Letter to the editor: 10/3/12

Frank Zurfley

I am writing in response to the article in Tuesday’s edition regarding House Bill 256. The Kent State police chief stated that he believes that students and faculty should not be allowed to even carry a gun in their car on school property, let alone carry a firearm onto the campus. Therefore, I believe it can reasonably be assumed that Kent State believes the campus will be a safer place without guns on campus.

Last Wednesday, the president of the United States visited Kent State. Whether you are for or against the current president, he is still the president of the United States. This was a remarkable event to be held at Kent State. It was the duty of Kent State officials and other local authorities to make Kent State safe for the president. I believe most people would agree the campus was probably the safest it has ever been. Why was the campus so safe? That’s easy: because there were a lot of guns on campus. Of course, all of the guns belonged to police officers, as average citizens are not allowed to carry a gun on campus. But according to the actions of the Kent officials, the Kent State campus was safer with more guns on the campus.

Why are police officers allowed to carry firearms on campus and we, as citizens, are not? Are police officers above us? Better than us? Have more God-given powers than us? I don’t think so. I believe my life and every other life is worth just as much as a police officer’s life. Why are they allowed to protect their life by carrying a firearm and we are not? Do police officers have a special Bill of Rights that only applies to law enforcement officials? I believe the Second Amendment applies equally to all citizens, and we should all be afforded the right to protect ourselves as set forth in the Constitution.

The state of Ohio has passed a law that allows citizens to carry a concealed firearm after completing firearm safety training, learning the laws regarding use of deadly force and passing a background check. The citizens that complete this process are legally arming themselves to be able to protect themselves if the need arises. It is not logical to believe that a law preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying a firearm onto campus is going to stop someone that is going to commit a gun crime at Kent State. Allowing students to carry a firearm would only allow them to properly protect themselves. If a law is passed that grants Kent State to choose whether they will allow firearms on campus, I strongly urge the university to reconsider its viewpoint. I have a permit to legally carry a concealed firearm, and I have many firearm training certifications. I am considered competent and diligent with my firearm by several experts. If an incident were to happen at Kent State and I were injured or killed and Kent State removed my right to defend myself by disarming me, you better believe there would be litigation to follow.

For any students or faculty that believe the police will protect you, please research Warren v. District of Columbia. In this case, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that it is not the duty or obligation of police officers to protect you. Please research more on this for yourself.