Guns On Campus – Antonia Okafor’s Argument for Campus Carry





Campus carry advocate Antonia Okafor has written an excellent opinion piece for the New York Times called “Why I Bring My Gun to School.”  In it she talks about her experiences in attending graduate-level night classes at the University of Texas, Dallas and having to rely on a rape whistle and a phone for protection.  Thus, in 2015 when Texas began debating a campus carry bill she became involved in the effort to advocate for its passage.

Campus carry bills and laws vary by state, but the basic core is that they allow those with concealed carry licenses to carry firearms on campus grounds and property.  Typically, there are areas designated off-limits (in Georgia, for example, dorms, athletic events, places where disciplinary hearings are held, and classes which have high schoolers in attendance are all off-limits).  To obtain a concealed carry permit, a person must be 21 years of age or older (with some exceptions), pass a background check, and – in some states – undergo training.

The rationale for campus carry is the same as that for concealed carry in general: the fact that firearms are likely being carried by some proportion of law-abiding citizens tends to deter criminals.  Concealed carriers therefore help provide greater security to an area even without having to actually use their firearms.  Thus, even if a person does not carry a firearm themselves, they benefit from the presence of concealed carry laws.

College campuses, in particular, are in need of the type of deterrent that concealed carry provides.  I attended a major university in Atlanta from 1996 to 2001.  The area has changed for the better now, but still faces the challenges typical of big cities.  During my time there, my car was broken into twice, a friend was robbed at gunpoint, a pizza deliveryman was killed in a robbery, and many other people were victimized on, or just off, campus.  My female friends would travel in groups for fear of being assaulted.  These types of problems are commonplace on campuses across the nation.  In addition, Okafor mentions the risk of sexual assault and the statistic that one in five college women are assaulted.  Many people, as she points out, do not think the number is this high, but I believe it is.

The argument for campus carry is to help make these places safer places for students.  Even if the students are too young to obtain a concealed carry permit or if they are prohibited from keeping firearms in their dorms, they will benefit from campus carry laws due to the deterrent effect.

It is easy for those who don’t have to deal with crime on, or around, college campuses to contend that “guns will make the campus less safe.”  I have news for them, though: there are already guns on campus.  The problem is just that the criminals have them and there are far too few good men and women with guns around to deter them.  Campus carry is an effort to rectify that situation.

 

Czech-Mate: European Government Votes to Allow Citizens to Carry Guns

The continent of Europe is not a complete and utter lost cause. The Czech Republic–which has always been a gun-friendly country in spite of being subjugated to the European Union’s influence–just voted to allow its citizens to arm themselves against any threat of tyranny.

More specifically, the lower house of the Czech parliament voted 139 out of 200 votes in favor of the bill on Wednesday as a measure to combat terrorism. The bill is expected to pass in the upper chamber of their Parliament and be signed into law by the country’s president. However, it’ll likely be stopped by the European Commission–the European Union entity responsible for overseeing gun policies. This same commission adopted stricter gun control measures back in December. The Czech president recently said he wanted more of his citizens to be armed to combat greater terrorism threats. It’s unsure if this law, if passed and signed into law, will have standing in spite of the EU’s asinine firearms policies.

Here’s a sample of the bill’s draft:

“This constitutional bill is in reaction to the recent increase of security threats, especially the danger of violent acts such as isolated terrorist attacks … active attackers or other violent hybrid threats.”

Per Yahoo!, which first reported the story, there are over 800,000 firearms of all calibers and sizes registered in the Czech Republic.

Given the Czech Republic’s history–especially the illegal Soviet occupation that befell the country last century–the government is keen on not repeating past mistakes that would leave its populace defenseless against any threat of tyranny–especially terrorism. Thank goodness we have the Second Amendment here in the U.S. Let’s hope countries like Czech Republic can follow our lead and protect their citizens!

California Dodges Bullet By Halting High-Capacity Magazine Ban

The Golden State has dodged a bullet by reneging its plan to implement a statewide high-capacity magazine ban forbidding residents from possessing firearm magazines exceeding 10 rounds. The law would have gone into effect tomorrow, July 1st.

A federal judge — U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez– issued a preliminary injunction yesterday in Duncan v. Beccera, which put a stay (or blocked) the high-capacity magazine ban law set to be implemented tomorrow. This is a case being brought by San Diego gun owners and the California Rifle & Pistol Association with support from the National Rifle Association. The ban was passed last year by the Democrat-dominated California state legislature in Sacramento.

 

“If this injunction does not issue, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of otherwise law-abiding citizens will have an untenable choice: become an outlaw or dispossess one’s self of lawfully acquired property,” Benitez wrote. “That is a choice they should not have to make.”

The NRA issued a statement in support of the injunction.

“California’s attempt to ban the possession of standard capacity magazines is unconstitutional, and an affront to law-abiding gun owners who have safely, and lawfully owned these tools for decades,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.  “This injunction is a huge win for California gun owners who have long-suffered under a state government hostile to the Second Amendment.”

 

Senate Bill 1446–which was passed after the San Bernardino terrorist attack–would have made the possession of a high-capacity magazine a punishable offense. Had the bill gone into effect on July 1, the law would have made it a crime and offense punishable by a fine of $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 for the third or subsequent offense. Moreover, anyone in lawful possession of a large (or high-capacity) magazine before July 1st would have to surrender their magazines to local law enforcement. As of 2000, California currently bans magazines exceeding 10 rounds.

These attempts to ban bullets or high-capacity magazines is largely rooted in misunderstanding about the purpose of having extra bullets on hand with respect to self-defense. Since magazines and other “scary”  firearms components are maligned and chastised by elites in entertainment, media, and academia, politicians have knee-jerk reactions to ban gun components they are unfamiliar with–by setting their sights on law-abiding gun owners while ignoring criminals who violate gun laws in place.

Nevertheless, this is an encouraging step in the right direction for gun owners in my home state of California. Let’s hope their case gets further consideration and that Second Amendment rights can be restored there.

FL Sheriff to Constituents: Conceal Carry to Stop Terrorist Attacks

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey posted a video encouraging his constituents to conceal carry to help thwart future terrorist attacks. Citing the recent attacks in the United Kingdom and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, a year ago today, the sheriff–who covers Florida’s Space Coast–believes more responsible and armed citizens can help police officers neutralize dangerous situations.

In the six-minute video, Ivey called himself the “most politically incorrect sheriff in the country” out there. He said the “run, hide and draw a line in the sand” strategy will leave people defenseless and more prone to attack.

“This is war, and you better be prepared to wage war to protect, your family, and those around you if attacked,” Ivey said.

The sheriff added, “No matter who you are or what’s your position on guns, there’s no denying the fact that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun or a knife, is an armed and well-prepared citizen or law enforcement officer.”

Citing how precious life-and-death is surrounding arrival times, he said it’s up to these responsible citizens to help neutralize the threat until police arrive at the scene.

“As a society and a community, we can no longer wait for the attack to happen and develop our survival strategy, ” he said. “If you have a concealed carry permit, then carry your gun with you at all times possible.”

He added that if you choose to defend yourself with a gun against attack, you must be willing to practice using them and by offering constituents the option to take a course entitled, “Self-Defense Through Tactical Shooting and Decision Making.”

Watch the full video below:

Unsurprisingly, some near the sheriff’s home turf have tried to delegitimize the claim that “good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns.” One Orlando Weekly columnist wrote:

“Unfortunately for Ivey, there’s just no proof supporting his theory that more guns makes society safer, let alone from from mass shootings or terrorist attacks.” 

The mistake authors like this make is lumping criminal gun activity with law-abiding gun owners, which undermines journalistic integrity. Secondly, he only cites groups or “experts” who beat the anti-gun violence drum but line their coffers with gun control lobby money. And worse of all, most major news outlets ignore or erase “good guys and gals with guns” stories because it completely defeats their narrative.  Sad.

For added context: Sheriff Ivey was first elected to his post in 2012. He endorsed then-candidate Donald Trump back in September 2016.

I think Sheriff Ivey was in the right making this video. He encouraged responsible gun ownership and citizens to help neutralize or diffuse tense situations, not take full law enforcement matters into their own hands. Let’s hope more members of law enforcement encourage the safe and responsible handling of firearms!

Liberal Philosopher Argues Self-Defense Deprives Assailants of Their Rights

A liberal “philosopher” and “writer,” Justin Curmi, has posted an article in which he argues that the use of a firearm in self-defense is wrong because it deprives the attacker of “the right to a fair trial.”  He adds: “… using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights.”

Actually, Curmi makes many strange, poorly-written assertions in his article, including:

There is no doubt that people do have the right to carry and have a stockpile of guns (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms”) and a state has the right to organize a well-regulated Militia. But, the main issue is on the right to self-defend with a firearm.  The main problem with the notion of self-defense is it imposes on justice, for everyone has the right for a fair trial. Therefore, using a firearm to defend oneself is not legal because if the attacker is killed, he or she is devoid of his or her rights.

So, people have a right to have guns and carry them, but not a right to use them in self-defense?  What about the right for a person to defend themselves and their families from an attacker?  We must let evil have free reign so that we don’t offend “justice?”

Curmi then throws in a few bizarre sentences regarding mental capacity, stating:

In addition, one’s mental capacity is a major factor in deciding whether a man or woman has the right to have a firearm. There are two reasons for ensuring mental capacity. First, one of the Five Aims is to ensure domestic tranquility and there can be no tranquility if one does not have the capacity. Second, if one’s brain is distorting his or her reality, they do not have the proper reasoning and deduction skills to use a firearm.

Then, Curmi states: “A gun for civilians is a weapon for a revolution and not for ordinary use. The belief that a gun is a useful tool to protect one is counterintuitive because guns get into the hands of people who use them for horrible reasons.”  He ends by arguing that only the police are well-trained enough to use firearms in a time of stress.

To summarize Curmi’s argument into a more coherent list:

  • Everyone has the right to carry and have guns
  • Those without “mental capacity” do not have “the right to have a firearm”
  • No one has a right to use a gun in self-defense
  • Police can use guns, because they’re “better trained”
  • Guns are only for revolution
  • Guns are not useful tools, because some people might misuse them

His argument begs the following questions:

  • What use is being able to carry guns if not to use them in self-defense?
  • Why can police use guns?  Are they not also depriving someone of the right to a fair trail (by Curmi’s own logic)?  Are they only “useful tools” in the hands of police?
  • Who arbitrates whether someone has the “mental capacity” to have a firearm?  If it is the government, how does this square with the assertion that “guns are only for a revolution?”

Curmi’s argument is faulty, not well thought-out, and poorly articulated (read this post on Instagram for further violence done by him to the logical method).

Aristotle weeps.

 

 

 

After Flip-Flop, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Signs Campus Carry into Law

Georgia is the latest state to pass legislation allowing for campus carry on its public universities and colleges. Along with the Peach State, Arkansas passed similar legislation earlier this year that also permits campus carry on its public colleges and universities.

On Thursday, Governor Nathan Deal (R-GA) signed House Bill 280  into law. It will also go into effect on July 1, 2017.

“At the present time, assailants can, and do, target these students knowing full well that their victims are not permitted to carry protection,” Deal said, “even those who are weapons carry license holders, because they are either going to or coming from a campus where no weapons are allowed.”

This is a 180 degree shift from last year when Deal vetoed similar legislation. What explains his change of heart? Likely the 2016 election and perhaps the realization that campus carry will make campuses a safer place. Here’s more on the legislation that was passed:

House Bill 280 would allow anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on public college and university campuses, with exceptions that include dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, and buildings used for athletic events. On-campus child care centers would also be excluded, as would areas on some college campuses where high school students attend class.

Current law in Georgia states that anyone in possession of a gun outside their vehicle on public universities – even with concealed carry permits in tow — is subject to a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. When this law goes into effect on July 1, 2017, anyone in possession of a gun in gun-free zones, they’ll only face a misdemeanor and be fined fined $25 for their first offense.

Georgia is the tenth state to permit campus carry in the U.S. Here’s more on the current status of firearms on American campuses:

Because of  recent state legislation and court rulings, 10 states now have provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses. These states are Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Not included in above list, Tennessee allows faculty members with licenses to carry weapons on campus but the law does not extend to students or the general public.

Utah remains the only state to have statute specifically naming public colleges and universities as public entities that do not have the authority to ban concealed carry, and thus, all 10 public institutions in Utah allow concealed weapons on their property.

Glad Governor Nathan Deal came to his senses and signed this important legislation into law. Hopefully more states can witness similar legislation.

Women and Guns – These Aren’t the Victims You’re Looking For

At the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, five incredible women took the stage for a panel discussion entitled “Armed and Fabulous: The New Normal.”  The discussion was moderated by Townhall.com editor Katie Pavlich and included Kimberly Corban (mother of two, sexual attack survivor, and Second Amendment Advocate), Ashlee Lundvall (outdoorswoman and Ms. Wheelchair USA), Antonia Okafor (college graduate student and campus carry advocate), and Kristi McMains (lawyer, survivor of a violent attack, and concealed carry advocate).  The video of their discussion posted at Townhall.com is well worth watching.

The women talked about firearms and the role they play in empowering women to defend themselves and their families from predators.  Kimberly Corban and Kristi McMains, in particular, have an interesting connection.  Corban was attacked and raped in her college apartment in 2006.  Since that time she has advocated for women’s right to defend themselves.  In a televised town hall in 2016 she famously confronted then-President Obama, asking him why he insisted on pursuing gun control policies which only serve to decrease safety for her and her family.

The town hall was on January 7, 2016.  One of those who viewed Corban’s confrontation with Obama was Kristi McMains.  Watching Corban’s testimony inspired her to always carry her concealed firearm in her purse.  On January 26, 2016, McMains was attacked by a man as she left her law office.  She fought him, but he succeeded in getting her on the ground and was intent on stabbing her to death.  However, she was able to retrieve her firearm and shoot her assailant, ending his attack upon her life.

For these reasons, Antonia Okafor advocates for campus carry in order to allow people to lawfully carry concealed firearms on college campuses.  Likewise, Ashlee Lundvall promotes concealed carry in order for women to better protect themselves.

The women also addressed the patronization they’ve received from those who do not support a women’s right to armed self-defense.  Some people argue that women will hurt themselves with firearms, or that it would be better not to further upset their attackers by fighting back.  Others argue (as McMains stated was said to her) that women somehow “deserve” to be attacked when they dress a certain way.  Others say (as Okafor mentioned) that college students are “always drunk” and can’t be trusted with firearms.

These women are firmly saying “No” to these patronizing attempts to rob them of their ability to defend themselves and their families.  They are also saying “No” to the disgusting attempts of their opponents to excuse their attackers’ behavior or to implicitly give an attacker power over a woman.  The women rightfully point out that depriving women of the God-given and Constitutionally-protected right to self-defense is not “feminist” or to the benefit of women.  Firearms are the great equalizer.

Finally, Katie Pavlich, the moderator, mentioned two bills currently before the U.S. Congress.  The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would allow licensed concealed carriers to carry across state lines.  The Hearing Protection Act would remove firearm suppressors from regulation under the 1934 National Firearms Act and instead treat their purchase in a manner similar to firearms.

Two quotes from the discussion, in particular, stand out:

Kimberly Corban: 

“I am a huge fan of safe spaces, because I create them everywhere I go whenever I carry concealed.”

Kristi McMains:

“You can become a victim of violence at anywhere at anytime, and therefore I should be able to save my own life – anywhere, anytime.”

If you believe the same, contact your representatives and encourage them to support the Second Amendment, both at your state and the national level.

Ghost Guns – A Haunting Menace?

There’s a new article on NBC News decrying “untraceable ghost guns,” with the implication that there are vast swaths of criminals buying parts on the internet, assembling them into firearms, and then menacing the civil population with no recourse available to law enforcement.  The headline sets the tone for the article: “Loophole Lets Criminals Buy Untraceable ‘Ghost Guns’ Online.”

The writer claims that a correspondent ordered a “rifle parts kit” online and then, using the pieces in the box, they had it assembled in “a couple of hours.”

The article is leaving out important details in order to push a political agenda advanced by NY Senator Chuck Schumer.  His quote comes at the end of the article where he says that he is going to try to pass legislation which bans “ghost guns,” but, “The trouble is the NRA is so unreasonable and has such power in the Congress, you’d think this should pass like that, but it is going to be a long hard road.”

Thus, the NBC article could be summarized as “Schumer wants to pass new gun control legislation and needs help whipping up support via some new menace.”

The details the writer has left out in order to push this agenda center around the fact that these “kits” are called “80% receiver” kits.  They’re also sometimes referred to as “80% lower” (for AR-15 style rifles) or “80% frame” (for 1911 style handguns) kits.

These 80% receiver kits are simply blocks of aluminum or steel which have not been sufficiently machined so as to “manufacture” (in the legal sense) a firearm.  Since they are not firearms, they are not regulated as such and do not require serial numbers.  In addition, it is perfectly legal (under federal law) to manufacture a firearm for your own purposes.

The ATF has a handy FAQ with pictures of an AR-15 lower receiver which depicts an 80% lower.  An intelligent person could deduce from the picture that there is still machining work required to turn this block of aluminum into a firearm.  Typically, this would be done with tools such as a drill press, CNC machine, or milling machine, along with purpose-built jigs.

In addition, once the machining is done, the receiver would normally be sent off to be anodized.  Following this machining and finishing process, the rest of the firearm components can be assembled.  There is a similar process required for 1911 style handguns which begin as 80% frames.

Thus, the process to finish an 80% receiver is more complex than simply “receiving a box and assembling the pieces.”  Those who build firearms using 80% lowers typically do so because they enjoy the challenge and take pride in their craftsmanship.

Is it plausible that there is an alarming number of criminals who possess the tools, skill, and time to turn 80% lowers into finished firearms?  Or, is it more plausible that criminals simply steal the firearms they need?

Is it also likely that the attempt to ban these 80% receivers (“ghost guns” in the jargon of the breathless) is just another step in the effort to further restrict the rights of Americans?  What would be next?  Regulation of machine tools and aluminum?  Regulation of 3D printing machines?  Do we give up all our liberties because of the fear that some might misuse them?