Young Americans Want Their Liberties, Too!
by Rick Walker
USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Have you ever seen an article in the news that makes you wonder where the country is headed? The ones I'm talking about concern young people who tend to show their ignorance of and lack of interest in things like the Second Amendment and gun rights?
Well, there is a large number of young folks out there who are working as hard as you are to ensure we get to keep those rights. The group I'm talking about is the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
Imagine this scenario: You are at least 21 years old. You have a concealed carry permit, issued by your county's sheriff. You have decided that you want to start a local organization of like minded people. It would be for social and educational purposes such as enhancing knowledge and sharing information. You are told by the local government that you cannot do such a thing, purely due to it being related to guns. Nor would you be able to locally advertise in support of such an organization. And you certainly would be denied the use of any of the government's facilities to have a meeting of such people. Use the “Community Center”? Well, not in this community, you don't.
Wouldn't you be outraged at such treatment?
Especially when this treatment is prohibited by state law and the US Constitution? Well, it is happening right now, all over the country! The great news is that there are many of our very best young Americans (and some not so young) working very hard to change this situation. It is called the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, and they are continually working to eliminate such restrictions where and when they find them. And they need your help to do more of this very important work.
Here are some examples:
From a then-24 year old freshman in Pennsylvania: “When my college tried to infringe my freedom of speech because they did not want me talking about my Second Amendment rights, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education came to my aid. If you google my name it will not be hard to find the news stories about it. ”
“I won, though it took 7 months to teach my college about the 1st Amendment, forcing CCAC to retract its unconstitutional solicitation policy and allow me to form a chapter of SCCC on a campus where a dean had told me “this would NEVER be allowed here” and I will win every battle like this because I am on the side of liberty and justice and anyone who opposes me is doing so out of an emotional fear and will not have a rational argument. If you find yourself in any similar situation I will help, and I will find help for you. “
Imagine a public college denying a citizen the 1st Amendment right because they wanted to use it to promote 2nd Amendment rights! However, this is more common than it should be – so we need to stand up and make ourselves heard. Just like she did.
Fox News' Kelley Beaucar Vlahos reported at the time that . . . .
“The latest flare-up involves Christine Brashier, who says officials at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) violated her First Amendment right to free speech when they stopped her from posting and distributing fliers advocating for concealed carry on campus, and for a new chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) at the college. The group has about a dozen chapters on other Pennsylvania campuses, Shibley said.
“I genuinely wanted to start discussion on the topic,” Brasier told FOXNews.com this week. ” I am not such an avid gun owner as much of the news has made me out to be — I simply believe in liberty and that college is the place for a debate about important issues such as this one.”
Brashier maintains she was hauled into a meeting with the dean, who told her “that the club would never be approved, that the school did not wish to discuss the topic, and to cease speaking about it as well as destroy the literature.” David Hoovler, a school spokesman, told FOXNews.com that “Brashier was a good student and that the incident had nothing to do with the issue of firearms on campus. The student government has the authority for approving campus organizations, he said, (emphasis added) and it's all about procedure”.
But is it really about procedure?
Or about control, and treating students like children? This is certainly not treating people like the voting-age, non-criminal adults that they must be to obtain a concealed carry permit. Again from the Fox News article:
“In March (2009), Central Connecticut State University student John Wahlberg and two classmates gave a presentation for their communications class on whether the death toll at Virginia Tech might have been smaller if faculty and students had been allowed to carry guns. That night, Wahlberg says, he was called into the campus police department, which already had a list of his registered guns, which were locked away off-campus.”
“Wahlberg's professor had reported him to security out of “safety” concerns, according to The Recorder, the campus newspaper. Certainly, campus officials and campus law enforcement are against the idea of more guns in private citizens' hands at school.
Lisa Sprague, president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, said the group put out a position statement after the Virginia Tech incident against concealed carry on campus. They say there is “no credible evidence to suggest that the presence of students carrying concealed weapons would reduce violence on our college campuses,” and could even serve to create more dangerous situations.”
Well, in the current case before the courts in Colorado, the proof that Ms. Sprague says she is seeking is plain for all to see.
During the timeframe that concealed carry was allowed on campus, the last seven years, the crime rate at that campus went down, significantly and steadily. It is now at about one third of its former level. Rapes have fallen 84%. Shouldn't this get someone's attention in a positive way?
Nearly lost in that current battle is the fact that the students at CUS have done a perfect job of not having any incidents involving those firearms that they carry. Is that not a “double win”? Less crime and none of the bad outcomes the administration, Brady and Violence Policy Center keep warning us about? Ah, sorry, you must be dreaming of an earlier time . . . .
This year, the CSU Faculty Policy Committee, decided a “feel-good” gun ban was needed. The student body clearly is opposed to this policy. Imagine their shock when the University's Board of Directors, led by the president of the university, overturned the vote of the student body! Aren't the administrators the ones who have kept saying it is all up to the students in their ability to self-govern? Another lie, obviously. It apparently means you can do what you want, students, as long as we agree.
What a way to set the example! They just want you to think you have say over your lives. Well, you can still vote, can't you?
Are you outraged yet?
Are you ready to act? If you are thinking “no, not in my state, not at my son's and daughter's campus”, you are, unfortunately mistaken. This IS the case in the vast majority of campuses across the United States. Think it does not apply to you, just because you are older? Wrong. Think it doesn't apply to you because you are a retired law enforcement person. Wrong again. Former military? Again, you are mistaken.
Everyone, not just students, is prohibited from carrying a gun on most campuses except active police. As indicated by the three robberies in the last month on our local University of Washington campus, this policy does not seem to work, preventively speaking.
So, what are you going to do about it? Whatever it is, start now. Educate your children and grandchildren about the importance of their rights wherever they are, including college campuses. Have them join SCCC. And you can too. Take action yourselves to help bring these schools to their senses concerning the basic human right to self-defense, let alone the right to carry on campus. This effort is primarily won or lost at the local and state level, and there is where we most need your help.
We also need campus leaders, state and regional directors, and not all of them need to be active students. We also need trainers and advisors for campuses to help them learn the “right stuff,” and to assist them with the pursuit of changes to local and state laws and regulations.
They also need your advice, your knowledge and your connections to ranges, training, state, county and city politicians and law enforcement officials, and to prospective donors who might be willing to help their fight for human rights. Welcome to this part of the fight to restore the basic rights of adults. Volunteer early and often!
Please email us at [email protected] for more information, and to learn what you personally can do to help in your specific area, on the campus of your choice.
We want to thank very much the US Concealed Carry Association for helping us to bring this important message to you. And if you want to sign up your favorite college student with USCCA, please go to our website (http://www.concealedcampus.org/) to do so. USCCA has agreed to make a donation to us for everyone who joins their group through ours. Same great USCCA benefits and prices, while helping our young people continue SCCC's important work.
What is Students for Concealed Carry on Campus?
Born out of the Virginia Tech shootings, and raised through the magic of the Internet, SCCC began as a Facebook page. It was formed for the discussion of this single issue, on-campus carry. This became a very hot topic as the story at VA Tech unfolded in April of 2007. Seemingly overnight, the members of the Facebook page grew extremely fast. It went from zero to over 20,000 members in a very short time. The organization grew from below, finally getting campus, state and national leadership in place.
There was no shortage of volunteers from among the students and even some from the staff and faculty of colleges and universities around the country. Communications became difficult as the number of members, now nearly 43,000, overwhelmed Facebook's limits. SCCC has leaders at almost four hundred campuses in nearly every state in America. If you search Facebook for groups under “Concealed Carry students” you will see 381 different groups. Your favorite campus may be among them.
Note: All SSSC members are unpaid volunteers.
Author: Rick Walker, SSSC board member, USCCA member, Colonel, US Army, Retired
Thanks to Christa Brashier, Kacey Cooper, David Burnett, and Jim Manley, SSSC Regional or State Directors, for their contributions, as well as Fox News
United States Concealed Carry Association is The Most Comprehensive, Up-To-Date Resource for the Law-Abiding, Armed Citizen. Visit: www.usconcealedcarry.com