Pepper spray, police and cardboard signs failed to prevent the June 5 Seattle Pacific University shooting. Let’s stop mass violence on college campuses by defending college students’ right to carry firearms on campus.
Tragically, this is the third column this year that I must write defending college students’ natural right to self-defense on campus. In the Seattle Pacific University shooting, four more American youths took unnecessary bullets in a gun free zone.
One student was killed and three were severely wounded when a young man with apparent mental health issues, 26-year-old Aaron R. Ybarra, began firing his shotgun on the Seattle campus in broad daylight. Prior to unleashing such unwarranted violence against innocent strangers, Ybarra exhibited symptoms of mental instability.
Ybarra once made a black pilgrimage to the Denver, CO site of the April 20, 1999 Columbine High School shooting where two student gunmen fatally shot 13 and wounded 21, according to Seattle’s KIRO 7 News and The Associated Press. Prior to the shooting, Ybarra had also been arrested for non-violent offenses including driving while intoxicated and without insurance. A law enforcement officer told International Business Times that Ybarra was: “…hell-bent on killing a lot of people.”
Ybarra’s outbreak comes on the heels of a similar rampage by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger near the University of California Santa Barbara.
Most Americans, particularly young Americans—the Millennials who Hillary Clinton is counting on for votes in the 2016 presidential election—do not know the history of gun free zone legislation. Millennials who voted for Obama in the past two elections (and are slated to vote for Hillary if she runs) do not realize that five of the twelve deadliest mass shootings in American history occurred under the watch of Barack Obama. I tell the little-known history of gun free zones in my new book, Let Me Be Clear, and plant the solution seeds for both preventing mass violence and caring for mentally unstable individuals.
Spend a few minutes surfing news articles online and you’ll quickly find that we have a crisis of rising violence on college campuses. Not only are tragic shootings taking place in or near gun free zones like the University of California Santa Barbara and Seattle Pacific University—but there is an alarming uptick in sexual assault on college campuses.