By Katie Kieffer
Pepper spray, police and cardboard signs failed to prevent the June 5 Seattle Pacific University shooting. Let’s stop mass violence on college campuses by defending college students’ right to carry firearms on campus.
Tragically, this is the third column this year that I must write defending college students’ natural right to self-defense on campus. In the Seattle Pacific University shooting, four more American youths took unnecessary bullets in a gun free zone.
One student was killed and three were severely wounded when a young man with apparent mental health issues, 26-year-old Aaron R. Ybarra, began firing his shotgun on the Seattle campus in broad daylight. Prior to unleashing such unwarranted violence against innocent strangers, Ybarra exhibited symptoms of mental instability.
Ybarra once made a black pilgrimage to the Denver, CO site of the April 20, 1999 Columbine High School shooting where two student gunmen fatally shot 13 and wounded 21, according to Seattle’s KIRO 7 News and The Associated Press. Prior to the shooting, Ybarra had also been arrested for non-violent offenses including driving while intoxicated and without insurance. A law enforcement officer told International Business Times that Ybarra was: “…hell-bent on killing a lot of people.”
Ybarra’s outbreak comes on the heels of a similar rampage by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger near the University of California Santa Barbara.
Most Americans, particularly young Americans—the Millennials who Hillary Clinton is counting on for votes in the 2016 presidential election—do not know the history of gun free zone legislation. Millennials who voted for Obama in the past two elections (and are slated to vote for Hillary if she runs) do not realize that five of the twelve deadliest mass shootings in American history occurred under the watch of Barack Obama. I tell the little-known history of gun free zones in my new book, Let Me Be Clear, and plant the solution seeds for both preventing mass violence and caring for mentally unstable individuals.
Spend a few minutes surfing news articles online and you’ll quickly find that we have a crisis of rising violence on college campuses. Not only are tragic shootings taking place in or near gun free zones like the University of California Santa Barbara and Seattle Pacific University—but there is an alarming uptick in sexual assault on college campuses.
Young college women are particularly vulnerable, with 1 in 5 college women experiencing a sexual assault. This is why we must advocate for college women’s right to carry concealed firearms on campus. Certainly, college men also have a natural right to self-defense. That said, most victims of college rape and sexual assault are female.
The current administration’s policies are rendering women increasingly vulnerable to sexual assault on campus. For example, Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice took your hard-earned money and awarded the University of New Hampshire with a grant to establish a “bystander-awareness” program. In other words, Holder authorized plunder to fund a program that teaches young men to stop rape with a motto as cheesy as “Stop, drop and roll.” A bystander awareness instructor described the motto to TIME: “Stop! No! Real men don’t take drunk girls upstairs!”
How many 20-something male college students can you think of who would feel comfortable wandering through their dormitory while shouting: “Dude! Stop! No! Real men don’t rape women!” I can think of zero.
In addition to college students, professors, staff and visitors should be allowed to carry on campus. Certainly, private universities should have the right to bar firearms on private property. However, there should not be federal mandates barring firearms on college campuses, schools or military bases because every human being and thus every American has a natural right to self-defense. Reason, or natural law tells us so and, in the United States, the Second Amendment affirms this natural right.
I hope that I never have to write another column defending college students’ natural right to carry on campus. I hope there is never another shooting in a gun free zone or any location for that matter. I suspect, however, that my hope will not be fulfilled. Tomorrow, please join me in tweeting directly @BarackObama with the hashtag #letmebeclear to let our president know we want the federal government to respect our personal freedoms, including the right to self-defense. You may learn more on my Twitter page.
Please check out Kieffer’s new book, “Let Me Be Clear,” published by Random House. Preorder on Amazon, Barnes&Noble or iBooks before 6.24.14 to get an early bird discount.