Saturday, April 12, 2008

Guns On University Campuses

It appears (Please see Badger Herald article below) that the UW Police Department and the "International Association Of Campus Law Enforcement" are in need of some history instruction after the (Paraphrased) precept left to us: "Those who do not study history will be condemned to repeat it"---As to shootings on various school campuses (Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois U. and Columbine HS) where the police were, as usual, too late and too indecisive to stop massacres VS the lesson provided by two armed students at Appalachian Law School whose possession of handguns and decisive actions stopped a murderer from increasing his kill count to the massacre-level.

Applying the KISS principle often taught in engineering schools, the following formulas are offered:
1. "Gun Free Zones" = "Free Fire Zones For Crazed Criminals"; And,
2. "When Murder Is Seconds Away, the police are only Minutes from the scene and, thereafter, standing around waiting for some command decisions".

If you prefer the "deeper" thoughts offered in Philosophy Departments and good Law Schools: Individuals have a Natural Law Right to an instantaneous defense against criminal attacks and, lacking immediate and decisive police protection, to the ready means (Effective weapons at hand) of enforcing that right.

Of course, the entire State of Wisconsin is now a "free fire zone for crazed criminals". The first step is to pass a "Must Issue CCW Permits" law to cover all adult (Voting Age), sane and law-abiding citizens at such a low cost as does not discriminate against the Poor AND does NOT allow the UW to again put itself above the Law. (Michigan's experience with a state wide CCW practice and the University of Utah's forced allowing of CCW has demonstrated the safety of that practice AND the errors of the self-serving, "politically correct" Chiefs-of-Police in those jurisdictions.)

NEWS--The Badger Herald (April 11, 2008)
Students advocate for concealed guns at UW

by Amelia Vorpahl
Friday, April 11, 2008
In the wake of the recent killings in the Madison area, a student group advocating for the concealed carrying of weapons on campus has been gaining more attention.
Bret Bostwick, campus leader of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, said he first thought of starting a University of Wisconsin chapter of the group after the Virginia Tech shooting last year. After the shooting, he said he wondered whether the tragedy “could have played out any differently.”
“We can’t say for sure that a concealed handgun license holder in one of those classrooms would have prevented the shooting, but we can say for certain it would even the odds,” he said.
Bostwick said one of the group’s main goals is to open up a dialogue about campus safety, an issue of increasing relevance after the recent death of a UW student. The group believes only students who have gone through adequate training, education and background checks should be allowed to carry concealed weapons.
“We don’t want to just hand guns to students,” he said. “We are talking about licensed, trained individuals that have completed a background check.”
According to Bostwick, concealed carry laws are actually the norm in the country, and Wisconsin and Illinois are the only two states that don’t have some form of a concealed carry law.
Bostwick said it is easy to assume that gun-free zones are a good idea, until you look at it from a criminal’s perspective. He said criminals look upon gun-free zones as areas where they know people will be unarmed and vulnerable.
“Laws against concealed carry don’t stop criminals from carrying guns,” he said. “Criminals don’t obey the law. The law instead prevents good, trained people from being able to protect themselves and other innocent people.”
Bostwick said Students for Concealed Carry on Campus faces a double hurdle because they must advocate both for concealed carry statewide, as well as on the UW campus. Many states that have concealed carry laws still prohibit concealed weapons in public areas like college campuses.
The UW chapter of the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is not the only advocate for changing Wisconsin gun laws.
In 2006, Rep. Frank Lasee, R-Bellevue, in response to the fatal shooting of a high school principal in Cazenovia, proposed legislation that would allow trained school staff and teachers to carry weapons in Wisconsin schools.
The legislation ultimately failed but did spark a debate about public safety and gun laws in Wisconsin.
According to UW Police Department Lt. Eric Holen, university police would still oppose concealed carrying on campus, even if it became legal statewide.
“The person carrying the weapon may feel more safe and more in control,” he said. “But the person next to them may or may not feel more safe if they know people around them are carrying guns.”
Holen said people cannot solely rely on a weapon to protect themselves. He said personal safety has to be multifaceted and that while students should be aware of their surroundings, they should also work to control their environment as best they can. He also said using SAFE services and self-defense classes are options.
According to Holen, the No. 1 way to stay safe is to avoid isolation.
“People can learn some really cool self-defense moves,” he said. “But wouldn’t it be better to be aware and perceive the threat and avoid the big fight altogether?”
The Students for Concealed Carry on Campus will be having an empty-holster protest on campus from April 21-25, when members will be walking around campus with empty holsters. The group will be holding a meeting regarding the protest Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union.

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