The November 28 car and knife attack on the Ohio State University campus makes a strong case for allowing concealed carry permit holders to carry guns on campus for self-defense.
The case can be made practically and philosophically.
Practically speaking, consider this: A Somali refugee named Abdul Razak Ali Artan allegedly drove a vehicle into pedestrians outside OSU’s Watts Hall, then exited the car with a butcher knife and began hacking and stabbing at individuals. He was attacking unarmed individuals. The Lantern–OSU’s school newspaper–quoted third-year wielding engineer Jerry Kovacich, who said he saw Artan jump “out of the car with a butcher knife and [start] chasing people around.”
Breitbart News reported that the attack began around 9:52 a.m. and ended one minute later–at 9:53 a.m.–when OSU police officer Alan Horujko arrived on scene and killed Artan.
Here is a question: Why couldn’t the attack have lasted 30 seconds instead of a minute? Why couldn’t it have lasted 20 seconds or even 15 seconds, instead of a minute? My point is, why aren’t the laws structured so that a concealed carry permit holder could have seen the attack unfolding, drawn his or her pistol (or revolver), and taken the attacker out when he exited the car with a butcher knife?
This is not theoretical. With such attacks happening this is practical. Why are laws structured a way that allow people to chase law-abiding citizens with a butcher knife without the threat of any real resistance until the police arrive?
Now, philosophically speaking, the case for campus carry at OSU is just as strong, and that is chiefly because of the contradiction that exists between the way Ohio treats public school campuses versus college or university campuses. Think about it–in November 2015, Breitbart News reported that teachers were carrying guns in 40 Ohio school districts. By November 2016, The News-Messenger estimated the number of armed districts had risen to approximately 200.
The Messenger quotes Coshocton City Schools superintendent David Hire, who is pushing to have his teachers armed by the end of 2016. He said, “Five years ago we probably wouldn’t have considered it, and even three or two years ago I would still have been saying this is not the direction we want to go. But we’re living in a society where this is becoming almost weekly or every other week where there is some event somewhere around the country.”
While we should celebrate the fact that a growing number of public school teachers are armed to defend themselves and their students in Ohio, we should also ask why that mentality stops where college and university campuses begin in the very same state. Why are law-abiding teachers and school staff in public school districts increasingly armed for self-defense while law-abiding OSU students can only scream and “Hide Run Fight” if a killer with a knife shows up?
It is time to wake up and realize the concealed carry permit holder who carries responsibly while shopping beside you in Walmart, eating beside you at McDonald’s, and pumping gas beside you at Exxon, will likewise carry responsibly while studying beside you in the university library or student union. And the fact that such people have a gun means they will also be ready to save their own lives and yours, should an attack occur, whether at Walmart, McDonald’s, Exxon, or your local university campus.
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.