Why carry at universities?


August 19, 2007, 03:22 PM
I have a meeting with a university official about allowing me to carry on campus. It is not illegal for me (or anyone) to carry on campus but it is against school policy. Since “permission” can be granted to individuals by certain officials, I figured it would not hurt to try and go through the proper channels. Worst case scenario, I will get some information on why universities are so against CCW…. I assume the conversation will have two parts.

1. Why do you feel you need to protect yourself? “This is a safe place”.

2. Why don’t you use something else, like OC spray?

I currently only carry a knife as my “less lethal” tool (I don’t carry any OC spray). Should I buy some OC to take away that aspect of the discussion or should I go ahead and argue why a firearm is the ideal tool for SD?

I don’t want to start a 2A debate with the official; I just want to convince them that I should be allowed to carry on campus. Any input will help.

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August 19, 2007, 03:36 PM
Sounds like a good plan to me.

Art Eatman
August 19, 2007, 03:37 PM
1. Is everybody on campus physically able to defend themselves with a "less than lethal" tool? Why should "self defense by intimidation" be limited to the large, young and healthy? (Few football players get mugged.)

2. Given the amount of crime that can happen anywhere, why is a university campus any safer than any "nice" part of a city? After the affair at Virginia Tech, what guarantees can the university administration provide its students, teachers and visitors?

3. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Texas Department of Public Safety have both issued press releases which point out that people with CHLs are among the least troublesome in all of society. I see no reason why this would not be true in all states with a CHL program. What is the objection to having these most-peaceful people able to defend themselves?


August 19, 2007, 03:38 PM
Well, a knife isn't really any "less lethal", and people carrying knives can often seem scarier than people with guns. So I don't think I'd bring up that you're currently carrying ANYTHING except OC. Just my $.02. Buying OC might not be bad in any case; can't hurt, right? Just make sure you actually are carrying it regularly if you choose to do that - lying doesn't help!

Write out your thoughts & reasonings beforehand re: these two questions which will likely be prominent in the conversation. Have them down cold so you aren't stammering and stuttering. But be flexible, respond to their questions and offer your case without going off on a script that really didn't have anything to do with the question. :) I think you have the right idea in not trying to start a 2A debate, especially if the individual is very anti-gun.

I'll be very interested to see how this goes, because I've had the same thought before.

August 19, 2007, 03:50 PM
VA Tech.

August 19, 2007, 04:23 PM
I wonder if asking permission to carry a concealed weapon might put you on some black list. To diffuse the spotlight you've brought upon yourself I suggest you invite some of your friends along that are also curious about being able to carry concealed. Not too many though, don't make it look like a "march on the capital" is going on.

Encourage others to take the same steps. Do it by word of mouth or in a letter to the editor of the school or local town newspaper.

To answer your question about why one would carry on university grounds... I guess the best way to answer that question is with another question, why carry a gun anywhere? A university is little different than any other public place. Most campuses I've seen blend right in with the city, it's not like there are walls and gates to prevent people from freely traversing from city property to university property (which is often considered private or state property depending on the laws and the understanding the school has with the city).

You mentioned other tools to defend yourself. I remember my sister having a whistle on her key ring to bring attention to an attacker. When I went to college I realized how futile that would be. On a large and nearly vacant campus a whistle would not be heard, the direction it came from ambiguous, and/or its intention unknown. I do remember a student defending herself with a sharpened pencil as she was attacked from behind. The guy wasn't caught but I imagine he still walks with a limp.

OC spray sounds like a reasonable compromise. It should also work against animals of the four legged variety. I had a couple coworkers tell me of times they had to deal with dogs. I hear the "stream" sprayers are better than the "mist" ones as it's less likely to come back in your face, but you do have to take careful aim.

August 19, 2007, 04:39 PM
The people at VA Tech thought their campus was a safe place, too.

I am a college instructor and I have had psychotic students become violent and have been threatened on occasion. Police (including campus police) try but they can't be everywhere and they can't possible respond fast enough.

Instead of explaining why you should be allowed to carry, ask them why a responsible, mature, law-abiding person SHOULDN'T be allowed to carry.

August 19, 2007, 04:39 PM
I am not going to come out with an absolute statement that you will be wasting your time in seeking permission to carry while on campus from the school administration. I will say that the odds of them saying yes rank right up alongside the chances of winning the lottery. In theory it could happen but the smart money says it won't. All the standard reasons, fear of liability, anti gun sentiment, unwillingness on administrations part to step up and be different from the rest of academia....all these can be reasons they will use to say no.

Once you have brought yourself to their attention they will know you have a permit to carry, that you are interested in carrying on campus and will probably scrutinize you closely to catch you violating policy so they can give you the boot.

If it is legal for you to carry concealed then do that. Concealed means what it says. If you do it right no one will know, you will be safer and you will probably have a lot less grief to deal with.

August 19, 2007, 04:40 PM

VA TECH: Return to Campus
Past follows student on return

Sunday, Aug 19, 2007


Typically, leaving home for college after the summer isn't a big deal by the time you're a junior. But most college students don't arrive carrying two bullets in their body and the inescapable memories of surviving America's deadliest day on campus.

Still, Allison Cook is heading back to Virginia Tech this weekend with her family, filled with anticipation and anxiety, a study in commitment and courage.

Tomorrow, the 19-year-old graduate of Mills Godwin High School will attend her first class since April 16 -- the day Seung-Hui Cho walked into her Intermediate French class in Room 211 in Norris Hall and began shooting.

Cho shot to death Cook's professor, Jocelyne Couture-Nowak. He killed 11 of her classmates and seriously wounded others, including Cook -- shot three times and left for dead with gunshots to the neck, back and side.

"I'm not sure how I'm going to be in a classroom setting," says Cook, wearing a bright-orange Virginia Tech T-shirt while sitting with her father, Paul, last week on the quiet, sun-dappled patio of the family's home in western Henrico County.

"The actual event is always in my mind," she continues. "I'm constantly thinking about the day, the classroom. It's a hard thing to completely erase that from your mind. I think it's just going to be intensified as I go back to campus. But I realize that now, so I'm dealing with it."

. . .

In the tense and frenzied moments following the last shot, Cook lifted herself off the floor of the French classroom and walked out under police escort. She spent several days in a Blacksburg-area hospital for treatment of her wounds and a collapsed lung before returning home in a Henrico ambulance.

Because the bullets posed no immediate threat to her health, doctors opted against invasive surgery to remove one bullet that lodged just under her collarbone and another that ended up behind her right shoulder blade. By the end of May, she had been cleared to resume physical activity.

"I'm doing really well," says Cook, a former basketball player at Godwin who this year spent her fourth summer as a lifeguard at the Fox Hall community pool. "I don't have any pain. Sometimes my shoulder aches when it rains, though.

"I've gotten a lot of hugs."

But Cook still feels the emotional impact of that blustery April morning, sometimes in the most subtle, everyday ways.

She refers to the shooting only as "the incident" or "the event."

When she enters a room for the first time, the first thing she looks for is the exit. "So I know my way out," Cook explains.

An innocuous remark, a small trip, even a home-improvement project have struck chords that resurrect memories of that day for the otherwise laid-back young woman.

There was July Fourth at the Fox Hall pool when a mother talking with Cook and her friend expressed reluctance to see the fireworks at The Diamond following the Richmond Braves game.

"I'd rather be shot than go to the Braves game," the woman said.

"Well, Allison has done both of those," her friend chimed in good-naturedly as the mortified woman remembered Cook's ordeal.

The shooting has also changed how Cook's family interacted with her this summer.

The first time Cook decided to resume running on the treadmill, her twin sister, Hillary, stood right by her side, monitoring her pace, just in case something went wrong.

"My mom was like, 'You can't run as fast as you normally do,'" Cook recalls.

Cook's first trip away from home in late May also caused a degree of family panic when hotel reservations in Washington left her and a friend without a guaranteed room.

"We were basket cases," says Paul Cook, who nearly drove up to take his daughter and her friend home.

Even plans for a kitchen remodeling at the Cook home made Allison uneasy.

"I never really thought about it at the time," says Paul Cook. "The pounding, the sound of the nail guns."

Cook and her family are still struggling to feel completely comfortable in their daily lives.

"I don't think I've reached that point yet," she says. "Just because the event happened so unexpectedly. Everyday life is fine, but I guess I have this fear in the back of my mind that something can happen at any point or anytime."

A major step in her recovery came at the end of June, when she went back to Tech and gave her family a tour of Norris Hall. She recounted the events of the morning of April 16, from the time she entered the building until she rose from among her dead classmates in Room 211 and walked to safety.

"It was a good thing, but a very difficult thing to do," said Cook's mother, Lynn.

. . .

Cook's parents and Hillary, a junior at James Madison University, will accompany her to Blacksburg and stay with her until she feels comfortable on campus. Then on Thursday, Cook will return to Richmond to attend the wedding of her brother, Matt, a University of Virginia graduate.

"Just last month, I felt terrified about going back," she says. "It was coming up so quickly and I wasn't ready at all. Now that it's getting close, I feel I'm almost ready to go back. I'm not as scared as I was, and I'm looking forward to it."

Cook will be in a sorority this year with 30 other young women, including Emily Haas, a friend from home who also was wounded that morning in Room 211.

Haas, a St. Gertrude's School graduate who suffered a gunshot wound to her head, used her cell phone to make the 911 call from the class that brought police to the door just after Cho had taken his own life.

"It's good that she's going to be there," says Cook, who has seen Haas a couple of times this summer. "We have this bond now."

Cook, who wants to go to pharmacy school, will take physics, organic chemistry, psychology -- and French. She wasn't really sure that she wanted to continue taking French but was encouraged by her mother to stay with it.

"She said it was a good idea because I like it, I'm decent at it and I had such a good professor in Madame," Cook says, her voice becoming soft as she recalls Couture-Nowak.

"I know she would have wanted me to continue on in French as well."

Cook still says she is proud to be going to Tech and wouldn't think of going to another school. But she and her parents expressed some frustration over what they believe was a gap in communication between school officials and the families of some of the victims earlier during the summer.

"Our biggest concern was what is going to be available to her when she returns to campus," Paul Cook says. "Where can she go, who can she talk to?"

Now, the Cooks say, many of those issues appear to have been addressed.

Today, families will meet with Tech President Charles W. Steger and attend a memorial dedication to the victims. Tomorrow, Cook and thousands of other Tech students will head out of their dorms and apartments and sorority and fraternity houses to their first day of classes.

To be sure, the day will be different in Blacksburg than anywhere else. For the Tech community, it will be another challenge in what could be a lifelong struggle for healing, understanding and peace. Like very few others, Allison Cook will carry more than her books to those classes, perhaps for the rest of her life.

Her therapist has told her there will be good days and bad days, and no real way to predict them. His advice was to take those days in stride and not let the events of April 16 overwhelm her.

While she still carries Cho's bullets in her body, Cook says she's determined not to let his rage stay with her.

"I didn't know him before the event, and I don't know him after the event," Cook says. "So I don't see the point of why he has to stick with me for the rest of my life."

Old Fuff
August 19, 2007, 04:40 PM
I agree with Art. I doubt that the campus is crime free, and V.T. showed among other things that the longer the response time the more people get killed. They may be a self-styled "gun free zone" but individuals bent on committing crimes of any kind pay absolutely no attention to that.

If you have a concealed weapons carry license or permit issued by the state where the university is located, the state has qualified you to carry a deadly weapon. Why then should the school be off limits? Would they for example, refuse to recognize your driver’s license? About the only thing they can really kick about is the weapon's security if you live on-campus in a dorm.

August 19, 2007, 04:44 PM
The answer is cut and dry.

In the scientific method, experiments look for observable events.

VA Tech was an observable event.

It clearly showed the carnage that can be exacted on a population of unarmed persons.

Unless they can show an ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN method of ensuring EVERYONE is unarmed, they cannot maintain that another attack will not occur.

And because one has been observed, they cannot deny the validity of another possible attack.

It disgusts me that academia cannot apply the logic they are assumed to have when a fact they find distasteful to their own politics is breeched.

Grants have been awarded for millions of dollars based upon theoretical physics that has never been observed in nature, and yet so many are unwilling to relinquish political dogma in the fact of not only observable facts, but OBSERVED (past tense) facts.

-- John

August 19, 2007, 05:03 PM
If I were an al-Qaeda terrorist, a gun-free university would be on my list of prime targets.

August 19, 2007, 05:09 PM
If I were an al-Qaeda terrorist, a gun-free university would be on my list of prime targets.

While I don't disagree with you, that's not a valid reason to argue in favor of concealed carry on campus. Al Qaeda prefers bombs and other WMD agents (chemical/biological/radiological) for their handiwork and an entire campus of armed citizens isn't going stop a well executed terrorist attack. Or even a poorly executed terrorist attack.

August 19, 2007, 05:11 PM
Be extremely cautious merely asking for permission may be asking for trouble. You must keep in mind that you are dealing with people or whom firearms represent ewverything that is evil in the world. You may be exposing yourself to retaliation by campus administration. Merely asking about carrying a firearm on campus could have the effect of causing the administration to lump you in with the likes of Cho.
You and I both know that there are legitimate reasons for using a fiream in defese but you will be hard pressed to convince the administration of this need. To them the only purpose a handgun can have is killing another student. This in their flawed ethical reasoning places you on the same level as Cho.
You may find yourself facing adverse consequences with respect to your academic career. College administrators have a great deal of power over you while you are at school. there is all sorts of unpleasantness that they can unleash upon you should you make yourself a target.

August 19, 2007, 05:20 PM
I am armed because I may face danger that could place me or innocents in my presence in immediate risk of death or severe bodily injury. Just read the newspaper. These situations happen EVERY DAY, and all over the country. I'm not afraid. I'm prepared.

I'm not a Samurai. I don't do knife fights.
Pepper spray won't repel an attacker armed with a gun or a baseball bat.
I've never shot anybody, and I hope I never do.

I know the rules and the risks. I will shoot if I have to.
Whether you trust me to make that decision ultimately determines whether I trust you.

Its really that simple.

August 19, 2007, 05:32 PM
Might want to mention the instances where concealed weapons HELPED a situation at a school (Appalachian School of Law comes to mind). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_School_of_Law_shooting

August 19, 2007, 05:50 PM
Here in Nevada, we have a University Regent who is also a State Representative. During our last legislatve session, we has instrumental in getting procedures passed to allow faculty and, I believe, grad students, to carry on campus. But there is a catch, having your CCW isn't good enough. You have to attend training put on by the University Police. The training is 21 weeks long and you have to meet the same physical requirements that the campus police must meet.

In other words, it appears that you must become an unpaid campus police officer to be able to meet the requirements established.

Here we have a Regent, who I believe was trying to make the campus a safer place, but his good intentions were derailed by the campus police.

Standing Wolf
August 19, 2007, 06:04 PM
The question is whether college students' lives are worth defending from predators.

August 19, 2007, 06:07 PM
Strat81 beat me to it. If you must mention VA Tech then you must mention Appalachian School of Law. Personally I'd avoid either comparison unless brought up by someone else. I'd simply make the comparison to the surrounding city as there should be less room for (mis)interpretation.

One problem with using Appalachian School of Law as an example is that the students involved in subduing the attacker were also law enforcement. The school official may simply state that a private citizen cannot have the training to carry a weapon on campus that a LEO has. Whether or not that is actually true or not is irrelevant as the school official is under no obligation to grant the request, no matter how logical.

August 19, 2007, 06:16 PM
Contact the VCDL (Virginia Citizens Defense League) and have them put you in touch with Andrew Dysart (may have misspelled his last name) who is waging a similar battle with George Mason University.

I'm sure he'll be able to give you a bunch of tips.
Washington Times Article here (http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070813/METRO/108130057/1001)

August 19, 2007, 06:20 PM
... might be an unspoken thought. Carry of a weapon is certainly a sign of fear ... reasonable, or unreasonable. If unreasonable, whoever is doing the judging view, it would be an insane pastime, by an insane person (paranoid), with delusions of great tragedy ... perhaps with thoughts of 'Heroic rescue'.

This is academia remember.

Novus Collectus
August 19, 2007, 06:26 PM
Go here: http://www.securityoncampus.org/crimestats/index.html
Then look up your school's name to see how bad violent crime is on campus there and in the adjacent public property and use that to show the campus is not as safe as they may claim if you find there are numerous incidents.
The Jeane Clery Act requires campuses nationwide to report crime stats on and around campus to the UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) the FBI compiles and that is what this sight accesses.

If the incidence rate is not bad enough to show the campus is even remotely dangerous, then look up nearby schools too to express that if it can happen to them then....
...you are a college student, you can figure out the rest and where to go from there of course. :)

August 19, 2007, 06:59 PM
Wow, my school has a whopping 1 burgulary, and a TON of liquor offenses.

Anyways, if youre anything like me, you are on campus late at night. Walking around on campus in the dark, after bars get out, gets fun sometimes. Nothign serious has ever happened, but there is the potential.

TheOld Man
August 19, 2007, 07:10 PM
Here in Nevada, we have a University Regent who is also a State Representative. During our last legislatve session, we has instrumental in getting procedures passed to allow faculty and, I believe, grad students, to carry on campus. But there is a catch, having your CCW isn't good enough. You have to attend training put on by the University Police. The training is 21 weeks long and you have to meet the same physical requirements that the campus police must meet.

In other words, it appears that you must become an unpaid campus police officer to be able to meet the requirements established...
A point of note: Many school officials are under the impression that it is a violation of Federal Law for anyone other than a duly trained and authorized Law Enforcement Officer to carry any type of weapon within 1000 feet of any school property. My neighbor, a school principal, insists that is the law and that I just don't know what I'm talking about.

August 19, 2007, 07:55 PM
TheOld Man -
The recent NV proposal for university staff is not being driven by ignorance of the law, it's being driven by the perception that the ONLY safe person on campus w/ a gun, is a person who's gone through the same police academy training as the campus police.:mad: It's also being driven by the desire for more free campus police officers, as noted by Hawkn's post. (As I understand it, you would have to work as a reserve officer one weekend a month if you go through the proposed program.)

JamesM -
I'd start by trying to find out if your university has ever granted such permission to carry, and if so, under what circumstances was it granted.

Good luck with your request.

4v50 Gary
August 19, 2007, 08:02 PM
What Cannonball888 says. Virginia Tech University. Even the presence of armed campus police cannot prevent a whack job from whacking someone.

August 19, 2007, 08:11 PM
The fact of the matter is that most high end school boards are run by a majority of liberals. Every liberal nut case i have met has been against anything gun related and it wouldn't suprise me if school boards were. They think if you try and take away guns from a place then nothing bad will happen. Well taking guns (and anything else) away is impossible, somebody is bound to get it. This is why VT occured, because the gun grabbing left took guns away from campus and allowed cho to go on a killing spree. As people have said having guns around doesnt always stop shootings, but it stops its a hell of a lot quicker.

Making gun free zones does the exact opposite that its supposed to. If you were going to go on a tangent and kill as many people as you could would you go somewhere that had guns? Of course not. You would go somewhere that had nothing in your way. Like a school for instance. This is why there are school shootings.

August 19, 2007, 08:14 PM
Have you ever heard of the "Gray Man" concept?

Robert Hairless
August 19, 2007, 08:34 PM
In the spirit of inquiry, I'd be grateful if you could find out what there is about that university that could turn sane people into homicidal maniacs and responsible people into unsafe fools.

My question might seem humorous but it's serious. University administrators offer two consistent reasons for banning firearms on campus. One is apprehension that the mere presence of a gun might turn arguments into killings and incite mass murders. The other reason is that the gun might be lost or stolen and fall into The Wrong Hands. (I don't know what that means. It's a use of English that I've never learned.)

But if you have a concealed carry permit and have ever bought a gun your record is known to be clean. How many faculty members and administrators at your university have passed an FBI check of any kind? (I'd be interested in knowing that number, by the way. A good argument could be made about the need for such checks on people to whom we entrust ourselves and our children behind closed doors. I've known some pretty unstable professors--scarey folk indeed.)

So you're evidently okay before you enter the campus and after you leave it. Therefore there must be something seriously wrong with that university and you have a right to know why it is so dangerous and crazy making. Is it, perhaps, the faculty and administrators who have not passed FBI background checks?

August 19, 2007, 10:08 PM
Most universities keep statistics of crime that happens for the past few years. Check out pubic service or whatever the on-campus police unit is for the crime stats....this isn't a argument winner...but it could be more ammunition in a meeting.

August 19, 2007, 11:01 PM
Since they're asking you to place your safety in their hands, ask them what security measures they will have in place that were not in place at VT last spring. Will they have metal detectors at all building entrances? Armed security guards in every classroom? The gun-free zone didn't stop Cho, why would it work here?

August 19, 2007, 11:04 PM
1. Why do you feel you need to protect yourself? “This is a safe place”.

A man named Cho used that 'tude to this advantage.

The Deer Hunter
August 19, 2007, 11:11 PM
1. Why do you feel you need to protect yourself? “This is a safe place”.

I'm sure that bank in CA that got robbed by men with automatic rifles was a "safe place" too.

2. Why don’t you use something else, like OC spray?

You can still pull the trigger regardless of how good your vision is.

Novus Collectus
August 19, 2007, 11:26 PM
JoseM Most universities keep statistics of crime that happens for the past few years. Check out pubic service or whatever the on-campus police unit is for the crime stats....this isn't a argument winner...but it could be more ammunition in a meeting. Actually it is ALL campuses ppublic and private that are required to keep and report crime statistics.


August 19, 2007, 11:33 PM
Thank you everyone for your replies.

To those who think I might have black balled myself, I have to ask. How should someone be active in fighting for the 2A if they are not willing to admit they own guns? I am not very fearful of retribution because universities are already so afraid of lawsuits when it comes to expulsion or anything related to it (football players have gotten away with multiple assaults on fellow students and didn’t even lose their scholarship). I already have written several letters to administrators on the subject and identifying myself as a student of the university forces them to address my concerns, especially since this is related to “campus safety” (the new buzz word in university mission statements). I have already jumped through the hoops to get a CPL and if the university wanted, they could have the university police cross check their enrollment against permit holders.

I have a few more days to prepare and will continue to revise my material.

I don’t think I will have a problem making my case about some sort of personal defense being necessary. My strategy follows:
Give examples of local crimes in the area and on campus. Recently, this university has had a murder suicide along with several assaults on or near campus.
There are no measures taken to prevent people from brining weapons on campus
Even if criminals do follow the signage and rules, they can still use “sanctioned weapons” such as baseball bats, crowbars, hammers, etc. All are capable of killing someone.
Not allowing me to carry on campus puts me at risk on my way to and from campus also (public transportation in a city).
Campus police are not legally responsible or physically capable of ensuring my personal safety.

I will go ahead and buy some OC spray (and start to carry it) but I am still concerned about explaining why OC spray is not sufficient by itself. Here are a few concepts I have complied so far:
OC spray will not stop a determined attacker.
Limited capacity
Not suited for multiple attackers.
Decreased effectiveness in the wind or rain.
Likely to affect me also (which would hinder my ability to escape).
If OC is so effective why do LEOs carry guns?
I don’t want to respond to lethal force with non-lethal force. If there is a non-lethal threat, I will just run away.
I am not sure what the range of OC is but I am willing bet it is inside the 21’ zone.

In the end, if I am denied I will request a written explanation of my denial.

IA_farmboy: I don’t think numbers will help my case. I am concerned more about individuals getting authorized. I don’t want to give the impression that I am out to make a political statement. My hope is that if I am successful then others can be also.

SaxonPig: I have had to return exams to students after they were found to be cheating. They were fairly irritated to say the least.

thexrayboy: I agree and I have followed that and may continue to do so in the future. I just though it couldn’t hurt to ask.

JWarren: I completely agree with you. I also find it ridiculous that academia vehemently supports the 1A then disregards the 2A.

WheelGunMom: Asking about others who have been approved is a good idea. I will add that to my list of talking points.

crebralfix: what is the “Grey Man” concept?

Novus Collectus: That is a good link but only info until 2005 is provided. Things have gone down hill significantly in the last few years.

August 20, 2007, 12:02 AM
Regarding OC spray, they are quite simply not all created equal. Maybe 15 years ago there was a short lived magazine called Practical Survival that did a field test on a dozen or so self defense sprays that they bought in various places; the Army-Navy store, the Quickie Mart, Brigade Quartermasters, etc.
At that time, lots of them sucked and/or malfunctioned, (produced nothing but foam that bubbled out and ran down the tester's arm, etc) and since it's designed to be a consumable item, you're going to have to buy a new one after you test it.
There's not necessarily a way to tell that the new one is like the one you tested. Fluctuations in storage temperatures and overall age of the product... no way to tell, really, just by looking at it. The propane tank on my grill gets 100 times the regulatory scrutiny of tear gas/pepper spray, and I'm not betting my butt on my ability to grill sausages in every potential scenario and weather condition. If sprays were the answer, we'd all be buying them like hotcakes, and have a forum on THR filled with hot debate and comparison photos. The bottom line is that they have very limited utility, and are not what you want in your hand if someone is shooting at you.

I wouldn't worry about "blacklisting" yourself; maybe they will say no, and then you will potentially be in a weaker position, but as long as you can present compelling arguments, it is worth a try. You are probably not dealing with people who are entirely blind to the observable universe, but they may need convincing. Give it a whirl and see what happens.

Novus Collectus
August 20, 2007, 12:07 AM
The UCR info is a year or at least six months behind always. It is possible to get a monthly update or possible recent update of the reports to the UCR from your university police department though (that is what I did with a friendly and understanding campus worker at my university). However, the data you recieve as a monthly or annually updated report from your university may not be complete. I believe they have to also compile date from surrounding departments as well at the end of the reporting cycle, so the monthly update report of campus area crime may be grossly underrepresented.
There may be 2006 data available from the FBI now, but if you tell the university that the 2005 data was the latest available for your request in your search effort, then you would be accurate in your declaration at the least.

August 20, 2007, 12:26 AM
I'm glad to see you preparing so well. A well educated request should at least have a chance at being heard. Too many people approach it a little too head on & manage to turn off the audience before they even get started.
Good luck!

August 20, 2007, 12:43 AM
Contact the VCDL (Virginia Citizens Defense League) and have them put you in touch with Andrew Dysart (may have misspelled his last name) who is waging a similar battle with George Mason University.

I'm sure he'll be able to give you a bunch of tips.

Here is a link to the GMU-SCC website that you can reach Andrew:

August 20, 2007, 01:40 AM
Police carry handguns to rapidly stop violent assaults. Because of this they are able to protect themselves and, sometimes, others. Unfortunately, police can't be everywhere. Police are responsible individuals. Most people are responsible individuals. Some of these people are also proficient with firearms and knowledgeable about proper use of force to protect life.

In universities these people may be professors, students, custodians, even security personnel. If they are carrying concealed firearms the result is comparable to adding large numbers of police without the attendant cost, and the waste of personnel it would entail.

Most universities have a recycling program in which extra receptacles are provided to pitch recycleables into. This is much more efficient than hiring additional staff to sort the garbage.

Professors, students, and custodians are probably more likely to be in a position to rapidly stop an attack of the type experienced at VT than even security personnel; but every responsible individual with a firearm added to the mix makes it less likely that a multiple victim public shooting will occur.

How can we trust these people if they are legally armed? The same way we do when they are not armed, or when they are driving on the same roads with us. We know that telling an irresponsible person they cannot carry a weapon is just as effective as telling the same person they cannot drive a car. They do it anyway. Therefor, we "trust but verify." It is called defensive driving on the road and relaxed alert or condition yellow by those who carry.

Should we try to "feel safe" as at VT? Or actually be safe?

August 20, 2007, 03:46 AM
As I am a college student I have put much thought into this. Here is what I have come up with for my school much of it should apply to yours.

1. Campus buildings are sprawling and hard to navigate even by indiviuals to use them often this will ALWAYS slow down LEO response time this allowing more time in an "active shooter scenario"

2. College students have higher than average rates of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault. These things can easily carry over into public spaces.

3. On my campus university law enforcement is prohibited by state law from carrying firearms and prevented by school policy from carrying Tasers, or any sort of ranged attack weapon. This means my first line of defense needs to be myself.

August 20, 2007, 05:22 AM
I used to work for a campus Public Safety Department, made up of all student officers. We carried OC as our only weapon, and to carry it we had to be sprayed with it. Anyway, from personal experience, OC is a nice option to have, but often times it is garbage. OC hurt me so bad I threw up, but it literally did nothing to many of my coworkers.

If the gun thing doesn't work out, a TASER might be your best option. Like OC, it doesn't work on everyone, has limited range and is no good against multiple assailants. It is still better than nothing, however. Good luck, I hope you are permitted to carry.

August 20, 2007, 08:07 AM
More coverage on Andrew Dysart, VCDL member and President of GMU Students for Concealed Carry:



August 20, 2007, 10:07 AM
+1 on finding the crime stats for the campus. You actually might be surprised how much crime there really is on school campuses.

All universities are required to report crime stats under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998.

Also definitely play the VT card. But make sure you have other stuff to send their way because many schools have adopted new policies that are "going to keep you safe".

Also I am sure someone else has mentioned it, but find out what other schools allow CCW and look up their size and crime stats. They may come in handy in making a case for CCW = safer society or campus if they are similar in size and have lower crime numbers or they may not be useful. Either way it would only take a few minutes.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Texas Department of Public Safety have both issued press releases which point out that people with CHLs are among the least troublesome in all of society.

Find these statements if you can. Campus security is acting in a law enforcement role and will therefore may come in handy if they are against allowing CCW because it might make the place unsafe.

August 20, 2007, 01:11 PM
Someone mentioned the reports from Florida and Texas (see below)...I would not use Texas as an argument because in Texas...State law prohibits us from carrying on campus. It could leave you open to a retort like 'if Texas believes CHL holders are not trouble then why does Texas have laws forbiding carry on campus???'

Just a pitfall to avoid.

3. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Texas Department of Public Safety have both issued press releases which point out that people with CHLs are among the least troublesome in all of society. I see no reason why this would not be true in all states with a CHL program. What is the objection to having these most-peaceful people able to defend themselves?

August 20, 2007, 01:52 PM
You might want to have a list of Colleges that allow students to conceal carry. While it is far from a majority it may be the starting of a trend. Here is an article regard Colorado State University. There are more articles just wanted to get you started.

Bureaucrats don't want to be the first to change policy on anything controversial. The more company they have the easier it is for them to change.


Good Luck!

August 20, 2007, 01:59 PM
gun free zones are usually, "free kill " zones for the loonies.

August 20, 2007, 07:17 PM
You could use reverse psychology and propose the alternative solution -- actual enforcement of the gun-free zone. Tell them you want frequent and unannounced searches of student rooms for weapons and other contraband. You want a fence built around the campus and airport-style security checkpoints through which all personnel must pass, including faculty and administration.

Tell them if these measures are taken, you'll feel safe in their gun-free zone.

August 20, 2007, 09:22 PM
Wanted to add, if they take the stance that the campus is a "safe place", explain that you would be unlikely to attend if it weren't usually very safe! Explain that bad things can just happen, and that you'd like to be prepared, as you are licensed to be by your state. Also, definitely point out more than just "I have a carry permit". This means zilch. Explain your training, the background check(s) you had to go through, etc. In a job interview, you would elaborate on what makes you qualified, right? Just so here.

And smile a lot. :) Just not in a creepy way... :uhoh:

August 21, 2007, 12:37 AM
This guy was caught before he went on a spree here. He had all the tell tale signs of a shooter. They had a safety meeting in our chemistry class stating what to do if he comes into our classroom or what to do if he was seen on campus. They said to call 911 immediately.

I said if he comes in this room, it'll be his last stop. Couple good ol boys gave me the nod in agreement. Nice to know there's at least a couple like minded packers if need be.


August 21, 2007, 12:53 AM
Shameless self promotion: http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=3649318

August 21, 2007, 10:24 AM
+1 on finding the crime stats for the campus. You actually might be surprised how much crime there really is on school campuses.

May be more difficult that you think.

Safe campuses are MARKETABLE campuses. There are crimes that never make it into the statistics for various reasons.

We saw evidence of this recently with the rape/murder of a college student at Eastern Michigan where the family was told that their daughter died of Natural Causes. The administration was aware that there was a serial rapist on campus but did not want the information made public.

The president of the university and some others lost their jobs. This was a few weeks ago.


As an old frat guy, I've known about a LOT that never got reported or investigated on college campuses. Unfortunately, I have always learned 'after-the-fact" and never had evidence. However, we did have to deal with some things internally. My college roommate was a member of a rival fraternity, and from speaking with him, it seemed that we were not unique.

-- John

August 21, 2007, 11:58 AM
I have a meeting with a university official about allowing me to carry on campus.

One issue- if they say "no" expect your name to be on a list with pubilc safety and they could probably randomly pat you down during the semester. "This is that guy who wanted to carry a gun on campus..." could be a negative label.

It makes very little sense for a dean to allow you to carry on campus, even if you have a CCW. If they gave you persmission, and you went nuts and shot some people- the liability issue would be HUGE, beyond what it normally would be. :banghead:

You have to analyze this from the school's lawyer's point of view.

August 21, 2007, 12:05 PM
I would carry at a university because crime can happen anywhere. My school had, in the last year, about 6 armed robberies. In almost all of those cases, the individual(s) were following campus police advice of "travel in groups", "stay under streetlights", etc. The justification is the exact same as carrying anywhere else.

+1 on finding the crime stats for the campus. You actually might be surprised how much crime there really is on school campuses.
Also +1 on the Clery Act. Yearly the Campus PD sends an email out saying "here are crime stats for campus and the surrounding area as required by ___".

Here are ours:

August 21, 2007, 01:12 PM
...and get a more satisfying answer.

The question is not, "Why carry at a university?" The question is not, "Why carry _______ (insert location of any sort here)?"

The question is simply, "Why carry?" To me, that question was answered by one of the mods here and author of "the munchkin wrangler."

Read the best answer to that question here:

Why the Gun is Civilization (http://munchkinwrangler.blogspot.com/2007/03/why-gun-is-civilization.html)

Think about that next time someone asks you any sort of "why" type question involving carrying a firearm.

August 21, 2007, 03:57 PM
Instead of explaining why you should be allowed to carry, ask them why a responsible, mature, law-abiding person SHOULDN'T be allowed to carry.
This should be the first sentence out of everybodys mouth........then you will see just how are fellow americans feel and think about liberty

August 21, 2007, 04:29 PM
I tried this. Twice. Permission was denied me both times, despite the fact that one of the cities highest-crime areas is a block away...

They just dont trust us.

August 21, 2007, 05:26 PM
Why carry at universities?

Because that's where the liberals are. It's a target rich environment! :evil:

Just kidding! Just kidding!

August 21, 2007, 06:00 PM
awesome i hope this works out for you. i am sure they will say no because of insurance reasons and him saying yes would somehow make him liable. that is what i was told by one of my previous employers. i think the exact words were... "i don't care if you keep it in your car, but i can't have you shooting everyone just because they made you angry." i was like wow i guess he thinks i am a psychopath.

August 21, 2007, 06:26 PM
You might do some research and put together a list of campus shootings. Ask them if they can guarantee your protection.
I think another good resource is Clayton Cramer's civilian gun defense blog:


It is loaded with news articles about civilians legally using guns to defend themselves. It seems like they add 2 or 3 every day on average.

August 21, 2007, 06:48 PM
It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.

August 21, 2007, 06:54 PM
The more I think about this issue to more ridiculous it becomes. The comments and information everyone is posting is really helping me put together a good set of talking points.

It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Since it not illegal, I thought the same thing. On the other hand, why should I have to take the risk just so other people can “feel” safer with this rule on the books? What would stop some administrator from trying to make an example out of me?

August 22, 2007, 03:56 PM
So the answer was no. The main reason given was that they don’t want guns on campus because it is a place of learning and it is in the rules.

I was asked if I was concerned about my safety on campus or off campus. I said both and pointed out there is no reason why the campus should be any different than the surrounding area. A few questions were asked about my habits on campus. I assume this was to determine if I was engaging in any unnecessary risky behavior. I wasn’t. Since there was no simple solution, the discussion proceeded. I don’t remember the exact words so I will just outline the key points.

Things they acknowledged in the discussion:
1. There have been violent attacks recently committed on and around campus, some even resulting in death.
2. There is no way they can prevent all attacks on campus.
3. They do nothing to prevent people from bringing weapons on to campus.
4. They will not do anything in the future to prevent people from bringing weapons on to campus.
5. The average response time of officers is around 2 min (I then asked how much bodily harm can be inflicted in two minutes. I was told that I knew the answer to that question).
6. There is no legal consequence for bringing a weapon on campus.
7. Only students and staff are subject to “administrative” consequences.
8. If you are not a student or staff member all they can do is ask you to leave.

Solutions to my concern:
1. Call and request an escort when walking around campus (unarmed volunteer).
2. Have a safety person come and inspect my habits and offer safety suggestions.
3. Walk in a group.
4. Stay under streetlights.
5. Check my gun at the police station when I get to campus (I didn’t point out that I would have to walk through campus to get to the police station).

Reasons for my denial:
1. It is against the rules. (I pointed out it was only against the rules if they said NO)
2. They don’t want someone to take my gun from me and use it on the campus population. (I asked if they would change their mind if I had taken a handgun retention class and carry in a retention holster. Still No. I also pointed out that I carry a gun everywhere else and nobody has taken it from me yet. Still nothing).

I asked if I was a 100lb woman with a stalker would I be allowed to carry. They wouldn’t answer that question. I also asked what criteria a person must fulfill before they are authorized to carry on campus (no answer to this either).

The conversation went on for about 20 minutes. They did not want a debate and I didn’t think I would make any headway by continuing. I thanked them for taking the time to speak with me, and left. Logic and facts are clearly on my side but that doesn’t seem to be enough. Perhaps I could be more effective if I tried to have the rule removed rather than get permission. Now to figure out who writes the rules…:scrutiny:

August 22, 2007, 04:14 PM
they don’t want guns on campus because it is a place of learning

Well, what if I don't want cars in a restaurant because it's a place of eating? Makes no sense.

Solutions to my concern:
1. Call and request an escort when walking around campus (unarmed volunteer).
2. Have a safety person come and inspect my habits and offer safety suggestions.
3. Walk in a group.
4. Stay under streetlights.
5. Check my gun at the police station when I get to campus (I didn’t point out that I would have to walk through campus to get to the police station).

That's the exact same word-for-word stuff that our campus said. Problem is, a number of the robberies occured when suggestions #3 and #4 were being followed. There was also an occurence a while back where an escort ended up raping/assaulting the girl he was called to escort (not at NCSU, somewhere else). Those are joke solutions.

Now, #5 is actually interesting. That at least offers some degree of protection during travel, but you're disarmed upon setting foot on campus. I do wish my school would have offered that when I was there.

Danus ex
August 22, 2007, 04:50 PM
I was going to post here a few days ago, but got distracted. I carried on campus at a huge university. I think that by simply making the appointment you went too far.

All of us know that universities regularly squash other constitutionally-given rights, what makes you think they'll be reasonable this time? Your school's administration has both a status quo and a public facade to maintain, and your mere ownership of a gun conforms to neither. By coming forward, you've outed yourself for persecution.

Schools do have "secret files" on students. I know that my rap sheet, for example, lists several incidents resulting from my poor relationship with my undergraduate adviser. I made an ass of myself regularly in that office, and all of it was noted. I can't imagine what's on your file now.

At any rate, concealed carry on campus is as easy as it is everywhere else. In fact, I think it's easier: nobody expects a dashing young American university man to carry a gun, and college students are about the most oblivious people walking the planet. Still, it is possible to get caught carrying, so you have to take steps to ensure that you don't get caught (use stalls instead of urinals, wear effective cover garments, beware of hard-back chairs, etc.). The main factor is attitude, though. If carrying a gun makes you anxious, paranoid, hostile, or affects you in any other indicatively bad way, you're sunk.

August 22, 2007, 05:06 PM
Maybe this post from DefensiveCarry.com will be of help to you.


University of Utah Campus Gun Policy

Thanks to Utah's excellent preemption law, it is possible to carry a concealed weapon on the University of Utah campus (and the campuses of other state universities) without violating the law or University policy. I'm a UofU student and I take full advantage of this.

This excellent situation came about despite fierce resistance from the university administration. Despite the law clearly prohibiting any state agency from banning guns, the university had to be dragged kicking and screaming through the courts before they agreed to change the rules and allow students, faculty and staff to carry firearms on campus. Thus far, the university has not been very friendly towards the idea of concealed weapons.

Given this background, I was pleasantly surprised to get the following e-mail from the University today.

Originally Posted by University of Utah
Questions about Weapons on Campus

The Campus Security Task Force was appointed by President Young to address concerns regarding campus safety in the face of news reports about violence and weapons on college campuses. One of its charges was to provide some guidance to the campus community regarding weapons.

With two exceptions, the University of Utah does not allow lethal weapons on campus – that policy applies to firearms, knives, explosives, or other items whose central purpose is inflicting harm on others. The two exceptions to this policy are the firearms carried by law enforcement officers and concealed weapons carried by lawful permit holders. Those persons who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon must keep their weapons concealed while on campus.

Faculty, staff, or students may become aware of the presence of a weapon in their immediate vicinity either by happenstance as when a concealed weapon is momentarily visible or through deliberate action of the possessor. In either event, the advice of law enforcement experts is the same – stay calm and avoid confrontation whenever possible.

Nobody other than an official law enforcement officer should ask the possessor of a weapon whether he/she has a concealed carry permit. Trained peace officers are the right people to deal with this issue.

In all situations – STAY CALM – AVOID CONFRONTATION if at all possible

1. If a weapon is not being brandished in a threatening manner, there is no reason for you to become directly involved with the weapon. This is true whether it is openly visible or only briefly exposed. If you have any concern about the weapon’s presence, then
a. make note of the identity of the possessor
b. call 585-2677 (5-COPS) or 9-911
c. do not ask the possessor for a weapon permit

2. If a weapon is being brandished in a threatening manner or the possessor seems unstable, then
a. STAY CALM – do not make the situation worse by confrontation if it can be avoided
b. call 585-2677 (5-COPS) or 9-911

3. If you are threatened directly or if violence erupts, then
i. take evasive action
ii. do not enter any area without knowing what is there
iii. use self-defense methods only to the extent that you are familiar or comfortable with them
iv. look for the most solid protection available (e.g., prefer solid wood furniture over drywall)
b. call 585-2677 (5-COPS) or 9-911

I've highlighted the two bits that stand out to me. First, the university acknowledges that not every sighting of a weapon should prompt a call to the police. Of course this may just be a matter of practicality. If the university police were called every time someone printed or accidentally flashed on campus, it would suck up a huge amount of their time. While the policy described above is pretty good, it's not beyond improvement. I would like to see a bit more guidance about what sort of behavior is cause for "concern" that would merit calling the police. After all, I'm sure there are plenty of people on campus who would freak out at the mere sight of a firearm. Nonetheless, this acknowledgment that not all firearms on campus are "bad" is a good start.

The second bit I bolded is the one that really surprises me. I would have expected the usual lily livered, "don't resist because you might get hurt," sort of admonition. However, the university seems to be acknowledging that there is actually a valid place for self defense when you are faced with the threat of violence. This would be a refreshing position for any governmental authority to take, and coming from an organization that has spent so much time and effort trying to prevent students, faculty, and staff from being able to effectively defend themselves, it is truly amazing.

The university administration has not been a friend to CCWers in the past, but I have to give credit where it is due. This is probably the most sensible weapons and self defense policy that I've seen from any government organization, much less a university. Kudos to the University of Utah! Go Utes!

Good luck on your journey!

August 22, 2007, 07:26 PM
See if they'll sign a statement acknowledging these things, and that they still refuse to allow you to carry. Then tell them if you get attacked on campus you're suing.

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