In a report issued Friday, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) noted the momentum for opening campuses to concealed carry for self-defense and warned that allowing permit holders to carry may actually cause violence and increased “assaults.”
NBC News reported that Johns Hopkins’ researchers justified their study by pointing out that “the campus-carry movement is relatively new” and “there hasn’t been much evaluation of its impact on gun violence.”
BSPH put it this way:
Because there have been no formal evaluations of policies to allow guns on college campuses – many of these policies are relatively new – we sought to summarize research relevant to civilian use of guns, the impact of [right-to-carry] laws on violent crime and mass shootings, and common patterns in public mass shootings to determine how well available research aligns with the assumptions underlying policies to allow civilians to bring guns onto college and university campuses.
This gives readers the impression that campus carry is an unknown quantity, but nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, Colorado has had campus carry since 2003 and the results are there for anyone to see. In fact, on April 20, 2015, the Washington Post ran a story on campus carry in Colorado that showed there have been no mass shootings, and, apart from one incident in which a gun was accidentally discharged by a Colorado University employee, there have been no crimes by permit holders.
The WaPo piece was written by the Independent Institute’s Dave Kopel, a scholar by any measure, and drawn from government sources, judicial decisions, crime reports, eyewitness testimony, and more. Far from increasing sexual assault, Kopel showed that campus carry, generally speaking, is especially good news for women, who are able to level the playing field by using a gun to fend off sexual attackers. He pointed to the U.S. Census Bureau’s “in-person interviews,” conducted for the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), and showed that of the more than “2,000 … persons [who] disclosed they had been raped or sexually assaulted” between 1992-2002, “26 volunteered that they used a weapon to resist.” Then came the most pertinent part: “In none of those 26 cases was the rape completed; in none of the cases did the victim suffer additional injury after she deployed her weapon.”
Again, in the 26 cases where the women could use weapons, the rape and/or sexual assault ended.
But BSPH approaches campus carry as if in a vacuum, claiming:
Proposals to allow guns on college campuses must consider the fact that serious assaults and suicide attempts – which are more likely to be lethal when firearms are present – are far more common than are the rampage shooting incidents that the policies are purported to prevent. Inserting more firearms into those assaults and suicide attempts by allowing more people to have firearms on campuses is likely to lead to more deaths and serious injuries.
Very similar arguments were made by the anti-gun crowd when Florida became a “shall-issue” concealed carry state in the late 1980s, thereby launching a concealed carry movement that swept the nation on a state-by-state basis during the next three decades. Critics warned that concealed carry would turn Florida and subsequent states into the Wild West, that blood would run in the streets. In reality, crime abated when criminals figured out their would-be victims could shoot back. Moreover, the deadliest city in America is Chicago–a city where gun control and the vestiges of gun control have created a metropolis where the criminals are heavily armed but law-abiding citizens have trouble finding guns for self-defense.
College campuses have largely been mandated to follow the Chicago experiment. Law-abiding citizens have been denied their Second Amendment rights on campus while criminals have ignored gun-free prohibitions and carried guns anyway. The campus carry movement, as demonstrated by Colorado, portends an end to this scenario. And BSPH is circling the wagons as people rally state-by-state to pull down yet another aspect of the left’s senseless gun control infrastructure.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.