Today, four students will congregate in the cold to debate an issue currently being discussed in the Florida Legislature: concealed carry on campus. At 6 p.m., these four will meet in the Marshall Student Center Amphitheatre to share their argument and raise awareness of the issue. Each team will consist of two current USF students.
Joshua Knezinek, a senior majoring in finance, will provide the rebuttal for the pro-concealed carry argument, though he has additional material to present and feels confident he can rebut effectively, regardless.
“I feel that it’s a natural right — not just with firearms — but with self-defense, in general,” he said. “If I’m being attacked, I have a natural right to defend myself.”
He said students can use their fists, Tasers and asps, among other weapons in self defense on campus, but they are restricted from using firearms, which Knezinek feels is a restriction of his right to defend himself.
“Coming from the military, I realize how many people are not being exposed to firearms.” According to Knezinek, in the 1950s, firearms were taught about in schools and it was unusual if someone did not know basic gun safety.
“People are just not familiar with it,” he said. “And not being familiar with it makes them afraid and fearful.”
The issue of on-campus concealed carry has been debated for decades, and many now-college-age students grew up with a fear of campus shootings thanks in part to incidences like the Virginia Tech shootings and the Columbine massacre.
The debate will take place at 6 p.m.