6/4: ‘Protection of the public is paramount’ with regard to concealed-carry bill

Great letter to the editor in the News and Observer

"Regarding the June 1 news article “Bill would end requirement for concealed-carry permits”: This is a very bad idea. I have a driver’s license; similarly, I have a concealed-carry permit. With both, I had to demonstrate a knowledge of safety regulations and legal responsibilities when operating these 'machines”'that can maim and kill."

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Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article154238919.html#storylink=cpy
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Concealed handgun permits would no longer be required

"North Carolinians Against Handgun Violence issued a statement saying it was disappointed that concealed weapons carriers would no longer have to undergo training:

"'Without these classes, the public cannot be certain that a gun owner is knowledgeable of the rules and laws of carrying a hidden loaded weapon in public. In addition, 18-21 year olds commit nearly four times as many gun homicides as adults 21 and over.'"


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article153607339.html#storylink=cp

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Latest NC Firearm Poll from Elon University 5.2.17

"N.C. voters are largely opposed to expanding the ability of gun owners with concealed carry permits to bring their firearms onto private property or college campuses. The Elon Poll found that 74 percent of voters oppose allowing gun owners to bring firearms onto private property against the property owner’s wishes, compared with only 20 percent who favor that right. The opposition to this legislation ranges from 89 percent among Democrats to 51 percent among Republicans. Thirty eight percent of Republicans favor such a measure compared to only 9 percent of Democrats.

"There was slightly less opposition when the property owner is a college or university. Sixty nine percent of N.C. voters are opposed to allowing gun owners with concealed carry permits to bring firearms on campus and 24 percent in favor, with a strong divide based on party. Among Democrats, 92 percent are opposed compared to 51 percent of Republicans. Forty one percent of Republicans support such an idea compared to 5 percent of Democrats.

"Female and black voters have the strongest opposition to firearms on campus. Eighty three percent of black voters oppose such a move compared to 65 percent of white voters, and 74 percent of female voters do not think firearms should be brought on campus compared to 62 percent of male voters.

"'The overwhelming majority of North Carolina voters are opposed to concealed carry permits overriding the interests of private property owners and college leaders,' Husser said."

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LETTERS, April 12: The wrong focus on gun violence

What is driving violence?

EDITOR: In a month, four people have been shot to death in Wilmington. Two alleged shooters and one victim were 17. At least three bills in the General Assembly would either erode or do away with our current handgun permitting system and concealed carry standards. A fourth bill would allow conceal carry on state college campuses. Gun violence and gun safety are serious issues that affect all of us whether we own guns or not.

The Celia Rivenbark column “Guns in a Bookstore, Really” and the responses to it certainly reflect genuine feelings on both sides of the “gun issue.” Unfortunately, they are perspectives that never find common ground. Rather, they reflect the endless back and forth about guns that misses the real issue -- the nature of violence in our society and the fear it engenders.

Until we are willing to listen to the “other guys” point of view and start a genuine dialogue about our differences, how can we begin to understand why resorting to violence seems all too often to be the default solution to conflict, and a gun, when available, the preferred means to resolve that conflict?

We desperately need to take the discussion to a new level. More guns or less guns is a response, but not a solution to violence in our society.

Donald Arabian, Wilmington

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After Virginia Tech: A Decade of Mass Shootings, An Increasingly Polarized Gun Debate

Great article about what has changed and what hasn’t since the tragedy at VA Tech 10 years ago.

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Please, no guns on N.C. campuses – Jerry VanSant


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/chapel-hill-news/chn-opinion/article138064873.html#storylink=cpy
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Keep our campuses safe from gun violence

The NC legislature is reportedly considering legislation to allow employees of state colleges with concealed weapons permits to bring handguns to campus and to classes. (N&O, Jan. 15, 2017) Now, more than ever, we must draw the line against creating an atmosphere for gun violence on our campuses.

Here are just some of the facts:

1. A North Carolina study found that workplaces that allow workers to carry firearms and other weapons at work were 5-7 times more likely to be the site of an on-the-job homicide compared to places where firearms were prohibited.  Workers in gun-permissive environments are more likely to be killed at work.

 2.  The Virginia Tech Review Panel, headed by Gerald Massengill, who investigated the 9-11 attacks on the Pentagon along with panel member Tom Ridge, the first Homeland Security Secretary, specifically recommended that “guns be banned on campus grounds and in buildings.”

 3.  The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Inc. (IACLEA) wrote: “The IACLEA Board of Directors believes ‘conceal carry’ initiatives do not make campuses safer.” 

 4. Students on college campuses are safer than those off-campus, the US Department of Justice has found.  93% of violent crimes against students take place off campus. 

5. On campuses in two states where guns have been allowed, rapes have increased. Colorado’s rate of campus rape increased 25% in 2012 and 36% in 2013, after concealed guns were allowed.  Utah’s campus rape stats increased nearly 50% during those years, after “campus carry” was allowed.

6.  Homicides on US campuses are rare—much rarer than elsewhere in the nation.  The homicide rate at post secondary education campuses was 0.1 per 100,000 of enrollment compared to the US criminal homicide rate of 4.4 per 100,000 in 2013.

7. The presence of weapons does not prevent shootings in public places.  A study by Everytown for Gun Safety found that 16 of the 33 active-shooter incidents occurred in public places where guns could be legally carried. Two more incidents occurred where an armed guard or police were in the immediate vicinity.

8. Students should not have to worry about who is carrying weapons on campus. Their anxiety is great enough.  Depression is a growing and common mental health disorder on college campuses, with campus professionals citing difficult  adjustments to life on their own, academic and social pressures.  

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among the college age population nationwide, eclipsed only by vehicular accidents. Of those who commit suicide, two-thirds of the students are depressed at the time of death.

9.  Professional, highly trained law enforcement officials hit their targets 20% of the time.  Untrained personnel, including teachers, are likely to perform much worse and in proximity of students, who become vulnerable to stray shots.

10. Guns do not keep us safe. The US now has more guns than people and has the highest—by far— homicide rates in the developed world. A recent study published in the Journal of American Medicine indicates that Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed with a gun than those in other developed nations. 

The author of the study, Erin Grinshteyn, an assistant professor at the School of Community Health Science at the University of Nevada-Reno, notes "These results are consistent with the hypothesis that our firearms are killing us rather than protecting us."

North Carolinians must stand firm against putting our students at risk due to a gun lobby that continues to fight all efforts to limit gun violence.  Due to a bill passed by the legislature, guns are already allowed in locked cars on NC public campuses. We must oppose legislation to allow yet more guns on college campuses. 

 

Catherine Alexander

19201 Stone Brook, Chapel Hill 27517

919-903-9563

 

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Bill would allow concealed carry guns on UNC, community college campuses

"Becky Ceartas, executive director of the Durham-based North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, called the legislation ‘very dangerous.’ She said law enforcement personnel are the only ones who should be armed on campuses.

“’Campuses need to be a place for learning,’ Ceartas said. ‘Not a place where students have to fear being shot.’”

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Lawmakers push for concealed weapons on college campuses

Views from students in Charlotte about the new campus carry bill, HB 251. We couldn’t agree more with the student who said that it would be hard to figure out who is the good guy with a gun when in an active shooter situation. As for the other student – guns on campus will not make campuses safer. Even the VA Tech Review Panel specifically recommended against guns on campus.

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Opposition to Campus Carry

In order to ensure the safety of children, students, and educators, federal and state laws should prohibit guns in schools. Currently, under the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1996, federal law forbids guns on k-12 campuses1. Recently, though, the debate over whether or not guns should be allowed on schools has resurged, raising the possibility of changes in federal and state law. Just last year, Texas debuted it’s campus-carry law that allows anyone 21 and over with a permit to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, sparking intense debate over the safety of guns on campuses.

While anti-gun violence groups assert that guns on campuses are inherently dangerous, are not a reliable method of self-defense, and are likely to be fired accidentally, activists on the other side claim that by allowing teachers and staff to carry loaded weapons, the school will be well-defended against a violent attack.

However, a new study from Johns Hopkins shows that campus carry laws are unlikely to deter school shooters and may in fact lead to more injuries and deaths2. Building on a former FBI study that found that unarmed civilians were far more likely than armed civilians to stop an active shooting in progress, this study found similar results. “There is no reason to believe that college students, faculty, and civilian staff will shoot accurately in active shooter situations when they have only passed minimal training requirements for a permit to carry.” Campus carry could instead lead to more suicides and gun violence. “Research demonstrates that access to firearms substantially increases suicide risks, especially among adolescents and young adults, as firearms are the most common method of lethal self-harm.”

At least six accidental shootings by CCW holders have been reported on K-12 and university, resulting in injuries and chaos.3

  • One Utah schoolteacher’s gun accidentally went off in an elementary school bathroom
  • University of Colorado staffer was showing her coworkers her handgun and trying to unjam it when she accidentally fired a bullet that ricocheted and hit another woman
  • An Idaho State University assistant professor with a CCW permit shot himself in the foot with a semiautomatic handgun that accidentally discharged from inside his pocket in a chemistry classroom full of students in September 2014
  • University of Southern Mississippi student was in critical condition after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh while sitting in his vehicle on campus
  • A student at Tarleton State University in Texas accidentally fired a gun at a campus residence hall

Overall, allowing loaded guns on campuses is a recipe for disaster. Empirical and anecdotal evidence alike highlight the dangers of guns in schools and on campuses, convincing us that now is the time to fight for common sense gun laws.

 

References:

1)    http://smartgunlaws.org/gun-laws/federal-law/firearms-in-public-places/guns-in-schools/

2)    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/campus-carry-laws-guns-mass-shooters

http://crimeresearch.org/2017/02/accidental-shootings-on-k-12-and-university-property-by-permit-holders/

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