The Louisiana House of Representatives recently killed a bill to allow concealed handgun carry on campuses. The following is one man's opinion:

 

Have you ever heard what happened on Jan. 16, 2002, at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va.?

It's a small, private and highly respected school of law that has gained notoriety because of a foreign student with a history of mental instability.

His name was Peter Odighizuwa, a Nigerian and naturalized U.S. citizen who had flunked out of the school in 2001, but had been allowed to come back. On the day in question, the 42-year-old was due to speak with Anthony Sutin, dean of the school, about his grades. Odighizuwa had just been dismissed a second time for poor grades.

Odighizuwa spoke first with Professor Dale Rubin when he arrived at campus that morning. Upon leaving Rubin's office, he asked him to pray for him. He then went to the offices of Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell.

Upon arriving at their offices, Odighizuwa drew a .380-caliber pistol and shot both these respected college educators to death.

He then went downstairs and opened fire in a common area, hitting a student and killing her. He fired three more shots, wounding three more students.

He then stopped shooting and went outside as students were diving out of windows and running for cover.

Two students, Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, ran to their parked cars and retrieved handguns from them. They then ran back and pointed their guns at Odighizuwa, who dropped his pistol. Students piled on and Odighizuwa was quickly in handcuffs.

Most media reports stated that Odighizuwa was "tackled" by a group of students. Certainly the national media is not going to publicize a positive intercession by citizens with guns.

Remember the incident on Oct. 1, 1997, in Pearl, Miss.? Luke Woodham, 16, cut his mother's throat the night before, then showed up at Pearl High School with a .30-30.

He opened fire on his former girlfriend, Christina Menefee, and her friend, Lydia Dew, killing them instantly. He then swung the rifle around and fired it into a group of students. He ran to the parking lot, and climbed into his dead mother's car - he later stated he intended to drive to a nearby junior high school and kill more students.

Assistant Principal Joel Myrick, a shooter and a member of the National Guard, ran to his car and retrieved his .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun, loaded it and intercepted Woodham, who was by that time driving off. When Myrick pointed his handgun at Woodham, he crashed into a tree. Myrick ran up and ordered him out of the car, holding him on the ground at gunpoint until police arrived.

There was little media reporting of the fact that Myrick stopped what was sure to be further carnage with the use of his handgun. I guess we are to assume he ran up to Woodham, pointed his finger at him, ordered him to stop and Woodham meekly complied.

Finally, recall the incident that occurred on April 16, 2007, at Virginian Tech University at Blacksburg, Va.

Korean-born Seung-Hui Cho took a 9mm Glock pistol and a .22-caliber Walther pistol, and went on a murderous rampage - the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, killing 32 students and instructors before taking his own life.

Legislation was introduced into the Virginia legislature in 2006 that would have allowed concealed carry on campus, but it was derailed. The campus was a "Gun-Free Zone" - now more accurately described as a "Victim Disarmament Zone."

Cho first shot two students to death in a dormitory. He then went to Norris Hall, where he chained the doors shut, walked up to the second floor and began shooting at will. In all, he wounded 60 people, killing 30 of them. Police believe he fired more than 170 rounds in this attack. He had two 32-round replacement magazines for the Glock, and a large number of spare magazines.

Among the victims were five college professors, including Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who blocked the door of his classroom to give his students time to escape through the windows. Cho shot him five times, killing him.

There were 11 dead students in Room 211 - this is where Cho eventually took his own life. There were nine dead in Room 206. There were four killed in Room 2007, and another died in Room 204.

Enough. You get the picture. Possible mass slayings are averted or lessened because someone produced a handgun and stopped the killing.

Where none are present in these "Victim Disarmament Zones," dozens die needlessly.

No amount of law, statutes or regulations is going to keep madmen from going where guns are least likely to be used against them and killing people. Yet, administrators seem to believe that allowing a small number of well-trained adults who have undergone extensive criminal and mental background checks to carry concealed on campus will result in some sort of Armageddon where students will go crazy and start shooting everyone.

Need I point out that if such a person is going to submit to such violent tendencies, the fact he is breaking the law by having a gun on campus is going to do little to deter him.

But I ask if only one student had been able to produce a handgun and engage Cho inside Norris Hall, how many lives might have been saved?

Let's look at some of the histrionics produced in opposition to allowing concealed carry on campus:

 

1. Allowing students to carry guns will only result in shootings and bloodshed on campuses.

This is the same argument that has been produced in every state (now about 40) where shall-issue concealed-carry laws have been proposed. This fallacy has been proven wrong. Professor John Lott, an economist and respected researcher, has found that mass public shootings declined by 85 percent and injuries fell 82 percent in the 14 states that adopted shall-issue carry laws between 1977 and 1995.

Professor Gary Kleck, in his book Point Blank: Guns and Violence In America, reported that guns are used over 2.5 million times a year to stop crimes from occurring - and in only a miniscule number of those cases is the gun actually discharged.

 

2. The students are more likely to shoot each other than a gunman.

My daughter is currently a college student. If a crazed shooter opened up in her dorm or classroom, I would take the chance and prefer someone in the building had taken a CCW course, was licensed by the state to carry and had a gun to stop the killings. I'll take the chance he/she might accidentally shoot my beloved daughter. I would rather that chance than her more-certain death by an assassin in a gun-free zone.

Incidentally, she is over 21 years of age, has her own permit and knows how and when to shoot. If you were ever someplace where someone opened up with a gun, you would be most glad she had her revolver - she wouldn't shoot anyone else accidentally, and she wouldn't be afraid to stop someone from shooting others. She is trained, competent and cool-headed.

 

3. The police, upon arriving, won't know the difference between the shooters and the students - and might shoot a student.

Give me a break. I worked for 25 years as a reserve law-enforcement officer. I came on scenes where citizens had guns and were holding other people - lawbreakers - at bay. It happened to me once.

Dressed in plain clothes, I stopped a crime from occurring in another jurisdiction. Holding a lawbreaker on the ground, pointing a .38 Special revolver at his back, I had the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office roll up on the scene. They leveled their guns at me until I put mine down, and convinced them which of us was the bad guy.

I never shot anyone in such a case, and never knew another law-enforcement officer who did either. It might be unnerving at first; we might have pointed guns at them until they put them down, but we worked it out quickly.

 

Should we allow concealed carry on campus?

Absolutely. By denying it, you are saying that reasoned, thinking adults the state has determined can carry practically anywhere cannot do so on campus. The people arguing against this are saying adult college students are likely to go berserk and start shooting one another.

Most states that allow concealed-carry conduct thorough background checks on every applicant, and the training is equally thorough and extensive, requiring hours of shooting time, lectures on safe use of handguns, use of deadly force and child-access prevention. Statistically, the millions of concealed-carry permit holders across the country are the most law-abiding sub-group in the United States.

Allow concealed carry on campuses? Why has it ever been denied in the first place?