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Students wear empty holsters in protest

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WILMINGTON -- Monday we told you about a group of UNCW students pushing to allow concealed weapons on campus for self-defense. Tuesday those students participated in a nation-wide protest. The UNCW students are among the thousands expected to wear empty holsters to class Tuesday. As part of "empty holster day", students wore empty gun holsters, symbolizing where guns would be on people at least 21 years old, who have the necessary permits. They also educated people who stopped by their table to learn more about carrying weapons on campus. Protesters say giving people the right to carry concealed weapons would protect themselves and others and help in an emergency. Kevin King carried an empty holster. He said, "It's just letting those people that already have concealed carry permits, which you have to be 21 to get already and you can carry them everywhere else, just allowing them to be able to carry them on campus, it's not giving students guns." The nation-wide organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus sponsored the protest. That is not an official campus organization at uncw, but students are trying to change that. They will go before a review committee in the fall. The university released a statement expressing some concerns about carrying concealed weapons on campus:

As a university community, we respect the right of our students to express their positions on issues, including campus safety and security, which is an issue of vital importance to all of us. While allowing students to carry guns might appear to some individuals to be an option in deterring violence on campuses, it brings with it additional concerns for safety. One concern is the level of training and proficiency of the person carrying the weapon, including his or her ability to use it effectively and retain the weapon in a crisis situation. Many gun owners have been killed or injured with their own weapons while attempting an intervention. A second concern is the tactical complexity of introducing multiple weapons to a police emergency, which significantly elevates the probability that a well meaning citizen may be mistaken as an aggressor. Having multiple people carrying and using weapons during a situation such as an active shooter attack causes confusion about who is actually the perpetrator, which may result in additional injuries. We believe that there are other approaches and solutions to increasing campus safety and security that are more effective than allowing the proliferation of weapons on campus.

The best protection for any potential emergency is to be informed and aware. It is important to have a plan in place in advance to deal with crisis situations. A plan involving options on what a person can do to escape, where to hide (if escape is not an option), who to notify and where to rally with co-workers or classmates when the “all clear” is given are all points that need to be considered. UNCW Police offers “community response to violent situations” workshops to assist students, faculty and staff with how to plan and deal with a violent situation on campus, which cover areas of law enforcement response and familiarization with campus-wide emergency notification systems. Students are also encouraged to report any suspicious individuals or activity to UNCW Police and to be vigilant about security measures, such as not allowing unauthorized persons to enter locked residence halls.

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An Armed Society is a Polite Society

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." -- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-8.

Gun Violence

The 2nd amendment entitled rural individuals the means to defend themselves. When the nearest town was many, many miles away, people had to rely on themselves for protection. Also, to rally to the states aid if necessary (the militia part). I'm sorry your "aghast at the idea of people carrying guns". People who have a concealed carry permit are all around you. You will never notice us. You haven't noticed us as we pump gas, stand in front of you at the supermarket, pass you by in the parking lot, speak with you at the kangaroo store. However, you will notice us if someone tries to carjack you, or attempt to do violence upon you. If you do not approve, please put a sticker on your car. Bold letters please, VICTIM HERE. I'll definitely respect your wishes not to intervene.

Keep it up guy's

You have a huge amount of support from your community, Law enforcement and pro second amendment people all over....

Keep it up guy's

Right on. Gun Control is hitting your target.

The exact same type of

The exact same type of hysteria was propagated by the media when Florida finally passed legislation to allow concealed carry in 1987... predictions of streets filled with blood from shootouts abounded. Guess what? Nothing happened. Except crime was reduced. Poke around the web a bit for info on what criminals fear the most about a potential victim... that they might be armed... because there generally is no question as to who the criminal is if you are the victim. However, when police arrive later, they cannot assume which person is the criminal, which is the victim. Because of this (and other reasons), a criminal knows to be much more fearful of being shot by an armed citizen than by responding law enforcement. (National Inst. for Justice reports for example for info) Law enforcement will not respond any differently to a potential crime scene, or crime in progress just because they think someone might have a concealed carry permit. All safety precautions and SOP's are taken regardless... Everyone is suspect until the situation is fully assessed. You all are worried about the student that has submitted fingerprints into "the system", and has had their background extensively checked? How many other people in your life--that you trust--have been vetted as extensively as a concealed carry holder?

Guns on campus

It is important for all of you to make the distinction between the right to carry a weapon and the circumstances with regards to the school shootings. In every instance of the college and high school shootings, "the shooters" were heavily armed. It was a combat situation. Combat situations are not taught in the two hour class you take for a firearms permit. As a retired policeman you can be sure that I would be scared to death knowing that 19 year old Tommy or 20 year old Suzie had a nine millimeter handgun in a crowded hallway, with someone blasting away at them. Tommie or Suzie would do what most people would do who were not trained to handle such an event. That is hide, close their eyes and blast away at anything that moved. It is a natural reaction to the fear of death. Unless you have been in a combat situation and trained to handle it you do not know how you will react. If anyone on a college campus feels that the situation at Virginia Tech justify's their right to bear arms, then they should be required to take the combat training exercizes that the military is forced to go through in order to carry a concealed weapon on campus. Have some real fun for 6 months!! To

Exactly right

You are exactly right...it's easy to sit back and say how you would handle a situation, but it's completely different when your life is on the line. What would these activists really do when someone is standng there shooting them? I bet they would run and hide. Most people, especially those that aren't trained or paid, will not run into a situation when they know their life would be in jeapordy. That short couple hours class you take to get your CCW permit does not train you for the situation you would be in with an armed gunman at school.