Letter to the editor: Jeffry Harrison
I really enjoyed your article about the concealed carry bill going through our student government. You asked for opinions about this topic in your final paragraph, so I’d like to share mine.
First, I think the lawful carrying of firearms is the single greatest crime deterrent there is. While living in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you are surrounded by people with guns. It is legal not only to carry a gun concealed with a permit, but also to openly carry a gun in plain sight without a permit. The large majority of gun owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens who simply wish to take their personal protection, and protection of loved ones, seriously instead of leaving it up to the police who can’t always be at the scene of a violent crime right away.
A possible assailant wouldn’t care about Liberty’s current no-guns-allowed rule, as demonstrated by the Virginia Tech shooting. In fact, I believe having the no-guns-allowed rule on Liberty’s campus puts students in danger. It makes Liberty a soft and easy target because a possible criminal knows that no students or faculty on campus can carry a gun.
Many students or faculty may be concerned with the idea of college-aged people carrying guns onto campus. However, many people don’t know the requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit in Virginia. An applicant must be 21 years of age, undergo a background investigation and show proof of both firearms training and competence. If a student who passes this application process wishes to carry a concealed handgun onto campus, then this student has already proved he has the competence and maturity to do so.
Here’s my background: I’m 22 years old, and I attend Liberty University. That may be all that people see of me on campus. However, what people don’t see is that I have a concealed handgun permit, I’m a member of the NRA, I’m an infantry soldier in the Army National Guard, I have served two tours of duty in Iraq, and I hold the distinction of being one of the Army’s few trained and certified Snipers.
Other students and I who wish to legally carry a concealed handgun on campus with a permit just want to be able to defend ourselves. We don’t want to shove our beliefs down other student’s throats, we don’t want to bring our handgun to class for show and tell, and we don’t even want other students to know we are carrying a gun. All we want is for our constitutional right to defend ourselves extend to our University’s campus.