Armed With a Cause

Leah Barkoukis

11/12/2012 7:50:00 AM - Leah Barkoukis

One student’s fight to allow concealed carry permit holders to exercise that right on campus has spread to over 350 colleges and universities nationwide.

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From Townhall Magazine's Townhall of Fame feature by Leah Barkoukis:

On April 16, 2007, a lone gunman murdered 32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech before eventually taking his own life. In the wake of the massacre, Chris Brown, a student at the University of North Texas, decided it was time to take a stand against anti-concealed carry policies on campuses that merely strip law-abiding individuals of their right to self-defense.

Armed with nothing more than the web and Facebook, Brown formed Students for Concealed Carry from his dorm room. Today, SCC has become a national, nonpartisan, grassroots organization consisting of roughly 40,000 members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“The Virginia Tech incident—it’s tragic, it’s terrible—but it’s easy to wipe away as an exception,” says David Burnett, public relations director at SCC.

In 2008, when there was another shooting, this time at Northern Illinois University, the problem couldn’t be brushed off as an anomaly.

“People really started grasping for a solution at that point,” Burnett tells Townhall. That’s when SCC really entered the limelight, as people began talking about whether or not guns could be part of a solution.

The organization’s mission is twofold: dispel myths about concealed carry on college campuses and push state legislators and schools administrators to make changes that would grant concealed carry permit holders, according to the SCC website, “the same rights on college campuses that those licensees currently enjoy in most other unsecured locations.” The organization is not seeking to change who can legally carry a concealed weapon on campuses.

In most states, there is a laundry list of requirements individuals must meet to receive a CCW permit.

“People often say, ‘Look, kids shouldn’t have guns,’” Burnett says. “Number one, most states require you to be 21 to have a permit anyway. But number two, if we send an 18-year-old overseas and put an M-16 in his hands to defend America, we can trust them to put a .38 in their pockets for self-protection on campus.”

 


Read more about Students for Concealed Carry by ordering the November issue of Townhall Magazine.