Colorado Concealed Carry on Campus: The Facts are In

Image: usconcealedcarry.com

I suppose if you have your emotional life bound up in something, it won't matter whether that something turns out to be true or not. You will continue to insist your emotional viewpoint is right even though the facts (reality) show you to be wrong. Case in point, Colorado's

twelve year experience

with legal on-campus carry.

When the Colorado legislature decided to even the field, dispensing with the often contradictory and unrealistic web of local, municipal and county concealed carry laws by establishing state wide statutes that invalidated all of those others, the Regents of the University of Colorado felt that they were somehow superior to the lawmakers and could rule over the state colleges regardless of the wishes of the people and legislature.

The Colorado Supreme Court said otherwise. Naturally, certain segments of the communities involved were terribly shocked and outraged, predicting an onslaught of gun violence on campus. Pretty standard fare for them. However, after over twelve years in which adults with valid carry permits have been carrying their guns on Colorado campuses, there have been no shootings by concealed carry permit holders, or by anyone else. A Colorado University employee did discharge her weapon while "showing it" and was promptly and properly fired.

I want to put forward a few quotes by David Kopek from his Washington Post article of April 20,

Guns on university campuses: The Colorado experience

.

"

In 2003, the Colorado legislature enacted the 

Concealed Carry Act

. The statute was written by County Sheriffs of Colorado, the organization which represents all 62 of Colorado’s elected Sheriffs. The Act passed with broad bipartisan support, including all Republicans and almost every Democrat except some from Denver and Boulder." 

Even though, as Mr. Kopek points out, the act had broad bipartisan support, there were some people who felt that their personal opinions matter more and they needed to help everyone else bow to their wishes. They are still pushing to get their way mostly by fear-mongering and presenting their cherry-picked and skewed ideas that "guns are bad”. Even after twelve years that solidly demonstrate otherwise, these people are still not satisfied and and tried again in 2013 to have legal handguns banned from college campuses. As the Colorado Sheriffs have pointed out, adults who have been licensed to carry guns in the state should not lose their right of self defense when they attend or teach at a college campus.

I think the most telling parts of this story are demonstrated by two things: the fact that violence has not escalated on Colorado campuses since this act was enforced, just the opposite, and that especially for women, the campuses are safer places than before. Here are a couple of examples from Mr. Kopel's article that brings this point home.

"

The Colorado Sheriffs’ support for defensive arms carrying is confirmed by national data. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts in-person interviews with several thousand persons annually, for the National Crime Victimization Survey. In 1992-2002, over 2,000 of the persons interviewed disclosed they had been raped or sexually assaulted. Of them, only 26 volunteered that they used a weapon to resist. In none of these cases

was the rape completed; in none of the cases did the victim suffer additional injury after she deployed her weapon."

And, in particular the testimony of Amanda Collins, again from Mr. Kopel's article:

"In 2012 the Colorado Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that the University of Colorado must obey the Concealed Carry Act. This was consistent with the precedent the CU has no special exemption from civil rights statutes.

But in 2013 a bill was introduced to outlaw licensed carry on all campuses. Rape survivor Amanda Collins testified before the Senate State Affairs Committee about how a ban on campus carry had affected her life. As a 21-year old, Msw Collins had a Nevada defensive handgun license. But the University of Nevada at Reno did not allow licensed firearms on campus. She was raped in then parking garage of the campus police station, which was closed for the night.

The crime took place just a few feet from an emergency call box.

 “How does rendering me defenseless protect you against a violent crime?” she asked the Colorado Senators. State Senator Evie Hudak told Collins that if Collins had been carrying a gun, statistics showed that the gun would have been taken from her. Actually, statistics show that fewer than one percent of defensive gun use results in the defender’s gun being taken.

“Respectfully senator, you weren’t there,” Collins responded. “Had I been carrying concealed, he wouldn’t have known I had my weapon; and I was there. I know without a doubt in my mind at some point I would’ve been able to stop my attack by using my firearm. He already had a weapon of his own; he didn’t need mine.”

Because the rapist was not stopped that night, he later raped two more women and murdered one.

Senator Hudak resigned in December 2013, to avoid a recall election.”

I think that supporting licensed adults the right to carry on campus for self defense has been proven to work, regardless of the dire predictions from the hand-wringing fear ridden opponents, and that it is certainly a step forward for women in Colorado. Predators like to prey on the weak and having a concealed carry equalizer on your person takes that advantage away.

Women, arm yourselves.