CCW on Campus
by Jennifer Freeman


According to the latest news reports, 33 people were killed and 29 injured during a shooting rampage on April 16, 2007 at Virginia Technical University. Previously, the deadliest campus shooting in the country took place in 1966 at the University of Texas at Austin, in which 17 people, including the gunman, were killed.

The general approach to preventing these types of incidences has been to ban the possession of firearms at all schools and colleges. The perpetrators of massacres like the one at Virginia Tech and Columbine prove what gun owners have been saying all along: Criminals, by their very nature do not obey the law.

In January, 2006 a Virginia bill that would have allowed handguns on college campuses, died in subcommittee. On the day the bill failed, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was quoted as saying, "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus." Mr. Hincker's comments are consistent with the anti-gun mindset that perpetuates the educational community.

Perhaps it's time to take a different approach to the problem by creating a program that would act as a deterrent to mass violent behavior on campus and serve to minimize the damage in the few instances in which the deterrent method fails. Rather than ban firearms on campuses, we should create a Citizens Response Team (CRT) composed of trained students and professors who possess a concealed carry permit.

The Citizens Response Team (CRT) would have to apply and pass a training and emergency response course in conjunction with local police and specific to the needs of the campus. The CRT would be armed and able to use deadly force when needed, but would also assist in the evacuation of students from dangerous areas, administer first aid, and facilitate communication. Comprised of students and professors throughout the university, a Citizens Response Team could provide immediate assistance and stop an attack, thereby minimizing the loss of the life.

We know that the police cannot be everywhere all the time. But with the assistance of trained students and professors who pass a background check, we can exponentially reduce the number of death and injury. Or we can continue with the status quo and keep our fingers crossed.

We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred at Virginia Tech today. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family members, friends, and others affected.


Jennifer Freeman is Executive Director and co-founder of Liberty Belles, a grass-roots organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the Second Amendment.




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