Concealed carry allowed at Colorado’s public universities

A version of this article was printed in the Boulder Daily Camera on Saturday, March 10, 2012. It’s in response to the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision that CU regents cannot prevent conceal-carry permit holders from being armed on campus.

The “make my day” moniker for House Bill 12-1088 trivializes the traumatic stress of defending one’s life. It also reflects baseless prejudice against gun owners.  Like the fictional Dirty Harry who popularized “make my day,” arguments against self-defense rights fit in Hollywood scripts, but not in reality. (Continues below video.)

Jim Manley of the Mountain States Legal Foundation was the lead attorney in the case to overthrow the concealed-carry ban at the U. of Colorado. He explains the basic facts & rationale regarding the decision.

CSU has allowed concealed-carry since 2003, while Colorado community colleges have since 2010. Writing in the Camera that year, Jimmy Calano of the Camera’s editorial advisory board opposed campus concealed-carry by describing horrors that could occur — but never have.  In its amicus brief for the case, County Sheriffs of Colorado say they “are not aware of any incident since 2003 involving firearms misuse on a Colorado state campus by a person with a licensed carry permit.” Or in Utah, which also allows campus conceal-carry. Nor has opposition to campus conceal-carry cited an incident.

Also in 2010, board member Dave Ensign says he “cannot understand the obsession with carrying at all times a weapon that’s sole purpose is to kill people.” But killing is not the purpose. Like police officers, civilians carry guns for self-defense against violent criminals, as documented in the Cato Institute’s “Tough Targets” study and books by Robert A. Waters.

These civilians include heroic life-savers Joel Myrick and Tracey Bridges, who thwarted school shootings after retrieving guns from their vehicles, notes scholar Dave Kopel in “Pretend ‘Gun-free’ School Zones: A Deadly Legal Fiction.”  Self-defense is a basic human right. Abridging this right is morally equivalent to disabling seat-belts in someone’s car.

Here’s an excerpt from my longer article on this topic, published in the Denver Post:

Here’s a challenge for the CU Regents and Boulder Faculty Assembly. They’re OK with armed campus police, but not armed citizens with the training and qualifications to have earned a concealed-carry permit. Then why not issue special campus gun permits to those who, at their own expense, undergo the same firearms training as the CU Police?

If this is not acceptable, how about more rigorous training, or limiting permits to faculty and staff? If a regent or CU faculty member opposes this, you should wonder about his actual motives for opposing concealed carry on campus.

See also: Students for Concealed Carry.


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