Easier solution to concealed weapon bill

Crusader Editor,

I read the articles and cartoon regarding the issue of concealed weapons on campus. I’ve also done some research on the existing concealed carry law, including contacting the Kansas Attorney General’s office for some clarification. It is being assumed that if the bill is passed we should spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for security devices and personnel. It is also being assumed that we are safer by denying licensed law-abiding citizens to carry concealed than to allow law-abiding citizens who are trained and licensed to carry concealed. Make no mistake, posting the buildings doesn’t stop anyone from carrying concealed illegally. What removing the signs would do is warn any potential shooter that he’s not in a “COSHA* safe zone.” In other words, criminals with mischief on their mind would likely choose another location to do their deeds (somewhere that is posted), since they may be surrounded by armed citizens who are trained and licensed to carry concealed. As it is now, those law-abiding citizens would be forced to wear their sidearm in open-carry fashion in order to be legal. That would also make them premier targets if a criminal did strike, thus dissuading them from carrying at all, and eliminates any real security that the concealed carry laws currently provide. I believe if more places just removed those signs and the false sense of security they provide (and the real sense of security for those with malice in mind), there wouldn’t be much need for the bill currently in the statehouse. Which would you prefer, the law-abiding citizens to have to carry open holstered while criminals carry concealed, or warn the criminals off by allowing those with licenses to carry concealed? Then the bill and the security costs would be a moot point. The cheapest way to remove the false sense of security is to remove the signage. Think about it, if you were a criminal, would you be more likely to start something in a location where anyone around might be carrying concealed, or in a place where that was forbidden? Arguing over the cost is really beside the point. Just remove the signs, and allow the concealed carry. You won’t even notice it. Right now you probably don’t know how many are carrying at other places that aren’t posted. If the cost is a problem, I’ll volunteer my time and a razor blade to remove them myself.

— Emery V. Swagerty

*COSHA – Criminal Occupational Safety and Health Act: Any law which protects criminals by denying rights to law-abiding citizens; laws which criminals will readily break anyway.