San Antonio students seek to carry guns on campuses

Nov. 17-21 marks the first “Pitch it to the People Week”, sponsored by the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC).

“The ‘Pitch it to the People Week’ is intended to serve as an opportunity for all SCCC members to contribute to diminishing the negative preconceived notions that permeate most debates about concealed carry on college campuses,” San Antonio College/ St. Phillips college campus leader Jason Johnson said.

SCCC students’ members staffed information booths on the campuses of San Antonio College, The University of Texas Austin, and Texas Tech.

SCCC was created after the Virginia Tech Massacre in 2007; the group promotes giving students the means to defend themselves if they are in a situation like the one at Virginia Tech.

According to the SCCC Web site Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprised of college students, college faculty members, parents of college students and concerned citizens who believe that holders of concealed handgun permits should enjoy the same rights on college campuses that current laws afford them everywhere else.

The SCCC has two main functions: to dispel common myths and misconceptions about concealed carry on campus through educating the public about the facts, and to push state legislators and school administrators to grant concealed handgun license holders the same rights on college campuses that the license holders have throughout the rest of society.

Since its formation, the SCCC has been met with adversity from college campuses, anti-weapons groups and organizations such as the Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence.

Campaign president, Paul Helmke, stated on his Web site that “The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work and in our communities.”

The SCCC Web site reported that eleven U.S. universities (all nine public colleges in Utah, Colorado State University and Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, VA) currently allow concealed carry on campus.

Johnson said that after allowing concealed carry on campus for a more than 80 semesters, none of these eleven schools have seen a single resulting incident of gun violence (including suicides), a single gun accident, or a single gun theft.

“I believe that allowing concealed carry permit holders to carry on campus would provide them with the ability to defend themselves from anyone who truly wanted to do them harm,” University of Texas Austin campus leader Joseph Boudreau said.

“I do not know specifically what will be taking place at the UTSA campus. We do not have a campus leader at UTSA currently,” Director of Public Relations for SCCC Kasprzak said.

SCCC is also responsible for empty holster protests. The two protests happened on October 22, 2007 and April 21, 2008. These protests are meant to represent metaphorically that college campuses are defenseless against a threat.

“More guns are not a problem if those guns are in the hands of law-abiding citizens, and taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens only stacks the odds in favor of dangerous criminals, providing criminals a government guarantee that their intended victims will be incapable of defending themselves,” Kasprzak said.

Part of SCCC’s “Pitch it to the People Week” plans to end it with a money bomb designed to support SCCC’s financial need for 2009.

A money bomb is a grassroots effort to support a political candidate by setting up a specific time to raise money for a candidate; the candidate being the SCCC.