Gun control on college campuses

by Veronica Natal | Staff Writer|

Governor Jerry Brown announced on Oct. 10 his ban of open carried hand guns in California. This has stirred up controversy for students who want to fight for concealed gun carry on public college campuses for self-defense, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Just three days after Brown’s announcement, the California State University’s (CSU) web site put up a story about a student organization called Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) on campus. They continue to argue why it is necessary for them to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

“There are two reasons to allow licensed carrying concealed deadly weapons on a college campus. The first is a legal entitlement to self-defense which holds true in the countless other locations within a given state, without the need to demonstrate a need for self-defense,” stated the SCC website.

“The second reason is the actual need for self-defense.”

According to the CSU Office of Public Affiars, the story of a student in 2007 named Amanda Carpenter, who was attacked and raped on her way walking back to her car after class at night.

As quoted from the CSU’ s website, “The rapist had a gun. She didn’t”.

On its website, the organization argues that although colleges are typically safe, campuses can host crimes stemming from assault to rape to murder. As a result, the SCC believes people should be able to use weapons for self-defense in an effective and responsible way.

Lieutenant Walter Duncan, of CSUSB university police said, “We have police on campus 24 hours a day and a separate unit with housing during the day and at night.”

“For the safety and crime rate for our campus students can see that on our web site and see all local arrests as well,” continued Lieutenant Duncan.

CSUSB student, Rachel Hollis said, “I have pepper spray and I know people who carry knives and those are weapons, but if some crazy person had a gun, I would get how having a gun would be a better self-defense.”

“The group (SCC) simply wants eligible people to be able to carry weapons on the campuses of public colleges, just as they can in a grocery store,” said David Burnett, public relations officer for the SCC according to the CSU website.

The California Gun-Free Act prohibits possession or discharge of a firearm in a school zone. Even though Brown announced banning open carry and not specifically concealed carry, the SCC are arguing their reasons for allowing  concealed carry on the bases of open carry laws.

The Los Angeles Times explained that California law has allowed for public display of weapons as long as they were not loaded. However, “Police chiefs and sheriffs complained that panicked customers’ calls were diverting them from chasing real criminals.”

Brown banned the open carry for this reason according to the article.

Kevin Miller, a private gun shop owner in San Bernardino said, “Provided that handguns are eventually allowed in college campuses, I wouldn’t see a problem with it because I know the paperwork and the thorough background check the county sheriff does in order for one of my customer’s to even receive a gun.”

“They also make the customers take an eight hour class on their weapon,” continued Miller.

CSUSB student Joyousenne Black said, “You can turn anything into a weapon, ultimately though,
it’s people who kill people not guns.”

Fellow student Jeanette Boone said, “I’ve never felt unsafe on campus and if I were to, I could always have a security officer walk me to my car at night. I wouldn’t feel comfortable in my classroom if I knew the student sitting next to me possibly had a gun in their bag.”

As the controversy continues, the fact is Brown’s ban has been announced and is due to take effect Jan. 1, 2012.

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