Gun Rights Video News

Alan Gottlieb on Fox News Hannity & Colmes


July 2014 Defender- John Daywalt

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

DEFENDING GUN RIGHTS AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL

Following two school shooting incidents—one at Reynolds High School in the Portland, Ore., suburb of Troutdale and the other at Seattle Pacific University—gun prohibitionists immediately ramped up the volume on their demands for more gun control laws.

But a student journalist at the University of Texas, Austin took the initiative and wrote an Op-ed piece in the campus newspaper, The Daily Texan, put the issue in perspective when he noted, “The media seems to spend so much time highlighting incidents like these, but news outlets routinely fail to mention a key factor of such shootings, namely that they often occur in gun-free zones.”

That student was John Daywalt, a senior majoring in government from Killeen, where the infamous Luby’s Cafeteria attack occurred several years ago.

Telling people about the false promises and failures of gun control is a process of education, and where better for that process to begin than at a university?

Daywalt’s short essay focused in large part on concealed carry on campus, an issue that has been simmering in the Lone Star State for a couple of years.

“It is apparent that gun-free zones do not work to effectively curb gun violence,” Daywalt wrote. “If you do not believe me, then take a look at the Virginia Tech massacre, the two Fort Hood mass shootings, the recent shooting at Seattle Pacific University, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the shooting in the Perry- Castaneda Library and many others. They each took place in a gun-free zone. The reality is that gun-free zones only do one thing: They disarm law-abiding citizens, specifically concealed handgun license holders.”

Harsh words to be written in a campus newspaper, but that is the reality that many opponents of self-defense seem determined to conceal from young adults. The article got a mixed reaction, with some disagreeing and others siding with Daywalt. But he had some recent history to shore up his contention that allowing concealed carry there by licensed adult students could save lives.

“Doubts about campus carry are valid considering firearms are nearly always portrayed as being used only by ‘bad guys’ and cops in movies,” he noted. “However, let’s take a look in our own backyard. Many of us are aware there was a shooting in West Campus in late April, at a construction site near the intersection of Rio Grande Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. After having been fired from the work site, a former employee returned to the site with a gun and began firing shots at the work site foreman. Luckily for the foreman, who has a CHL, this was not a gun-free zone. He was able to draw his handgun and return fire at the aggressor, thus saving his life when seconds counted. There was simply not enough time to call 911 to wait minutes for a response. If campus carry were allowed, CHL holders would be able to help prevent a gunman from taking innocent lives on campus just as one did in this incident.”

Daywalt’s article provided some interesting data. He reported that at the end of last year, there were more than 708,000 active Texas handgun licenses, and that the conviction rate for people in this category is far lower than for average citizens.

His piece also reported that another campus carry bill is in the works. He identified those who offer main support for the concept, and those who have vowed to fight it.

Daywalt reminded readers that, “When seconds count, the police are minutes away. This is just a stark reality.

“In 2010, after a gunman opened fire in the Perry-Castaneda Library,” he detailed, “the University and UTPD conducted an After Action review of the event. This report states that it took the first UTPD officer three minutes to arrive at the library once the department was first notified of a gunman who was carrying an AK-47, which is capable of firing approximately 600 rounds per minute. Additionally, it took more than 13 minutes before the campus sirens and loudspeaker sounded directing faculty, staff, and students into buildings for campus lockdown. By this time, the lone gunman had already committed suicide and, thankfully, had not injured anyone else.”

In making a compelling case for campus carry, Daywalt promoted the larger exercise of Second Amendment rights. Violent acts do not just happen on college campuses, and being prepared does not have a down side.

Daywalt’s defense demonstrated that battling for gun rights can happen in many different arenas, whether in front of a TV camera, a committee meeting at the Legislature, or even on a university campus. After all, where better could one set out to teach the value of gun rights than at an institution of higher learning?