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Concealed carry protest methods are questionable

Published: Monday, April 8, 2013

Updated: Monday, April 8, 2013 08:04


The USF Police Department announced Friday that a group on campus was scheduled to hold a week-long protest in support of carrying concealed weapons by wearing empty gun holsters and handing out literature supporting their cause this week. 

While the group’s rights to free speech is certainly one that should be respected and any group wanting to advocate a stance on an issue should be encouraged to peaceably do so as opposed to remaining apathetic, the group’s methods are questionable, particularly given the timing.

In the recent aftermath of mass atrocities such as the shootings at Sandy Hook, Aurora and the suicide at UCF in which plans for mass
killings were found, fear of gun violence is at its peak. Use of the holsters in the protest is indeed an eye-catching move, but one that invokes fear.

Instead of using fear-mongering tactics, the group may have been better off in promoting its cause through use of other symbolic methods that do not pose a threat to public safety. 

Though the group met with university officials and University Police in advance, the plans still pose a safety concern, despite only carrying holsters on campus. 

There is no specific location for the protests, as protesters are expected to go about their days wearing the holster in support of the cause. 

But on a campus of more than 40,000 students, the ease at which this could compromise overall security in allowing a non-empty holster to be brought onto campus is troubling.

Though not everyone who carries a gun with him or her is the next Adam Lanza or James Holmes, in public spaces with such high concentrations of people as many safety precautions as possible is essential to preserving a state of well-being. This includes banning the presences of weapons with the ability to kill. 

USF is an academic institution. While universities are indeed places centered on learning, most of which takes place outside the parameters of classrooms, and learning to stand up for one’s beliefs is important, a university is not the place for weapons — or paraphernalia that incite the fear of a weapon. 

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Fri Apr 19 2013 11:05
No check points for now . The Boston terrorists walked on to MIT and ambushed a cop. They were students who kept their radical islamic beliefs and terror plans to themselves. If you really think that there are not people just like them here at USF you are sadly mistaken. This tragedy will change the way we live from now on. Hopefully the nation and our leaders will finally wake up.
T. Kerby
Mon Apr 8 2013 11:42
In my personal opinion, this article lacks any sound reasoning and logic. If someone wanted to bring a firearm on to the campus, they could and would do so with or without the protest taking place. The protest is protected by the US Constitution and in no way makes it easier for someone to illegally possess a firearm on the school's campus. I would like to know how you propose that it does? I think you hit the nail on the head when you say "But on a campus of more than 40,000 students, the ease at which this could compromise overall security in allowing a non-empty holster to be brought onto campus is troubling." It IS easy for someone to do that, protest or not. Without getting into a right to carry argument, I will say that this is probably the most important reason to allow law abiding citizens to protect themselves on campus. I am also interested in how this protest "invokes fear"? Even if for some odd reason you have a phobia of plastic and leather, your fear is not a valid reason to override the legal and protected actions of others. Journalists that demonstrate a naive and ignorant understanding of firearm issues scare me, but I respect your right to express your opinion and would never assert that you are a threat to public safety and should have your 1st amendment "privileges" revoked.
Mon Apr 8 2013 09:44
Where is my first comment?
Gwalchmai Munn
Mon Apr 8 2013 08:57
One more example of the need for "common sense restrictions" on the First Amendment. The opinions of student "journalists" should be kept within the classroom where they won't offend real people.
Common Sense Student
Mon Apr 8 2013 05:11
Best part about opinion articles is that they lack facts, or reasoning for that matter. Do your HW before you start fear mongering. This campus is OPEN there are no check points or metal detectors to get in. This protest makes it no more simple to bring a gun on to campus. Please tell me why someone who carries a gun EVERYDAY is a larger risk on campus. Please tell me why your fear of guns should leave me unprotected. Please tell me when an active shooter is on campus and your hiding in a class room that all you are going to want is a pair of scissors. Open your eyes, when seconds or less can save your life or the lives of those around you, believing the blue lights or the police are going to save you is as naive as still believing Santa is real.

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