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Ohio State University president shuns campus carry proposal

Thursday, December 1, 2016 7:50
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New Ohio State University President Michael Drake speaks with Dispatch reporters at the Longaberger Alumni House in Columbus (Photo: Eamon Queeny/The Columbus Dispatch)

Ohio State University President Michael Drake speaks with Dispatch reporters at the Longaberger Alumni House in Columbus in 2014 (Photo: Eamon Queeney/The Columbus Dispatch)

Ohio State University President Michael Drake said Wednesday he doesn’t think anyone but “trained professionals” should carry concealed weapons on campus.

In an appearance on WOSU Public Media’s All Sides with Ann Fisher, Drake said Monday’s attack outside a campus building only proves his point, noting OSU police officer Alan Horujko’s training and experience led to a quick resolution that officials say likely saved lives.

Horujko shot and killed OSU student Abdul Razak Ali Artan after he drove his car into a group of people at the Columbus campus and then attacked others with a butcher knife, injuring 11.

The attack renewed interest in a bill passed by the state House of Representatives last year that would allow licensed individuals to carry concealed weapons on campus, pending university approval. State senators could vote on the bill in the last weeks of the legislative session.

“When I am at Ohio State, I cannot keep myself safe,” student Jonathan Beshears said in testimony before lawmakers Tuesday, according to “If someone attacks me with a butcher knife or an AK-47, I’m supposed to run away, throw things at them, or maybe hide under a desk and pray. Think about the terror you would experience if that was you.”

State Democrats argue the “guns everywhere” bill goes too far by allowing firearms in daycares, airport terminals and police departments. Others question whether armed civilians would further complicate active shooter situations.

“This officer showed up, he was able to identify the source of the threat quickly because there weren’t other people around with superfluous handguns,” said Leidheiser-Stoddard, a member of the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, per “If the law changes and people are whipping out guns in the middle of that situation, I think it might have turned out very differently.”

Gun researchers continue debating the impact of concealed weapons in public spaces, often to conflicting degrees.

Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, released a study in October claiming college campus carry laws “invite tragedy” and said research proves armed civilians aren’t good at stopping mass shootings.

Campus carry laws now exist in eight states: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Webster, however, doesn’t want to see other states join the list.

“We oppose guns on campus not in the hackneyed stereotype of liberals scolding from the ivory tower but as a result of a searching examination of relevant research, as well as a common-sense assessment of reality,” he said in a Washington Post editorial. “What the evidence to date shows — and what we hope state legislators across the nation who are pondering such measures will consider — is that campus-carry laws will invite tragedies on college campuses, not end them.”

Meanwhile, Dr. John Lott, founded the Crime Prevention Research Center and a favorite among gun rights groups for his research linking lower crime rates to concealed carry laws, calls Webster’s study political and “not a serious attempt to deal with existing arguments.”

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