In these harsh economic times, many individuals have decided to resort to crime as a means of personal income. Often disadvantaged, these people tend to disregard the property rights of others and view burglary and robbery as more acceptable. In doing so, they make an economic evaluation of the likelihood of success and potential income versus the potential costs of committing a crime. Thus, it is only rational they decided that college campuses are perfect areas to commit crimes since most potential victims are young, inexperienced, and do not have immediate means to defend themselves. The following examples, among many others, illustrate the ineffectiveness of campus police in preventing crime.
On Friday, Oct. 28, I had the “exciting” experience of having my class interrupted as NC State’s emergency alert system blared that students should go inside. This emergency was called presumably because an armed bank robber had fled to NC State’s campus… and was arrested right outside my classroom in Winston Hall. I shudder to think what could have happened had the robber jumped inside the building before the police caught him. He was less than a 10 second sprint from holding my entire class hostage. Now it later turned out that the robber had only a toy gun. But even then, most students do not know enough about firearms to tell the difference and most certainly would not want to risk their lives calling the robber’s bluff. Had that robber, in panic and desperation, ducked into Winston Hall to hold any classroom hostage, we all would have been defenseless—reduced to bargaining chips of the robber to trade in hopes for freedom.
Then there was the gunman at the Elizabeth City State University who was shot by police. Campus officials praise the reaction time of the officers who were able to dispatch this AK-47 (a gun that a student would be highly unlikely to own legally) wielding graduate, but it was only luck that other people were not harmed by this gunman. In all the reports, when police arrived many people had already seen the gunman and were running away from him. Had he decided to do so, he could have easily opened fire on these fleeing students—potentially injuring or killing them.
In a free society such as ours, we live in a Lockean state of nature where any man can place himself in a state of war with society, where we must defend ourselves as police cannot maintain constant vigilance over everyone. By depriving law abiding citizens of the right to defend themselves against aggressors, we violate their natural rights.
Ultimately, the reasons for crimes around campuses lie in the inconsequential costs associated with a defenseless student body which cannot carry weapons to defend themselves. The vast majority of proponents of campus carry are not asking for completely unrestricted access to firearms on campus. College campuses are emotional hotbeds and some students are not prepared for the responsibility of firearms. They only ask for those who have gone through the additional training and certification process of earning a concealed handgun permit be allowed to carry on campus. Many of such individuals are students and professors who are mature and capable of carrying firearms on and around college campuses in a safe and responsible manner. Indeed, permit holders tend to be significantly less prone to crime than the public. By allowing permit holders to carry, it drastically increases the safety of other students on campus by increasing the risk factor to criminals exponentially. The reason that colleges and areas around them become rife with crime is that the victims are highly unlikely to be able to defend themselves against an armed robbery. By allowing campus carry, it increases the cost of committing a potential crime, reducing the incentive to commit a crime in the first place. John Lott explains this reasoning well in his book, “More Guns, Less Crime.”