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Florida Campus Carry in 2017

By Lewis L Wagoner:

Now that Republican State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (D) has been soundly defeated in his bid for reelection and no longer holds the position as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Florida can now go on to reconsider allowing concealed carry on college campuses. Previously, Diaz de la Portilla, as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, would not allow the consideration of any bill permitting the carrying of a firearm on campus. For two years he held any such bill up in the committee and let it die there. Now, Diaz de la Portilla has been replaced with State Senator Greg Steube (R), a 2nd Amendment advocate and there is a good chance that Florida will finally get a carry on campus bill passed. (See SB 140)

We’ve heard all the excuses for not carrying a firearm on campus from the bleeding hearts. There are those that live in some unknown alternate reality where they believe that the bad guys obey the no gun signs and firearm laws. They believe that the problem of bad guys using firearms will be solved by taking all the guns away from the law abiding citizens.

The influx of campus shootings across the United States shows us that all the laws and signs forbidding guns on campuses aren’t worth the paper and material their written on. They do absolutely nothing to stop gun violence. I haven’t heard of one law or sign stopping a bullet yet. Nor have I witnessed or heard of a bad guy looking at a no firearms allowed sign, turning around, and walking away, while thinking, “Oh shucks, I’m not allowed to shoot anyone there.” All those laws and signs only stop law abiding citizens from carrying firearms on campuses to defend themselves.

I’m not going to list all of the instances where guns were brought onto campuses by bad guys, and people ended up shot and killed, contrary to laws on the books, and signs posted. I believe anyone reading this is fully aware of these tragedies. Instead I ask, are there any examples of when guns actually saved people from mass shootings?

There are, but they are hard to find because the media does not like to cover these stories. In June of 2015, Hunter Roosevelt provided us with a number of examples in his article titled 12 Times Mass Shootings Were Stopped by Good Guys With Guns. Time and time again we see that having a trained person on the ground is by far a more effective way to stop an active shooter than any other method suggested by anti-gun supporters.

As Florida Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says, “I can tell you the probability of needing a firearm is remote, but it’s more important to have a gun in your hand than a cop on the phone.’’

I’ve spoken before about my belief in the right to self-defense.  Refer to my former OpsLens article http://opslens.com/2016/12/13/inalienable-right-self-defense.

The students and staff at our colleges and universities should have the right to defend themselves instead of cowering in the back of a locked room, praying for someone to save them. If these college students are twenty-one years of age, and have a concealed carry license, then they should be allowed to carry concealed firearms to defend themselves and others on campus.

Even our grade schools and high schools have a need to defend themselves. Every school should have at least one SRO (School Resource Officer) and a willing staff trained to carry firearms and act as defenders of our children.

Since 9/11, the politics of the world have changed rapidly and grown ugly with terrorism. And terrorism has come to our country whether we like it or not. Are we going to continue to leave these institutions full of our children defenseless, providing an open invitation to those who wish to do them harm? How many more of our children must die before the naysayers deal with reality? Hopefully with men like State Senator Greg Steube in charge, our schools, colleges, and universities will become much safer places for our children. Only time will tell.

Lewis Wagoner is an OpsLens Contributor and former Navy SEAL.  Following his career in the Navy, Lewis served as a police office for more than 30 years, which included time in SWAT. He now is a Certified FBI Self Defense and Arrest Techniques Instructor.  He is also a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.