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Home  |  News  |  USC students carry empty gun holsters to protest policy

USC students carry empty gun holsters to protest policy
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Several USC students are attaching empty holsters to their hips in silent protest against a university policy that doesn't allow students to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

"It's visible, to show we're unprotected," student Joshua Cohen said. "Everywhere I go on campus I'll be carrying it on my side."

Cohen and several friends are walking around USC this week wishing their holsters were anything but empty.

"You're not allowed to carry if you have a concealed weapons permit unless the school gives you permission and USC has not given us permission for that," Cohen said.

Until that day, the students are sporting their holsters to show others they don't think it would hurt to be strapped.

"If students do have a weapon, they could increase their chances of protecting themselves because without anything you'll become a victim 100 percent of the time," Cohen said.

It's a fine line between campus property and public property -- where you can carry and where you can't. Some students don't think that line should exist at all because they say it's the difference between self-defense and becoming a target.

"It's my opinion that if the state and federal government have licensed me to carry a concealed weapon, then I shouldn't be limited to where I can carry it," fellow student Cody Armstrong said.

"We've gotten several dirty looks from people not understanding," Cohen said.

Many people worry about another Virginia Tech or Columbine situation.

"Virginia Tech was a gun-free zone, Columbine was a gun-free zone, that Christian school in California that got shot up this week and six people died, was a gun-free zone," Armstrong said. "They're not going to stop if they want to commit a crime."

Guns are not allowed at a variety of places like churches, schools, or courthouses. But the students believe if they're properly trained and of age then the state should trust them to protect themselves.

"I consider the no gun zone on campus what I refer to as a 'feel good law'," Armstrong said. "It makes people feel good because they're safer. But in reality, they're de-arming the populous allowing only the criminal element to have weapons."

The students still give credit to USC Police and Columbia Police. They think officers do the best they can, but since they can't be everywhere at once, the students want to help.

USC released a statement today saying they've stepped up patrols to fight the recent spike in crime, but they still urge students to follow the law and leave the law enforcement up to the officers.

Source: http://www.wistv.com/story/17327170/usc-students-carry-empty-gun-holsters-to-protest-policy

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