Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, an organization that advocates students should be allowed to carry weapons at colleges, is currently celebrating “empty holster” week.
Some students will wear empty holsters to school this week as “an act of silent protest against laws and policies banning licensed concealed carry on campus,” according to the organization’s website. So it goes at college these days.
It’s difficult to surmise how many Oklahoma students are participating in the event, but the state does have a chapter of the organization, with campus leaders at 12 Oklahoma colleges The organization has more than 44,000 friends on its Facebook page.
Ostensibly, the group’s main argument is simply this: People should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus so they can respond in a shooting or other violent episode at their schools. The organization was formed after tragic 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, which left 32 people dead.
Certainly, the specter of campus violence is always disturbing, and colleges have and will continue to implement safety measures and protocols, but allowing guns on campus could make schools more dangerous.
College presidents and law enforcement officials in the state have opposed the idea, arguing most people are not trained to respond with a weapon in an emergency situation.
What about over-zealous students who might erroneously respond to some situations? What about emotionally distraught students who have immediate access to weapons in classrooms and might act out compulsively? What about gun accidents? The potential for violence could increase, not lessen, if guns are allowed on campus.
Let’s hope the holsters remain empty when it comes to college campuses.