Raleigh, NC – Recently on the local news, there have been two incidents, within a matter of weeks, where someone had a firearm on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. One was a graduate student who allegedly shot and killed his professor. In the other one, an individual flashed a firearm on the same campus inside a bagel shop.
The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill is a “Gun-Free Zone.” The question we should be asking ourselves is NOT, “How many more laws and regulations can the NC legislature impose on law-abiding citizens, college students, and college professors?” But, “Why do we continue to pretend that a “Gun-Free Zone” is a ‘safe space?’”
I am a proud alumnus of Liberty University. My daughter is a student at my alma mater. I do not have to worry about her safety when it comes to gun violence on Liberty University’s campus. How is that possible, you might ask? Well, that’s because on the campus of Liberty University, I, and all law-abiding citizens that have a concealed-carry permit from their state of residency, are allowed to carry our sidearms on campus.
Here’s a trivia question for you: How many school shootings or incidences of gun violence have occurred on the campus of Liberty University since the school was founded in 1971? Any guesses? Okay, here is the answer…0! That’s right! A big fat ZERO! Liberty University is NOT a “Gun-Free Zone!” Liberty University rescinded its weapons-on-campus ban in 2011. Liberty University even has its own gun and archery range.
The Firearm Policy for Liberty University clearly states that, “Students, faculty/staff, and visitors are permitted to conceal carry while on campus. Individuals who conceal carry at Liberty must have a valid state permit available at all times and be able to present it upon request.”
One can also apply for a “Liberty Concealed Weapons Permit” through the Liberty University Police Department. The one question that is on their website asks, “What should I do if I notice someone carrying a weapon?” The answer is, “The likelihood of seeing someone on campus conceal carrying is increasing due to the number of individuals who have chosen to participate in our Conceal Carry Policy. If you see someone carrying and they are not concealing, you are encouraged to call the University Police, give a description of the individual, and location. You may remain anonymous. A police officer will be dispatched to locate and contact the person to confirm that they are lawfully carrying the weapon.”
Dr. Daniel Howell, professor of biology and anatomy coordinator at Liberty University, wrote an article titled, “Counterpoint: No Campus Should Be Deemed Weapons Free.” He was a student at Virginia Tech in 1997. Ten years later, a student chain-locked doors and methodically shot and killed students. Virginia Tech was, and still is, a gun-free zone campus!
Dr. Howell goes onto say, “Nearly every mass shooting has occurred in pretend gun-free zones. Whether it’s a school, which is pretend gun-free by law, or a movie theater, which is pretend gun-free by a proprietor, the results are the same: good people become defenseless victims to law breakers, including terrorists and the mentally ill.”
He reminds us that, “When President Obama directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to re-examine gun violence in America, the CDC reported back that guns are an effective crime deterrent and that defensive gun use by victims may outnumber offensive gun use by criminals.” Feeling safe and being safe are two different things.
Most recently, NC House Speaker Tim Moore was quoted by WRAL.com when asked about the recent incidences involving guns on UNC’s campus, “A number of students said, ‘Why do they have to be unarmed when there’s clearly a way that bad guys can get on campus?’ It’s a gun-free zone. And that clearly is not working.”
He goes onto say that “I have a son who’s a student at UNC Chapel Hill. So, this is very personal.”
As a father of a college student, Speaker Moore, I understand. As I stated earlier, I do not have to worry about my daughter’s safety on her college campus. However, it seems that Speaker Moore, and other parents of college students, do.
William Allen is a former law enforcement officer of 20 years and a former U.S. Marine of four years. He graduated with honors from the Helms School of Government at Liberty University with a degree in Political Science. He is currently the Grassroots Outreach Coordinator with the John Locke Foundation.