Simply Ludicous!! Your shabbily constructed September 27 Concealed-Carry editorial is devoid of facts and is obviously an emotional reaction to the danger we all face – a danger that requires more discussion – not an end to discussion. Perhaps your fear of firearms has overshadowed your logic in writing about this issue. I hope you rediscover your open-mindedness and are able to again consider the importance and significance of the individual’s right to life and personal safety. Demanding an end to the debate on this topic is far outside your authority as an editor and is a privilege you do not enjoy. With your comments, you have done The Progress and the EKU community a great disservice. You state in your editorial that killings on U.S. campuses were “unheard of” before VT – then you are much too young to remember Kent State, Jackson State, and literally dozens of others. You really should have researched your topic before making such stark and outrageous comments. I fear your attempt at revisionist history may actually fill the minds of young impressionable students who might believe you. In fact, there have been over a dozen school shootings in the last ten years. Most of these shootings at high schools where students are obviously not old enough to carry concealed weapons legally, but faculty and staff are. Many of these incidents could have been stopped sooner – or avoided altogether, if a single person, at the right time and at the right place, had a concealed weapon, along with the training and the will to get involved.

Crime is a fact of life. There are people in our society who, if given the right circumstances, will do you harm – and even kill you. Criminals will molest, rape and kill your children.

They will brutally beat, kick and rob your grandparents for a few dollars. It is from these people that we need to protect ourselves. This right is guaranteed by our State Constitution as the rights of the people in “defending their lives and liberties.”, “The right of seeking and pursuing their safety and happiness.”, and my personal favorite: “The right to bear arms in defense of themselves… .”

Have you read our Constitution and considered how it impacts this issue? Our duly elected representatives have read and applied our constitution, and using a detailed process for gathering information and debating the risks and the merits – have overwhelmingly passed concealed-carry laws. Those laws have had an astonishingly positive impact on crime rates in our state and other states that provide for concealed carry weapons. Research indicates that “the only policy factor to have a consistently significant influence on multiple victim public shootings is the passage of concealed handgun laws.”(Lott)

I believe EKU has a fine police force, but most criminals are smart enough to commit their crimes when those officers are not present. It is logical that the behavior of most criminals is to avoid risk. As the state of Kentucky has concealed carry laws – and EKU prohibits them, I contend that EKU has unwittingly created an island of opportunity for criminals…A place where criminals can commit their crime knowing that their victim does not carry a weapon. This is not the case just a few yards away off campus, where potential victims are allowed to keep their means of protection on their person – and ready for use in the instant a criminal attacks them. “Instead of creating a safe zone for victims, it leaves victims defenseless and creates a safe zone for those intent on causing harm.” (Lott)

Whom should we fear? Should we fear criminals who want to rape, steal, molest and murder – or adult faculty, staff, and students who have passed background checks, have been trained and are licensed by the state in the proper use of concealed weapons? If you were a victim in the midst of a violent crime, would you rather have one hundred students with cell phones ready to speed dial 911 – or out of that crowd of one hundred, would you rather have one person carrying a concealed weapon and trained in self defense ready to act on your behalf to protect your life? Perhaps if that person had read your editorial and was aware of your opinions, they might choose to reach for a cell phone rather than their weapon.

Active protection of one’s self – or passive reliance on government agencies to protect me in a crisis? If given a choice, I’d read the Kentucky Constitution, attend training, get licensed, and then I’d choose to actively protect myself.

Mike Hawksley

EKU Business Lab Manager