Monday, March 31, 2008

Campus summary

With school violence on the rise and campus shootings becoming increasingly more common, some states are rethinking their gun laws. Instead of putting more useless restrictions on guns, many of these states are looking into the possibility of allowing people with valid permits to carry concealed weapons on school grounds.

Arizona State Senate Bill 1214, for example, would allow permit-holders of at least 21 years of age to carry concealed firearms at K-12 schools, community colleges and universities. Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Idaho, and Washington all have similar concealed-carry legislation pending.

Currently, Utah is the only state that allows guns at all public institutions of higher learning. In fact, state law makes it illegal for public colleges and universities to create their own restrictions regarding concealed carry. At least 11 institutions, including all nine public colleges in Utah and Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia, permit concealed carry on their premises. The University of Utah in Salt Lake City had banned firearms on campus until the state's supreme court struck down the ban in late 2006. Undaunted, the university is currently fighting in federal courts to reinstate the ban.

State law in Colorado leaves the decision up to institutions whether to allow concealed carry on their campuses. So far, the University of Colorado is the only public institution in the state to allow properly registered individuals to carry concealed weapons.

W. Scott Lewis, the media spokesperson for the non-profit organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, reported that since allowing concealed carry on campus, the aforementioned universities have not reported a single gun theft, incident of gun violence, or gun accident. "There is no evidence to suggest that allowing concealed carry on college campuses will lead to more violence," said Lewis.

CRITICS WORRY THAT loosening restrictions on concealed carry on campuses would put guns in the hands of "just any college student," but this is not the case. Many students already own guns and use them responsibly but aren't allowed to bring them on campus.

In the 40 states that currently allow citizens to carry concealed weapons, individuals can take their handguns to shopping malls, grocery stores, office buildings, cinemas, banks, churches, and most public places. None of these states have experienced an increase in crimes or accidents involving guns since concealed carry became legal.

Obtaining a concealed carry permit isn't an easy process. Most states require individuals to go through extensive background checks, take and pass a concealed carry safety course and pay a steep permit fee. To obtain a concealed carry permit in Utah, one must be at least 21 years of age, have no criminal record -- everything from violent crime to the abuse of illegal substances is disqualifying -- and be mentally competent.

Most states require an individual to be at least 21 years of age to obtain a concealed carry permit. But in Indiana, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, and the Dakotas, the age requirement is only 18. What is most interesting about these states is that, according to FBI and DOJ crime stats for 2006, they all have very low crime rates. In fact, Maine, North and South Dakota, and New Hampshire are four out of the five low crime U.S. states, and Montana has the 10th lowest recorded crime rate in the country.

It is clear in the case of these states that more lenient concealed carry laws are not contributing to higher crime rates and more violence. Numerous studies conducted by the Journal of Legal Studies, Florida Department of Justice Statistics, Florida Department of State, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the U.S. Census Bureau have reconfirmed this. Several sources report that concealed handgun license holders are about five times less likely than non-license holders to commit violent crimes.

More here

California: Cigar-store clerk foils robbers by taking away gun: "A cigar store clerk foiled an armed robbery attempt by two men and a woman Saturday, San Diego police said. The three entered a cigar store on Balboa Avenue near Genesee Avenue in Clairemont about 1 p.m., and the woman pulled out a gun and demanded money, police said. The clerk managed to take the gun away, and the three left empty-handed. The woman was described as white, 30 to 35 years old, heavy-set with long blond hair. She wore a blue jacket and blue jeans. The men were described as white, 30 to 35 years old, with medium builds and average height. They wore blue shirts and blue jeans."

OK: 'Stand Your Ground' law faces legal test: "Defense attorneys are seeking immunity from prosecution for a man charged with manslaughter while defending himself from what police say began as an incident of road rage. At a preliminary hearing in October, there was testimony that Gumm was driving north on Riverside Drive when tailgated by Turney. Some obscene gestures were made and both vehicles pulled into a parking area along Riverside Park, where both men got out of their cars... Gumm's parked car was blocked by Turney's. Gumm wasn't arrested after the June 10 shooting in a Riverside Park parking lot. The court filing said Gumm used "lawful force as determined by the Tulsa Police Department after its investigation.” Gumm, a certified armed security guard, had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, the attorneys said. Among the facts eliminated were: Gumm waived his Miranda rights and admitted to the shooting; that Turney was angry, aggressive and pushed Gumm; and a toxicology report showed that Turney had an alcohol content of 0.08 percent. Other excluded details include: Gumm kept backing away as Turney kept approaching, at one time telling Gumm, "You're history,” Gumm did not believe he could escape because of his physical condition and was shoved by Turney who was "younger and more robust,” the court filing states. The appeals court also is being asked to consider that Turney was legally intoxicated and had methamphetamine in his system at the time."

SD: Truckstop intruder shot: "An unexpected intruder at a truck stop off Interstate 29 startled the business owner early Wednesday morning, but he fought back. The owner of Larry's truck stop was doing paperwork around 1:15 in the morning when he heard a noise. When he went to check on it, a door flew open and he found himself face-to-face with a man wearing a mask and carrying a pry bar. The owner fired a shot from his pistol and hit the suspect, 22 year old Austin Yesda, in the backside. Yesda was taken to Avera McKennan hospital and released Wednesday afternoon, the Sioux Falls man is in the Minnehaha county jail, accused of burglary. The truck stop owner has not been charged for shooting the intruder, but the Lincoln County States Attorney is reviewing the case to see if he will press charges. The truck stop owner did have a concealed weapons permit."


Anonymous said...

notice how Austin was hit in the backside meaning he was running AWAY! you may use deadly force when you fear for your own life, what is the threat when someone is running away. FYI owner was illeagly LIVING in the truck stop NOT doing paper work. --ps i ive 5 miles from the truck stop

Unknown said...

to all who see this I am Austin yesda the guy who did this stupid act I am sorry for what I tried to do that night and I am sorry to tom and his family for doing it but for the record I was shot running away and the report was wrong I was not holding a pry bar when he walked out that door but it doesn't matter I was in the WRONG and im sorry

Unknown said...

sorry for what I tried doing that night tom but fact of the matter we were never face to face I did not have a pry bar in my hand like they said when he opened the door I dropped the bar turned and ran I was in full sprint before he shot yes I was in the wrong and shouldn't have been there and I am sorry for doing it