Lawmakers in West Virginia are tired of kids having to be worried about their security on college campuses. Passing through the WV House of Delegates 84 to 13, the bill now heads to WV Governor Jim Justice for his signature.
If signed, the “Campus Self Defense Act” will override the authority of the Higher Education Policy Commission, the Council for Community and Technical College Education, and the institutional boards of governors and their restrictions on concealed carry holders from carrying firearms on campus.
NRA West Virginia State Director Art Thomm appeared on Fox News Digital on February 21st, shortly after the bill passed. “The National Rifle Association applauds the West Virginia Legislature’s passage of NRA-backed campus carry. There is no reason why any adult who is deemed mature enough to defend his or her country at war should not be entrusted to defend themselves and others on campus. And there is no reason an adult who is allowed to carry in other parts of the state can’t be trusted when on campus.”
Should Governor Justice sign off on the bill, WV would become the 12th state to permit concealed carry on college campuses. Republican Delegate Mike Honaker was a big supporter of the bill. He served as a police officer in Virginia back in 2007 and was a responder to the Virginia Tech shooting.
In Mid-February, while the bill was still in the House, Honaker spoke up about its merits. “I know we have to be careful about this issue. But there’s no way that I, as someone who has lived through this and seen it with my own eyes, could forbid another free law-abiding American citizen from carrying a firearm and retaining the ability and the capacity to defend yourself or others, God forbid they ever be put in a position to do it.”
That same week, many WV students and residents protested against the idea of the bill passing and attended a town hall about the issue. One student named E.T. Bowen claimed that students are currently “terrified on campus as it is. We don’t need more guns to exacerbate that. This bill is like throwing kerosene on the wildfire, and it is appalling that we even need to say that while there’s still blood on the ground at Michigan State.”
In the Michigan State shooting Bowen referenced, 43-year-old Anthony Dwayne McRae shot and killed three people while wounding five others on the Michigan State campus. Previously McRae had been arrested on felony gun charges and would have been barred from owning a gun if the charges for concealed carry without a license had stuck. Yet a left-wing district attorney dropped the charges.
Complaining that we need more gun laws or gun restrictions when the left refuses to enforce the laws they already have on the books is comical at best. They failed to prevent the Michigan State shootings because the left is willing to ignore the laws in the face of social justice and give a minority the benefit of the doubt.
Elected officials in West Virginia have already made the state a constitutional carry state, but to legally carry on campus people will need to obtain a WV concealed carry license. With exceptions made for 18-to-21-year-olds to obtain a provisional license, this means from freshmen to seniors, WV college students will be allowed to carry on campus. Making this kind of decision ensures all students can ensure their safety while attending school in WV.
The ever-frequent mass shootings have shown Americans a few different things. One of the biggest things they have shown us is that when moments matter, police can be minutes away. Given the rural locations of some WV college campuses, this can be exceptionally true. Giving these students an option for a fighting chance is crucial to ensuring their safety. The one thing the left keeps leaving out of their arguments is that people have been illegally carrying on many campuses “just in case” for years.
If done right, nobody but the carrier knows they have it anyways, so instead of complaining about it being legal, they should be thanking them for deciding to take on that kind of responsibility.