You know what they say about Texas—if you’re gonna rob a bank, don’t do it in Texas. There’s a very good reason why that saying has come about. A quick search online will bring up story after story about stupid criminals who made the mistake of drawing while in Texas. They tended to change their minds when bystanders then drew on them. Of course, this isn’t Texas. The debate that is taking place in North Carolina isn’t over the right to own a gun, but the right to carry a gun onto campus. A student –led organization, Students for Concealed Carry On Campus “believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that they enjoy virtually everywhere else.” The main argument that liberals are making against concealed-carry on campus is the use of firearms in crimes like that at Virginia Tech in 2007. You may recall that gunman Seung-Hui Cho was able to legally purchase a handgun despite being declared mentally unsound due to privacy laws that prevented such reporting on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Cho did not have a conceal-carry permit. Frankly, he wouldn’t have been able to get one either.
A right-to-carry permit is not easily obtained. Before you can begin the process you have to be a US Citizen over 21. That means that should concealed carry be allowed on campus, the individuals who will be able to do so will be seniors, grad students, professors and security. An eighteen-year old first year wouldn’t be able to get one. Further, if you didn’t know who was armed on your campus you’d think twice before pulling a gun. With the odds that one out of every four, or let’s say one out of every twenty students is packing, the chances of you pulling off a rampage and killing thirty-two people like Cho did, is unlikely. A person who has a concealed carry weapon will probably stop you. I would.
The steps to getting a right-to-carry permit (so you can carry a concealed weapon) include an eight hour class that costs $100 and requires a passing score on two tests, registration and fingerprinting at the Sheriff’s office and a state fee of $90. Further, the state requires verification of the following information about the applicant- that he/she:
- has been a resident of the State for at least 30 days immediately prior to filing the application
- does not suffer from a physical or mental infirmity that prevents the safe handling of a handgun
- has successfully completed an approved firearms safety and training course which involves the actual firing of handguns and instruction in the law governing the carrying of a concealed handgun and the use of deadly force
- is not ineligible under federal or state law to possess, receive, or own a firearm
is not currently or has not been adjudicated or administratively determined to be lacking mental capacity or mentally ill
- has not been discharged from the armed forces under conditions other than honorable
- is or has not been adjudicated guilty or judgment continued or suspended sentence for a violent misdemeanor
- has not had judgment continued for or free on bond or personal recognizance pending trial, appeal, or sentencing for a disqualifying criminal offense
- has not been convicted of an impaired driving offense within three years prior to the date on which the application is submitted.
Anyone who has spent any length of time around guns will tell you that they have a healthy respect for them. They are a measure of safety, a means to protect not only you but the people around you. And individuals who have earned a right-to-carry permit should be allowed to practice that right on campus as well as off-campus, for my safety and for yours. So, as a US citizen who is over 21, if guns are allowed, I’m packing.