Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
To Whom It May Concern:
Primarily, to those in the Butler community who fail to recognize the importance of the Second Amendment and the rights of firearm owners, I offer this daunting idea—I feel safer under the protection of firearms than without.
Sound crazy? Not so much.
You may be interested to know that less than a fifth of crimes involving firearms are committed by the legal owner of the gun. According to a study from the University of Pittsburgh, in approximately 80 percent of cases the crime is committed with an illegally obtained firearm. Often these illegal weapons are not bought in black-market fashion, but rather stolen from their legal owners.
An act of evil was committed on January 24 when a 15-year-old boy brought a handgun to Marshall County High School and opened fire on his classmates. Being a Kentuckian, I can tell you that when the news notification, “School shooting at Kentucky high school” lit up my phone screen, I scrambled to get to the link. I was hoping that my alma mater would not be part of the headline. Thankfully, it was not.
However, increased gun control would not have prevented this tragedy for those students, faculty, and alumni of Marshall County High.
In accordance with federal legislation, the Gun Control Act 1968 prevents the sale of handguns and their ammunition to individuals under the age of 21. No matter where the 15-year-old shooter got the weapon he used on January 24, he was in possession of it illegally.
News flash: people who intend to break the law are not going to magically decide to follow the law, no matter how many pounds of legislation you use to suffocate the rest of the law-abiding population.
The risks of stripping gun rights away from the overwhelming majority of responsible owners are many. In fact, those truly interested in the safety and protection of students—say against, I don’t know, sexual assault?—should take a closer look at campus carry.
Though not a solution in high school cases, campus carry is an effort to make college campuses safer by restoring students with their right to concealed carry. Misguided articles promoting gun control make the fight to protect students all the more difficult.
If you read this and think, “Campus carry?! How are more guns going to make people safer?” I ask you to read the stories of its advocates.
Advocates like rape survivor, Kimberly Corban, who now tours colleges across the country to share the atrocity that could have been prevented had she been permitted campus carry.
Advocates like assault survivor, Antonia Okafor, who is now—at the age of 27—the founder of the self-defense nonprofit, Empowered.
Both Corban and Okafor are strong women who understand that gun rights are women’s rights. As Butler’s campus lights up in a fury over the university’s handling of sexual assault charges, maybe we should stop demonizing the very tool capable of acting as an equalizer between a 120-pound woman and a 250-pound man.
In the interest of getting my point across without being too graphic: any healthy college-aged guy who goes and lifts with his bros a couple nights a week at the HRC could rip my arm off and beat me to death with it, and there would be nothing I could do except maybe fumble for my pepper spray.
A firearm clears up the differences in size, strength, and speed before he can close the distance between his fist and my face. Without means to protect myself, I feel like a sitting duck.
Yet, the Butler University website states, “…things that are not welcome here: firearms…”
Unfortunately, even if Indiana did pass campus carry legislation, it would not apply to private universities. For the sake of the young women on my campus, I urge Butler’s current administration to take a look at allowing us this empowerment.
In summary, the recent sins committed by criminals should not reflect poorly on those of us who respect this nation enough to heed its laws while exercising our constitutional rights. Smothering the latter in gun control does not solve the problem, but add to it.
Kathleen Berry ’20