually broken the school policy prohibiting teachers from bringing guns to school.

The judge told Katz he will issue a written opinion on her claim that the policy violates state law that gives concealed weapons permit holders the right to take guns into schools and other public buildings.

Outside the courtroom, Katz said it would be "naive" to think no one is carrying guns to school, she is just the first person with a concealed weapons permit to assert her rights in public.

The school district is arguing that while the state law does not let the school ban concealed handguns on school property, the school district is doing an end run by banning it in employee's employment contracts:

The judge did not rule today. Since there is no ruling Katz can decide to carry a weapon to school.

Her attorney advised her not to comment on whether she plans to do so.

“The whole point of carrying it concealed is that no one should know, whether you are carrying it concealed or not. And that no matter what happens my students will not know whether I am carrying concealed or not or if another teacher is carrying concealed or not,” said Katz.

The school district has previously indicated that they do not argue that carrying a concealed weapon is legal.

However, in a letter to Katz they indicated that they would punish her if she decides to do so, because she is an employee of the school district and under their policy she cannot carry a concealed firearm. . . . .

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Federal Court shoots down law that stopped employers from banning guns in locked cars

Well, given that I think that bans make it easier for multiple victim public shootings to happen, I think that they got the argument backwards. I wonder what evidence was provided by the state and whether the state will appeal.

The Tulsa World a federal court struck a pro-gun State measure. OK passed a law forbidding employers to ban guns in locked cars in their parking lots. ConocoPhillips and some others sued in federal court to strike it. The federal district court bought their argument that the state law conflicted with the federal 1970 Occupational Health and Safety Act, which requires employers to minimize workplace risks.

UPDATE: Let me make something clear here. I think that it should be up to the property owner to decide how their property is used, but given that the federal government regulates all sorts of aspects of work place safety, I am not sure why these gun free zones should be treated any differently.

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Appearing on Glenn Beck Show on CNN Tonight

I will be on the Glenn Beck Show on CNN tonight to discuss the Oregon teacher case. The program airs at 7 and 9 PM EDT.

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Hugh Hewitt's Show at 8:35 PM EDT

I will be on Hewitt's show tonight to talk about the Oregon teacher who wants to have a gun for self protection.

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Medford Oregon teacher wants to carry

A video of her interview can be seen here. I didn't think that she did a very good job. The point isn't the Second Amendment. The point is one of safety. The host starts off by talking about the conflict between freedom and safety and I would argue that this is one place that freedom and safety go together.

Bob Aldridge also sent me a link to this post.

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I wish them good luck with this, but . . .

I agree completely with the end goal that these students have, but I just hope that they are as organized as they seem to think that they are.

On April 16, 2007, twenty-seven students and five faculty members at Virginia Tech lost their lives to a madman who possessed one distinct advantage over his victims—He wasn’t concerned with following the rules. Undeterred by Virginia Tech’s status as a “gun free zone,” this mentally unstable individual carried two handguns onto the university campus and indiscriminately opened fire.

During the week of October 22-26, 2007, college students throughout America will attend classes wearing empty holsters, in protest of state laws and campus policies that stack the odds in favor of armed killers by disarming law abiding citizens who are licensed to carry concealed handguns virtually everywhere else. . . . .

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"Overzealous in Knoxville"

There is a bigger advantage to society from people carrying concealed handguns, but this citizen was still in the right:

Trevor Putnam knew the gun laws. The officer who stopped him didn’t.

“When I told him that I hadn’t done anything, he said he’d find a reason to put me in jail,” said Putnam, 24, who works with guns every day as vice president of Coal Creek Armory in West Knoxville.

“It’s not that I have a problem with police officers. I deal with police officers nationwide from Arizona to Maine every day. But I lost my confidence in a legal right that I knew I had.”

Knoxville police officers will get a refresher course on the state’s gun permit laws after an officer who didn’t know the law stopped, frisked and threatened to arrest Putnam for legally carrying a gun inside a Wal-Mart this summer.

Officer Glenn Todd Greene’s actions June 21 at the store on Walbrook Drive in West Knoxville earned him a written reprimand and remedial training for rudeness and not knowing the law, Internal Affairs records show. He’s worked for the Knoxville Police Department for about seven years.

Putnam got a written apology from Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV.

“The officer was wrong I want to personally apologize to you for any embarrassment or inconvenience you may have suffered as a result of this incident,” the chief wrote.. . .

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More On Iowa Campus Police Not Yet Being Allowed to Carry Guns.

David Yepsen usually strikes me as a fairly mild mannered guy, but he just can't seem to restrain himself in discussing the opposition and delays in letting campus police carrying guns at Iowa's public universities. Yepsen surely understands the issues of deterrence and incapacitation:

Just when I was worried about finding new entertainment once the caucuses clear out of here in January, along comes the Board of Regents and the Des Moines School Board.

The regents act like the guys in charge of traffic control at a Tom Harkin steak fry.

They're a joke. This time, it's over the important security issue of whether to arm campus cops. The officers have asked for years to carry firearms. Most other college security officers do. The security chiefs at the universities want their officers to carry firearms, too.

But not in Iowa. We don't have mass shootings like they did at Virginia Tech. (Well, not very often anyway.)

It took that tragedy in Virginia to wake up everyone else. Now, the three state university presidents in Iowa are recommending campus peace officers at their schools be armed. That ought to be the end of it. The CEOs of the institutions have spoken. . . .

Another viewpoint is seen here:

Steinke said the regents feel they need more information before such a plan could be approved. According to Steinke, regents feel they need additional information on the type of ammunition the officers would use, the certification that they would be required to complete prior to carrying weapons and whether there would be background checks and psychological profiles of the officers carrying weapons. . . . .

Clearly, those are legitimate concerns. Equally clearly, they are concerns that can be addressed in a matter of days - certainly not weeks or months - by reviewing the existing policies of Iowa's existing law enforcement agencies and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

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University of Iowa Regents slowly making progress towards arming campus police

The progress is slow, but hopefully it will be done next month.

Council Bluffs, Ia. - The Iowa Board of Regents has delayed a decision on arming campus police until at least October.

The board seemed poised Tuesday to vote on whether to change its 40-year policy prohibiting campus police from regularly carrying firearms. Several regents, including David Miles, Bob Downer and Jack Evans, said they were ready to vote in favor of arming campus police.

Regent Ruth Harkin then proposed development of a comprehensive security policy that would include the arming issue. Regent Craig Lang seconded her motion, which was approved, and the board then voted 7-1 to create a provision in that policy allowing campus police officers to carry firearms in the regular course of duties.

The new policy would need to be approved at a future meeting. That could occur as soon as October. . . .

Thanks to Chris Jens for sending me this link.

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More on Teacher Trying to Take a Gun on School Property for Protection

Ashland, Ore. - In court documents, she's known as "Jane Doe." Innocuous enough, but the woman behind that pseudonym pushes one of the nation's hottest political buttons: guns and school safety.

What Ms. Doe wants to do is take her Glock 9-mm pistol to the high school in Medford, Ore., where she teaches.

She's licensed to carry a concealed weapon and she has what many supporters say is a legitimate reason for being armed: a restraining order against her ex-husband based on threats he's allegedly made against her and her children.

But district policy prohibits anyone except a law-enforcement officer from bringing a weapon onto campus. When word got out that she had a concealed-carry permit, administrators reminded her of that policy. There's the political rub: According to state law, "any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly."

Backed by gun-rights groups, Doe intends to challenge the school district in state court this week. Meanwhile throughout the country, lawmakers are filing bills that would make it legal for adult school employees to carry firearms, in some cases providing special weapons safety training for those who want to be part of their school's security force in addition to their classroom teaching duties. . . . .

Thanks for Will Brink and Scott A. Davis for sending me similar links on this story

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New Op-ed on DC Handgun Ban

D.C.’s brief makes a number of other claims:

The ban comes "nowhere close to disarmament of residents. The District's overwhelming interest in reducing death and injury caused by handguns outweighs respondent's asserted need . . . ." The obvious key here is that DC says people can use rifles and shotguns for self-defense. D.C. also adds that they don't believe that the regulations that lock up and require the disassembling of guns does not "prevent the use of a lawful firearm in self-defense."

But locked guns are simply not as readily accessible for defensive gun uses. In the U.S., states that require guns be locked up and unloaded face a 5 percent increase in murder and a 12 percent increase in rapes. Criminals are more likely to attack people in their homes and those attacks are more likely to be successful.

Since potentially armed victims deter criminals, storing a gun locked and unloaded actually encourages increased crime.

— "All too often, handguns in the heat of anger turn domestic violence into murder."

To put it bluntly, criminals are not your typical citizens.

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Update on Campus Police carrying guns in Iowa

An update on the decision by public universities in Iowa on whether campus police should be allowed to carry guns is available here.

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Debate continues at Iowa Public Universities over Arming Police

At the Iowa State forum, Stewart said that having campus police trained and certified to carry guns would help officers protect students. He said ISU police deserve the same level of protection as officers in other communities.

Warren Madden, ISU vice president of business and finance, said an armed police force could react more quickly to serious threats than other law enforcement agencies.

"Sometimes time is a critical element in responding to events," Madden said.

Herman Quirmbach, ISU associate professor of economics and a Democratic state senator from Ames, said arming campus police is not the answer to violence on campus. Rather, Quirmbach said, the university should identify students who may have violent tendencies and get them help.

Faculty at University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University opposed letting police carry guns. The faculty at the University of Iowa voted "12-3 to support arming police." Well, the debate is heating up and the University Presidents have made their decisions even if they haven't been made public yet. One would hope that an economist such as Quirmbach would understand the notion of deterrence. In any case, why does he think that they will be successful in identifying those who will commit the attack (assuming that it is only students who will do it)? What do you do if you fail to identify those who want to do the attack?

Thanks to Richard Featherstone for sending this to me.

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Oregon School District banning concealed handguns on School Property despite state law

One teacher is at least trying to stop the school district from making its schools gun free zones

A high school teacher wanting to carry a gun on campus is fueling a challenge against a Medford School District policy that prohibits possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Portland-based lawyer Jim Leuenberger, with backing from the Oregon Firearms Federation, said in an e-mail sent Friday to the Mail Tribune that he intends to ask a Jackson County Circuit Court judge to declare the policy "illegal and void" for holders of concealed handgun licences.

"There is a state statute that prohibits local governments — including school boards — from restricting possession of firearms by concealed firearm permit holders," Leuenberger said. "The state statute says any such local restrictions are void." . . .

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One Briton's View of Guns in the US

Despite the recent spate of shootings on our streets, we pride ourselves on our strict gun laws. Every time an American gunman goes on a killing spree, we shake our heads in righteous disbelief at our poor benighted colonial cousins. Why is it, even after the Virginia Tech massacre, that Americans still resist calls for more gun controls?

The short answer is that “gun controls” do not work: they are indeed generally perverse in their effects. Virginia Tech, where 32 students were shot in April, had a strict gun ban policy and only last year successfully resisted a legal challenge that would have allowed the carrying of licensed defensive weapons on campus. It is with a measure of bitter irony that we recall Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia, recording the words of Cesare Beccaria: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

One might contrast the Virginia Tech massacre with the assault on Virginia’s Appalachian Law School in 2002, where three lives were lost before a student fetched a pistol from his car and apprehended the gunman. . . .

It is nice to see that these arguments are even being taken seriously in the UK.

Thanks to Dan Gifford for sending this to me.

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Evaluating the Virginia Tech Report on Guns


Arming Police on Campus?

Richard Featherstone, an Assistant Professor of Criminology at Northern Iowa University, sent me a letter that he wrote. Given the debate about guns on campuses and the upcoming votes in Iowa on arming campus police, I thought I would point to one part of his letter:

A federal 1995 study indicated that among public campuses with 10,000 or more students, 89% had armed officers. Since the publication of the study more universities, like Brown University and the State University of New York Geneseo, have chosen to arm their campus police.



Will shooting in Missouri Church get Churches to reconsider Concealed Handgun Ban?

I found it interesting that the left-leaning Daily Kos seriously discussed the issue of gun free zones:

The fatal shooting of three people in a Missouri church on Sunday promises to renew the debate over concealed weapons laws.

Under the state's "conceal and carry" law enacted in 2003, Show Me State residents can bring firearms into places of worship (among other places), provided they get permission from their pastors. Whether the gunman or any of the assembled in the First Congregational Church in Neosho had received the blessing to pack heat in a house of God remains to be seen.

Among Missouri's Catholic churches, at least, such permission is unlikely. In the wake of the passage of the conceal and carry law, the Missouri Catholic Conference prescribed guidelines for churches in the state. Among its recommendations that each church should distribute a written policy to all employees and parishioners, as well as post a sign of at least 11 inches by 14 inches announcing that all weapons are prohibited within. . . .

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Norway: Schooling and Guns

Schooling in Norway is apparently not a gun free zone:

Students on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard aren't allowed to leave their village without a shotgun and ammunition. That's because hungry polar bears can be behind every swing on the island.

Although no one wants to shoot a polar bear, and they're indeed protected by national law, the huge white animals can quickly outrun a human. And humans don't have a chance if confronted by an aggressive bear.

So everyone on Svalbard needs to be able defend him- or herself, and students undergo weapons training every year.

"We feel more secure and look forward to learn a lot more," said Helga Therese Tilley Tajet of Moelv. She's studying meteorology at the University of Oslo and will concentrate on the Arctic marine climate for the next six months at the university on Svalbard, UNIS. . . .

I wonder if there are any students who have been wounded with accidental gun shoots. For some reason despite all these students having guns I bet that there haven't been any problems.

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Debate on letting guns on college campuses

A C-SPAN Washington Journal debate between a student at George Mason University, Andrew Dysart, and Paul Helmke from the Brady Campaign can be seen here.

This morning during the 6 AM hour I debated Paul Helmke on WTOP radio.

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Sign up here for your own gun free zone

There is a very funny YouTube segment here. This is really very funny. In rewatching this the fourth time, it finally dawned on me that this is from Fox News' "1/2 hour news hour."

Thanks to David Hardy for posting this link.

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Colorado Sheriff Discusses Problem with Gun Free Zone

Sheriff Jim Alderden discusses Colorado State University's decision to let permit holders have guns on campus:

Following the tragic events at Virginia Tech, I was frequently asked if something like that could happen here. The sad truth is something like that could easily happen here, and most anyplace else. Many on the far left were quick to call for yet more gun control, but I don’t believe more or tougher gun control laws is the answer. Criminals and like minded individuals are always going to ignore the law and find ways to get guns, or if not firearms, other weapons or means to carry out their schemes. One of the real tragedies of the situation at Virginia Tech is that misguided administrators created a gun free zone where someone like this crazed individual could prey on other students, staff and faculty who were powerless to defend themselves. Their philosophy of keeping guns out of the hands of sane and law abiding citizens on campus potentially contributed to the tragic results. Locally, we are fortunate that at Colorado State University, the administrators have shown more common sense and recognize that a firearm in the hands of a law abiding citizens who frequent the campus is not a risk but could be a deterrent to violent criminal activity. While there are a number of students, staff and faculty at CSU who have Concealed Weapons Permits, admittedly, the chance of one of them being at right place at the right time to intervene is small, but compare this to the situation at Virginia Tech where there was no chance. . . . .

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I believe that the Tennessee Senate has passed a bill getting rid of gun free zones in parks

Not a gun free zone: College Students in Dorms in Louisiana will be allowed to keep owning guns.


Boise State not a gun free zone for Professors and Staff

Clayton Cramer tells me that Boise State in Idaho does not prevent Professors and Staff from having guns on school property. Clayton has taught there and says that he carefully read through the facutly handbook.

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"S.C. Considers Allowing Guns on Campuses"

It would be nice if someone in the US contacted AP and told them that this story is not accurate. As has been detailed on this website, Utah is not the only place that allow guns on university campuses. Colorado State University is one example. I have it on good authority that the Dartmouth allows faculty to carry permitted concealed handguns.

Columbia, S.C. (AP) --
To prevent school shootings, some South Carolina legislators want more guns on campuses.

A House subcommittee approved a measure Wednesday that would allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry guns onto public school campuses, from elementary schools to universities. Supporters say having trained and armed gun owners in schools could prevent massacres like the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech, where one armed student killed 32 people.
Only Utah currently has a law allowing concealed weapons on campuses.

"We're not talking about kids. We're talking about responsible adults," said Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan, who sponsored the bill.
Opponents fear more guns will mean more accidental shootings, and questioned if colleges were an appropriate environment for guns.

"I'm concerned about more guns around younger people combined with emotions and sometimes alcohol," said Rep. Doug Jennings, a Democrat. "I don't think it's a proper reaction to the Virginia Tech tragedy."

The bill heads to the House Judiciary Committee, though it is not expected to pass the Legislature before its scheduled adjournment for the year next month. Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican, said he hadn't yet thought about the bill. . . . .

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Colorado State University allows students with concealded handguns on campus


Dennis Miller is awesome: Making a serious point about gun free zones

I thought Dennis Miller was great on O'Reilly (I usually do), but this joke was just too amusing. Here is a close to exact quote:

"The fact is that by doing this stuff we set us up for something like Fort Dix where six local kids think that we are so asleep at the switch. This isn't Va Tech with a gun free zone. You are talking about an army base. and they think we are so asleep at the switch they can get an AK-47 and do us in."

I also liked his joke about whining terrorists.

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Two powerful op-eds on gun free zones

The problem with gun free zones is getting more and more attention. The first is by the very famous Michael Barone in today's National Review Online:

When Florida passed its concealed-weapons law, I thought it was a terrible idea. People would start shooting each other over traffic altercations; parking lots would turn into shooting galleries. Not so, it turned out. Only a very, very few concealed-weapons permits have been revoked. There are only rare incidents in which people with concealed-weapons permits have used them unlawfully. Ordinary law-abiding people, it turns out, are pretty trustworthy.

I’m not the only one to draw such a conclusion. When she was Michigan’s attorney general, Democrat Jennifer Granholm opposed the state’s concealed-weapons law, which took effect in 2001. But now, as governor, she’s not seeking its repeal. She says that her fears — like those I had about Florida’s law 20 years ago — proved to be unfounded.

So far as I know, there are no politically serious moves to repeal any state’s concealed-weapons laws. In most of the United States, as you go to work, shop at the mall, go to restaurants, and walk around your neighborhood, you do so knowing that some of the people you pass by may be carrying a gun. You may not even think about it. But that’s all right. Experience has shown that these people aren’t threats.

Virginia has a concealed-weapons law. But Virginia Tech was, by the decree of its administrators, a “gun-free zone.” Those with concealed-weapons permits were not allowed to take their guns on campus and were disciplined when they did. A bill was introduced in the state House of Delegates to allow permit-holders to carry guns on campus. When it was sidetracked, a Virginia Tech administrator hailed the action and said that students, professors and visitors would now “feel safe” on campus.

Tragically, they weren’t safe. Virginia Tech’s “gun-free zone” was not gun-free. In contrast, killers on other campuses were stopped by faculty or bystanders who had concealed-weapons permits and brandished their guns to stop the killing. . . .

The second is by a good friend of mine, Tracy Price, in today's Washington Times:

The above list is a tiny sampling of the growing number of multiple-victim shootings, including at least 39 school shootings in the United States. What do all of the above have in common? Each occurred in a "gun-free zone." The recent killing of 32 innocent students and teachers at Virginia Tech adds another tragic chapter to this horrible book of violence and death. I, like many fathers, consider this reality when I send my sons off to school each morning. . . .

Thanks to Jon Shell for sending me the first article.

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Virginia Tech Students Felt that the Could have Stopped the Attack if the School Wasn't a Gun Free Zone


April 18, 2007 Wednesday

LENGTH: 526 words




BODY: . . .

(Voiceover) Students who are members of the Virginia Tech gun club say they could have stopped the shooter if they were allowed to have their guns.


It would have been comforting if I did have a concealed carry permit and I did have a, a kind of weapon on me that I, I would not have felt that I was justtotally just a helpless victim at the mercy of this lunatic.

. . .

LOAD-DATE: April 18, 2007



Professor fired for advocating that concealed handguns be allowed on campus

This is pretty depressing.

An Emmanuel College professor has been fired after re-enacting the Virginia Tech massacre in his classroom in order to air a pro-gun viewpoint that offended students at the Catholic liberal arts school, the professor charged yesterday.
Nicholas Winset said he was terminated and permanently barred from campus following a Wednesday lecture in which he dramatized the massacre to show that deranged gunman Cho Seung-Hui could have been stopped if another student had been carrying a gun.
“If there were more guns in society, the response time to the (rampage) might have been much faster,” said Winset, an adjunct professor of financial accounting. “Someone might have been able to do something to stop it.” . . .

UPDATE: Paul Huebl send me an update on the story here. He includes the note that "Be sure to watch the clip parts in the right order."

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Two Concealed Handgun Permit Holders Stop Public Shooting

Memphis, Tennessee 3/8/07

Police in Memphis say a gunman firing a pistol beside a busy city street was subdued by two passers-by who were also armed.

No one was hurt during the incident that apparently began with a minor traffic accident, but one passing car was believed hit by a bullet.

Brothers William Webber and Paul Webber told police they stopped their car and pulled their own pistols when they saw a man firing a handgun yesterday.

The brothers said they ordered the man to drop his weapon and then held him at gunpoint until police arrived a few minutes later. Police say the Webbers did not fire their pistols.

Police arrested Dementrius Roberson and charged him with reckless endangerment. Police say the Webber brothers and Roberson have licenses to carry firearms.

Paul Webber says Roberson was firing across traffic and they couldn't tell why he was shooting. . . . .

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Evidence that Trolley Square Mall in Utah occurred in a "gun free zone"

A photo of one of the signs at Trolley Square is available courtesy of W. Clark Aposhian of the Utah Shooting Sports Council. Click on the picture to get a larger copy of it and see point 10 for the mention that weapons are banned.

N.W. Clayton fills us in on additional information about this shooting. Off-duty police officer Hammond, who stopped the attack, "was at the opposite end and on a different floor of the convoluted Trolley Square complex when the shooting began. By the time he became aware of the shooting and managed to track down and confront Talovic, three minutes had elapsed." It is fortunate that the off-duty officer ignored the posted signs, but the point is that the killer was not stopped from taking his guns into the Mall just because guns were banned there. One wonders how many more lives could have been saved if law-abiding Utah citizens had been able to carry a gun into the Mall and gotten on the scene in less than 3 minutes. I understand that theoretically under state law permit holders could still carry their guns into the Mall despite the posted signs, but there appears to be some confusion and debate about this issue and courts have upheld gun bans in company parking lots.

I got a note from Janlee Tobias noting to me that: "You may also be interested to know that on Monday night's Channel 2 (KUTV) www.kutv.com broadcast, a witness said words to the effect, 'I saw the shooter. I looked for something to throw at him, but all I could find was a stool.' Then the witness saw the off-duty Ogden police officer and directed him to the shooter."

Utah has 79,353 permit holders, 4.6 percent of the adult population. (I don't know the breakdown for permit holders by whether they are in-state and out-of-state residents.

A detailed timeline of events is provided here. My earlier post is here.

Thanks to N.W. Clayton for sending me this.

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Off-duty Officer with Concealed Handgun stops Utah Mall Shooting

I have been arguing this point for years, but here is one reason why police officers should be allowed to carry concealed handguns when they are off-duty. Fortunately, the off-duty officer ignored the "no guns allowed" sign at the Mall. The killer apparently also ignored the sign.

It appears as though off-duty Ogden police Officer Kenneth Hammond, who carried a concealed weapon, stopped the killing spree, said Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council.
Aposhian noted that it is impossible to know whether a concealed-weapon holder could make a difference in every violent confrontation.
"But we do know what happens when there is no one with a concealed weapon in these situations - people die."
Aposhian spent Monday fielding telephone calls from individuals and groups seeking information on concealed-weapons permits. . . .

Of course, this argument applies to letting others as well defend themselves.

There is a real concern in my mind that this may be the beginning of more terrorist attacks. There was the attack last year in Seattle. At first glance, this is starting to look like a pattern.

Neighbors and friends back in his home country are shedding more light on the 18-year-old immigrant involved in Monday's shopping mall shooting rampage in Utah.

People close to the family of Sulejman Talovic say the Bosnian immigrant was only four when he and his mother fled their village on foot after it was overrun by Serbian forces. They say Talovic spent five years living as a refugee in Bosnia before his family moved to the U-S.

During his time as a refugee, they say he spent time in an enclave where up to eight-thousand Muslim men and boys would be slaughtered in 1995.

Talovic left before the massacre, but acquaintances say it may have left a mark on him.

A family friend says he's convinced "the war did this in Utah." . . .

This last story is one of many that fails to note that it was an off-duty officer who stopped the attack.

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Concealed Carry May have saved lives in the Tacoma Mall shooting

This surely hasn't gotten much coverage. I did a fast search and couldn't find any other stories that mentioning concealed handguns.

A confrontation between Dominick S. Maldonado, the Tacoma Mall shooting suspect, and the most severely injured victim, Brendan “Dan” McKown, 38, may have stopped Maldonado’s shooting spree Sunday.

McKown, an assistant manager at Excalibur Cutlery and Gifts, pulled a gun on Maldonado outside of the Kits Camera outlet, according to his mother, Patricia Schuman, who said police told her what happened.

Police are unsure whether McKown fired at Maldonado.

McKown almost always carried a gun, his family said, in case he needed to come to someone's aid.

He had been walking through the mall to make a deposit when he met Maldonado.

Maldonado shot McKown probably three times in the side from a distance of 20 feet, severing his bowel and injuring his spinal cord. McKown, who's also a stand-up comic, might never walk again.

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