Students carrying guns on campus, it sounds crazy.

The idea of a 21-year-old student carrying a pistol in their book bag seems a far cry from the safe campus that many universities promise to provide. Many deride the attitude as vigilante. Yet it is an inherent right to defend our own life and the lives of the innocent that has led us to this moment in history.

Firearms and firearm ownership in and of itself is not the problem, nor is allowing legally licensed gun owners to carry their weapons to class.

Imagine for a moment. What if a student or professor had had a pistol at Virginia Tech? Would fewer people have died, or would more people have died? It is easy to speculate the outcome from the sidelines taking into account your own personal prejudices.

Now, lay aside your prejudice. Most private gun owners practice with their weapon on a regular basis. This is not subjective data. This is cold, hard fact. People who own guns and carry guns, as a rule, enjoy recreational shooting. Often private gun owners practice more than local police officers.

While this may be a blow to the ego of many police officers, it is quantifiable and evident by the number of officers who are out-shot, not out-gunned, by criminals.

Some would have Americans believe allowing only police to carry firearms would result in an ideal society, where no one would live in fear of gun violence. Yet closer examination of nations that deny private gun ownership, such as Great Britain, show no decrease in crime.

But the entire issue of gun control is a broad brush stroke, and guns on campus are a tiny part of the picture. Guns on campus may not be the perfect solution, and yes, there is a chance that a private gun owner might shoot a bystander. Nevertheless, is it unreasonable to give those who are willing and capable the opportunity to defend themselves?

The right to defend one’s life is a fundamental right, a constitutional right and part of the natural order.

Ron Tatum


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