Protect yourselves on campus

Matthew Dermody

I would like to respond to some of the things I’ve been reading in the Stater in the wake of the recent string of crimes against Kent State students.

The editorial board and others have questioned why the police have been unable to protect us. The answer is simple: It’s not their job. That’s correct, the police have no duty to protect us. Their job is to enforce the laws after they’ve been broken, meaning after you’ve been robbed, beaten, raped, stabbed or shot.

If you think I’m making this up, consider the Supreme Court case of Warren vs. District of Colombia. In that case, the Court ruled that the police have no duty to protect individual citizens, but rather the community at large. It also stated that the duty of police is to solve crimes after they happen, not prevent them.

The police are not meant to be our bodyguards, each of us must take charge of our own personal protection. The editorial board recently provided several valid security tips for students such as staying in groups and in well-lit areas, having keys in hand, locking doors, etc. All of that is excellent advice, but there are other self-defense tools that were not considered but should be.

There is a tool that is used over 2 million times a year by everyday people to protect themselves from harm, but its use is denied to students on campus. I’m talking about firearms. That’s right, I believe that responsible students who are 21 or older and have been fingerprinted, photographed, background checked and vetted by the police, and who have passed a firearms safety/training course and have received a concealed carry permit should be allowed to carry their licensed concealed handguns on campus just as they do off campus.

I know what you’re thinking: “More guns will lead to more shootings, it’ll turn campus into the Wild West!” Well, it hasn’t been a problem for 10 colleges and universities. College students and professors who have been licensed and trained by the state carry on these campuses without problem. It’s been allowed there for a combined total of 120 semesters with no shootings, no suicides, no lost or stolen guns and no drunken rampages by concealed carry permit holders.

Also, consider that these people already carry legally at the mall, stores, banks, pharmacy, movie theatres and gas stations in town without problem, so if they can do it safely everywhere else, why would campus be so different?

The current campus policy and state laws which prevent law-abiding, responsible people who have been state-certified as “good guys and gals” from protecting themselves creates a culture of victims and institutionalizes crimes. The thugs know students can’t protect themselves, so why wouldn’t they target us?

How many more have to die or be robbed at gunpoint before this university and the state of Ohio will legalize self-defense? If you believe in self-defense by responsible citizens, consider joining Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and join the movement to end this legalized victimization.

Matthew Dermody is a senior international relations major and guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.