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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Response from the CMU chapter of Students for Concealed Carry

In response to the CM Life editorial published Feb. 7, regarding the prohibition of firearms on campus, the Central Michigan University chapter of Students for Concealed Carry would like to set the record straight.

Students for Concealed Carry is a national, non-partisan organization founded as a result of the 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech. SCC serves two purposes. Our primary goal is to dispel misconceptions about concealed carry on campus. The second purpose is to promote the right to self-defense by the most effective means possible.

There are several misconceptions in the CM Life article that we would like to address.

First and foremost, more guns do not lead to more violence. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has found an inverse relationship between the implementation of right to carry laws compared to the frequency of violent crime. Between 1992-2012, violent crime fell from 758 to 386 incidents per 100,000 people, while the number of states allowing the carry of firearms rose from 17 to 41.

There are stringent requirements to obtain a Concealed Pistol License in the state of Michigan.

One must be at least 21 years of age and have successfully completed a rigorous and selective defensive handgun course. One must never have been convicted of a felony in any state, including domestic violence, driving while intoxicated or possessing an illegal substance. One cannot have been diagnosed with a mental illness or have a personal protective order in place against them. Many various misdemeanors will also disqualify or revoke a CPL.

Historically, CPL holders have been upstanding citizens. For every felony conviction of a CPL holder in the state of Michigan during 2012, there were 142 convictions of non-CPL holders. For this reason, concerns about CPL holders being irresponsible and not abiding by the law are unfounded and inconsistent with the state’s annual findings.

Another claim presented in this article was that armed students and faculty do not have the time to react to a crime. But who better to respond to a crisis than someone who is trained and already present?

According to the FBI, “the average active-shooter incident lasts 12 minutes.” “[43%] of the time, the crime is over before police arrive.” In addition, many active-shooter situations have been brought to an abrupt halt when the assailant is presented with armed resistance, either by suicide or surrender.

As stated in the article, “no legislation or policy is going to prevent [criminals] from breaking the law.” Therefore, proclaiming an area a “pistol free zone” will not protect us from those with malicious intent. It simply denies law-abiding individuals the fundamental human right to defend themselves.

Nearly one hundred campuses across the country currently allow concealed carry on campus, and have done so for over 800 semesters combined with no instances of a CPL holder using or threatening to use a firearm.

It’s time CMU and other Michigan colleges do the same.

- Students for Concealed Carry at CMU