In response to the Jan. 22 editorial, “Gun owners should be able to pass competency tests”:
The Jan. 22 editorial advocating competency testing to own a firearm ran roughshod over the rights of millions of gun owners, but more importantly it ignored the rights of ASU students. The editor lamented that “intrinsic…to the educational process is a feeling of safety…” (emphasis added), but I could not disagree more.
Intrinsic to one’s life, in education or anywhere else, one has a right to safety — not merely the feeling of safety. Among a myriad of facts absent from the discussion, one stands out in terms of student safety: that all but one mass shooting since 1950 has occurred in a gun-free zone. With a 60-year track record of failure, one must question if the feeling of safety provided by “gun-free zones” is worth the absence of safety. But I want to move past mass shootings, which ultimately, although terrifying, are rare.
Instead there is the issue of everyday safety. While some might wish to keep the campus ban to prevent an “accident,” accidental shooting deaths are relatively uncommon and CCW permit holders have a very good track record for safety. Indeed, contrary to the what-if scenarios of campus horror, there are over 200 college campuses in the U.S. that allow CCW permit holders to carry on campus, and they rarely make the news. Utah and Colorado allow CCW on all campuses and several states, including Texas, have introduced bills this year to allow concealed campus carry, acknowledging the failure of gun-free zones.
The fact is, I’m a CCW holder who has passed proficiency testing and an extensive background check. I have the right to safety and so do you. There is much more to say and little room to say it, but I support concealed carry on campus, and I am not alone.
Nathan R. Andrews
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