On Monday, The New York Times editorial board vented its rage over the fact that both Arkansas and Georgia ignored the cries of gun controllers and adopted campus carry earlier this year. The board suggested it is “bizarre” to think “students will be more secure from the nation’s epidemic of gun violence if there are more guns.” Completely missing from this suggestion is any effort to differentiate between guns in the hands of bad guys and guns in the hands of good guys.
After all, guns are already and always in hands of bad guys; they are not waiting for permission to carry guns onto campus. So how can it be “bizarre” to enact campus carry and make sure the good guys at least have a fighting chance?
But the NYT editorial board went beyond suggesting it is “bizarre” to allow good guys to be armed. In fact, it went so far as to say that campus carry “despoils the very idea of a university.”
Think about it: According to Merriam-Webster, “despoiled” means “to strip of belongings, possessions, or value.” So the NYT editorial board is claiming that a recognition of Second Amendment rights on school campuses actually strips the university of its value.
And here I was thinking liberal policies that forced students to be unarmed and vulnerable were the actual culprits in despoiling things. Policies like those that guaranteed students were gun-free—and therefore defenseless—when an attacker killed 32 people at gun-free Virginia Tech University on April 16, 2007. Policies like those that guaranteed students were gun-free—and therefore defenseless—when an attacker killed nine at gun-free Umpqua Community College on Oct. 1, 2015.
Of course, it does not have to be a college or university to qualify. I was also thinking that leftist policies despoiled the K-12 education environment, as witnessed on Dec. 14, 2012; the day an attacker stormed into gun-free Sandy Hook Elementary and had over nine minutes to carry out his evil intentions with no armed resistance.
When a student comes to the university, does he check his First Amendment-protected freedom of religion at the edge of campus?Here is the kicker. As heinous, criminal and heart-wrenching as these attacks were, the NYT editorial board is fighting to preserve the gun-free zones that made them possible.
Can we not learn from our mistakes? Can we not mend our ways?
How many lives must we risk—how many must we lose—before we say, “Okay, let the law-abiding citizen keep his gun with him so he can shoot back and, in shooting back, save at least a few lives, if not a roomful”?
This is lost on publications like the NYT—a publication that exalts the “idea of university,” yet cannot learn from gun control mistakes because the goal is not truth, but liberalism.
Consider it another way. When a student comes to the university, does he check his First Amendment-protected freedom of religion at the edge of campus? No. How about his Fourth Amendment privacy protections? No. How about his Sixth Amendment rights of due process or his Eighth Amendment protections from “cruel and unusual punishment”? No. None of these rights are jettisoned because they are all of a cloth; all are part of that wonderful Bill of Rights that enumerated certain of our unalienable, God-given rights for the purpose of barring government from regulating them.
And guess what? The Second Amendment is part of that same Bill of Rights. It, too, is an unalienable, God-given right that is of a cloth with all the others. (Professors at a university should know this.)
Here is the point. Far from despoiling “the very idea of a university,” campus carry is an exercise of the freedom universities should be teaching students to treasure. It is a testimony to the unique and cherished heritage and history of the United States.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter @AWRHawkins, or reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.