Letter to the editor: A campus with guns is safer than one without guns

Spinnaker

I was not surprised to see the Spinnaker run another anti-self-defense/anti-second amendment article following the death of Trayvon Martin.

The public still does not know the true details surrounding the death of Martin, but yet the Spinnaker and liberal media continue to publish opinions and hearsay that is fostering a lynch mob. The Spinnaker editorial staff should be ashamed for wanting to hang a man before all facts are released. The only thing that is clear at this point is that the entire situation is a tragedy and that one life has been taken, while another has been irrevocably changed.

The Spinnaker attempts to vilify people who believe in self-defense with the notion that firearm owners are likely to spread violence across campus and society. Concealed weapons permits are being issued at record rates, yet society has not turned into the Wild West that the “antis” scream about.

According to a Stanford University publication, “permit holders are about 300 times less likely to perpetrate a gun crime than Floridians without permits.” In other words, that makes concealed weapons permit holders 300 times less likely to commit a gun crime than a Spinnaker editorial writer or nonpermit-holding UNF student.

Licensed adults 21 and over carry concealed weapons next to you in the store, in the movie theater, in church and almost anywhere else imaginable — bars excluded — without incident, and you never notice. Why not on campus? How does crossing onto campus differ than anywhere else in public?

The Spinnaker continues to encourage a defense-free zone at UNF, and the criminals know it. The same on-campus gun-related crimes the Spinnaker referenced might have been avoided if the criminals thought the victim might be armed.

We should not have to rely on the UPD to protect us on campus because it clearly cannot. Regardless of the contingency plans made for a campus attack, it will not be able to protect us if the shit hits the fan. When the seconds count, the UPD will be minutes away.

I believe UNF should set the example for colleges and universities by creating a program to work with the UPD, the UNF Department of Criminal Justice and students with concealed weapons permits to create a safer campus.

Currently, we are a defense-free campus. That includes President Delaney, who is no more protected from deranged individuals whose intent is murder than the late Dale Regan of Episcopal High School. Had Ms. Regan or someone else in her office been a permit holder and allowed to carry on campus, she would have had a chance at survival.

You cannot make a school, college or university gun free with any sign, policy or law. Criminals will bring them anyway and leave the law-abiding citizens defenseless and dead on the floor. Think I’m wrong? Try asking the 30+ dead from the Virginia Tech massacre if a defense-free policy works.

Protecting yourself from an on-campus criminal or active shooter should not be against any policy or law.

– Andrew Rebman
Senior, College of Business

Editor’s Note:

Andrew –

The Spinnaker editorial staff in no way suggests George Zimmerman should hang before trial, simply, “the evidence seems to be stacked against Zimmerman.” The Spinnaker aimed to illustrate that this tragedy could have been avoided had there been no firearms involved.

Further, there is no doubt permit-holders are more responsible with their weapons than nonpermit holders. But the argument is not permit holders versus nonpermit holders, it is gun carriers versus nongun carriers.

It should be clear that the Spinnaker does not attempt to vilify anyone who believes in self-defense. Most do. But defending yourself does not have to include firearms.

For every gun involved in an altercation, the likelihood of someone getting shot increases, regardless of who is holding the gun. Despite permit-holders’ safety measures, they are still 100 percent more likely to fire a weapon than someone who does not have a weapon, like a Spinnaker editorial writer.

The Spinnaker doesn’t suggest that UNF be a “defense-free zone,” we simply don’t think guns are a safe and effective way to defend this campus.

– Spinnaker editorial board

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