Last month I nominated Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to receive this year’s award for being the dumbest elected official when he told the parents of children gunned down at Parkland that they had more to fear from terrorists crossing the Mexican border than from someone charging into a school carrying an AR-15. But when it comes to gross stupidity, Gaetz has competition from a bunch of members in the West Virginia House of Delegates who just voted for a law that would allow people with concealed-carry permit to bring their guns onto any public college campus in the Mountain State.
The law, which still needs to go through the State Senate before it can hit the Governor’s desk, is called ‘The Campus Self-Defense Act,’ and I would ask everyone who has even the slightest concern about the issue of gun violence to read carefully the specific text of the law beginning on Page 41 (line 358) which you can download here.
Before I get into the craziness of this statute, you should know that West Virginia is one of several states which allows for what is called ‘constitutional carry, which means that if you are over the age of 21 and can pass a background check, you can walk around with a concealed gun. You can also carry a concealed weapon between the ages of 18 and 21 but you have to take a course which requires that you fire a gun at least once.
From the title of this bill, you might imagine that college campuses in West Virginia are as dangerous as the OK Corral, but nothing could be further from the truth. According to our friend Stephen Boss, there has been exactly one fatal gun assault at any West Virginia campus since 2001, a shooting of two brothers who were students at Shepherd University and were killed by their father, who then turned the gun on himself in 2006.
As usual, supporters of this measure used the standard script of Gun-nut Nation, citing the ‘right’ to bear arms and defend themselves, along with the idea that shooters are attracted to gun-free zones. How many of the 85,000 fatal and non-fatal gun assaults which occur every year take place in a gun-free zones, God only knows. But since when did the debate about campus carry or any kind of gun carry rely on facts?
Getting back to the text of the bill, there are certain on-campus locations where college administrations can still prohibit persons from wandering around with their guns. This includes arenas with seating capacity of 1,000 or more; campus daycare centers; campus police stations and any site being used for a disciplinary hearing during the time when the hearing is actually being held. You mean that maybe, just maybe the idiot delegates who voted for this measure could actually imagine that someone being charged with improper behavior might represent a threat to public safety if he showed up with his gun? Wow! One moment of rational thought actually entered the brains of the dopes who wrote this bill.
But for those of us who feel that even these minimal restrictions on our God-given right to self-defense are a violation of everything we hold dear, the college or university must also provide a ‘secure location’ for storing guns, as well as an ‘appropriate safe’ that can be installed in a dorm room. Not only are gun-carrying students entitled to free storage space, but a policy must be developed to guarantee these gun-owning students that they will have access to their guns at ‘all’ times.
Want to know what college students really need to protect themselves from as they walk around their campus, sit in their classrooms or relax in their dorms? They need to protect themselves from the stupidity and senselessness of the campus-carry movement which has become yet another vehicle for the assault on gun-free zones. Unfortunately, the members of the House of Delegates who voted for this measure are beyond any help at all.
Thanks to Rachel Woldoff for the tip.