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End the "Gun Free" Killing Zones says National Firearms Authority
BATON ROUGE, LA -- Calling college campuses "killing zones" because they prevent licensed adults from carrying firearms for protection, a national firearms authority called on the Louisiana Legislature to examine the positive record of other states and remove the restrictions which require university students in the Bayou State to be helpless victims of crime.
"Don't sacrifice students out of ignorance," said Tom Gresham in his testimony before the Louisiana House Criminal Justice Committee on Thursday. Gresham is the host of "Tom Gresham's Gun Talk," a nationally-syndicated radio talk show, creator and host of "Personal Defense TV" television series, and lives in northern Louisiana. "The track record is clear -- honest people with guns have stopped school shootings. There is no reason to wonder what would happen if we allow licensed adults to carry on campus. We already know. Adults with carry permits behave well, and they stop crime."
"When you hear someone crying that there will be accidents, or irresponsible behavior, or 'blood in the streets,'" said Gresham, "you are listening to the equivalent of the 'Flat Earth Society.' We already have the data, and the facts show that those with permits are 100 times more likely to obey the law than the average citizen walking down the street."
Gresham also addressed claims by various police agencies which oppose removing the restriction on carrying guns on campus.
"Any agency which says, as some have, that they would shoot anyone with a gun if they got a report of a shooting on campus should be shut down until they can get remedial training. Hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents legally carry guns in their cars and tens of thousands are licensed to carry guns on their persons. It is the height of irresponsibility for any law enforcement officer to say he or she would shoot someone with a gun without determining if that person is a threat. Every person with a carry permit knows better than that."
The record is clear. The U.S. Justice Department says that as a conservative number, there are at least 1.5 million defensive gun uses in the U.S. each year. Honest people with guns save lives.
"This is not new ground. The state of Utah allows adults with permits to carry guns on campuses," Gresham continued, "and they report no problems. Remember that the people we are talking about already carry their guns responsibly off campus. It defies reason to think that stepping onto a college or university campus would change that behavior."
"We are talking about adults, here," said Gresham. "To get the permit, a person must be 21 years old, can not have a felony conviction, can not have a domestic violence conviction, can not be under a restraining order, must be fingerprinted, must have a background check done, must be photographed, must take a training class, and must pay upward of $200 for the class and the application. Criminals do not go through this process -- but the criminals do ignore the so-called 'Gun Free Zone' signs and prey on students and faculty."
School shootings in Virginia and Mississippi have been stopped by students and faculty who used their own firearms, and did not have to fire a shot. Lives were saved. Mall and church shootings have been stopped by licensed citizens using their own guns to save lives.
"How do you stop someone who is shooting up a school?," asked Gresham. "Someone with a gun shows up. The question to ask is this. If it is your son or daughter in the class, and someone is shooting people, do you want to wait the five or ten minutes for the police, or would you like for a trained adult to put a stop to it in seconds?"
"Remember," said Gresham, "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."