Students protest for right to bear arms

During the week of Oct. 22 more than 500 colleges participated in a national protest of the laws that ban carrying concealed weapons on campuses by wearing empty gun holsters to school.

The University of Cincinnati and Miami University were colleges that participated in the protest, the Hamilton Journal News reported. Northern Kentucky University did not participate in the protest.

Ohio prohibits carrying concealed weapons on any premises owned or leased by a public or private college, university or institution of higher learning, unless the weapon is locked in a motor vehicle,? according to the Ohio Carry Concealed Weapon Law.

It is up to each university in Kentucky to make rules regarding this because Kentucky’s Carry Concealed Deadly Weapon (CCDW) license does not list this restriction, according to Very few campuses allow concealed weapons, said Harold Todd, Director of Public Safety.

NKU’s policy does not allow the carrying of concealed weapons on campus, stating that possession of, use or storage of any firearm, ammunition, explosive device (including fireworks) or other deadly weapon in any form is prohibited on any NKU property or in any facility or on any property owned, leased or operated by the university, except as permitted by law (K.R.S. 527.020), according to the Department of Public Safety’s Web site.

Todd said the department would comply if NKU allowed the use of concealed weapons on campus, but he personally does not support students carrying concealed weapons..

“I think it’s a bad idea,” Todd said.

He added that if carrying concealed weapons was permitted during the Virginia Tech shootings, it would not have solved the problem. Todd believes students don’t have the right mindset in a stressful situation because they aren’t trained to react.

“Are they going to do more harm than good?” Todd asked.

All campus police officers carry a gun at all times. Todd said there is a minimum number of hours they must train.

No police officer has fired a gun in the field since Todd has been director, he said.

The university supports Freedom of Expression, which could conflict with the right to bear arms, Todd said. He added that during a volatile exchange of ideas, tempers may flare and students may react in a way they may regret.

“I’m not looking for a fight, I’d rather avoid it,” said Eric Cranley, a senior majoring in business informatics.

Cranley is the president of Students for Second Amendment Rights, an organization he founded in 2006, which has 14 members on Facebook and more than 30 people on a mailing list. Cranley said he would take participate if there was a group carrying holsters on campus.

Cranley said he has less of a temper since receiving his CCDW license because it tones down his self-reaction.

House Bill 1572, which would have allowed students and faculty to carry handguns on campus, was denied by the General Assembly, the Roanoke Times reported.

“The sad truth is, it may have made people feel safe, but it did not actually make them safe. If anything, it made them less safe,” Cranley said.

Cranley said the Virginia Tech shootings could have claimed less lives had students been allowed to carry handguns.

Cranley said that NKU’s policy on guns isn’t clear, because the K.R.S. 527.020 permits the use of concealed weapons with the proper license. But if he could change anything to the policy, it would be to allow the use of concealed weapons om campus.

“I’d love for the administration to declare that students can defend themselves,” Cranley said.