Letter to the editor: An argument for campus carry

By Katie Wolf

I would like to bring to light another side of the Michigan House Bill 5474 that would allow students to lawfully carry guns on campus in order to protect themselves.

As this discussion heats up you will hear many myths and tall tales from anti-gun lobbyists. I want to set the record straight in regards to some of these myths.

Myth: “That’s what the police are for, you can’t allow students to carry guns. Think about the children!”

Fact: Police are minutes away when seconds count! Police seldom prevent crime; they merely react to it. Also, the Supreme Court has ruled that the police have no duty to protect citizens. This responsibility falls on the individual.

Myth: Drinking on campus will create an environment for gun violence.

Fact: Concealed Pistol License holders are among the most law abiding segments of society and take their rights seriously. There is no evidence to support “drunken gun fights” on campus.

Myth: Crime will increase as a result of the guns.

Fact: 15 states currently allow carry on campus and there have been no statistics to support this myth. In fact none of these schools have had any reports of gun violence including threat or suicide. Studies show that CPL holders are five times less likely to commit a crime than non-CPL holders.

There is an option currently available to students giving them the ability to protect themselves at school. Open carry of a handgun is legal for those possessing a concealed pistol license in Michigan’s pistol free zones, or as I like to call them, criminal empowerment zones. The law clearly states that a person can not carry a concealed weapon in Michigan’s pistol free zones, but the law does not prohibit from openly carrying.

All of the arguments for gun control are born of fear and conjecture not based in facts.

We preach to our youth and to our students that they are the future, “the best and brightest,” but we take away their fundamental right as an American citizen and as a Michigan resident to keep and bear arms. The only message that we are sending is, “we don’t trust you and we will pick and choose what is best for you.”

Fundamentally isn’t that the same thing that our government does to us, making us all furious that they are slowly taking away our rights?

I urge the Senate to support this bill. When faced with the facts there is no data to support the claim that lawful gun owners create more violence. Perhaps tragedies like Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois could have been avoided, or at the very least the casualties could have been severely limited if there was a law allowing students or staff members to carry a gun for self defense.

The facts are that pistol free zones are commonly referred to as criminal empowerment zones for a reason. They take away the ability for citizens to protect themselves. While it is crucial for everyone to have this fundamental right, I worry most about those taking night classes walking to their cars or to the class room. We hear of more incidents of muggings and assaults on college campuses, most recently at Oakland Community College.

Again I urge you to support and embrace all legislation that supports the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. Base your decision in facts and not the fear and conjecture of anti gun supporters.

Thank you

John Roshek

President, Michigan Open Carry, Inc

Editor’s note: Above is a letter that Roshek had planned to present to the Oakland University Senate in January, but was unable to because he is not a  member of the OU community in the sense that he is not a student, member of the faculty or staff. Roshek instead addressed the board of trustees on March 3. In speaking with editors at The Oakland Post, Roshek said he wanted to make sure the OU community had another viewpoint on the bill other than that of the official stand of OU. The Post is not suggesting students should openly carry weapons on campus. It is not allowed on this campus and there could be legal or other disciplinary actions.