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Allow guns on campus

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On Jan. 21, John Heath of Ogden asked if allowing guns on college campuses was an infringement upon the right to free speech. His core argument is a classic, fear-filled, liberal fantasy about gun laws: "Am I going to be threatened or shot for responding in this way to this question? . . . the right to free speech is stifled by the state-given right to bring one's handgun onto campus."

What nonsense. This argument assumes that our current gun laws are based upon the behavior portrayed in old Western films. Do we seriously think that an unpopular opinion on campus will be met with gunfire? Why doesn't gunfire follow unpopular opinions in other venues? Because people who legitimately carry concealed weapons do so out of respect for the law, not in spite of it. It can be shown time and again that concealed-carry permit holders are almost never prosecuted for violations of gun laws (about 1.5 percent nationally).

If one person on campus has the right to carry, so does another. This does not infringe upon freedom of speech but protects it. It is the natural check-and-balance system that works so well in our form of government. The gun-ban laws create an imbalance in favor of criminals and end up causing the injury or death of innocent people. The right to freely speak, to freely think and to walk unassailed by those of criminal intent is protected only by the provisions of the Second Amendment and it's state-level counterparts. The colleges and universities must uphold the law; it is their duty as organs of the state.

Trenton Hansen

Pleasant Grove