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Empty Holster Protest - How it all started

empty holster protest

November 23rd, 2013, William Dong, an undergraduate at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, brought an illegally purchased Bushmaster AR-15 onto campus. Thankfully, an anonymous call made earlier in the day had alerted authorities to the illegally purchased weapon being brought onto campus. Police, in coordination with the university, quickly locked down the school and arrested Dong before he had any opportunity to act.

During his sentencing, even his defense attorneys were puzzled as to the motives behind him bringing an assault rifle onto campus.

Whatever the case may be, if that anonymous phone call hadn't been made and authorities hadn't acted as quickly – would the students and faculty of the University of New Haven have had a different tale to tell?

A History of Violence

American universities and institutions of higher learning have had a storied history with guns on campus. With many schools outright prohibiting the carrying of firearms, these protocols haven't prevented catastrophic mass shootings from making the news and striking fear into our nation's future leaders of industry.

It begs the question – are students on campus safer with or without concealed firearms?

On March 30th to April 5th, university students will have the ability to have their voices be heard. Students for Concealed Carry, a non-profit organization seeking to inform faculty and students about the woes of disallowing a Second Amendment right to bear arms, is holding a mass “empty holster” protest. Students with active concealed carry permits (and even those without) are encouraged to wear their empty holsters on campuses disallowing concealed carrying of firearms. This is meant to illustrate the disparity that exists between the student body and the threats they're facing.

Each student who is eligible to receive a concealed carry permit, with proper training and equipment, could be a potential first responder to violent assaults the likes of the Virginia Tech massacre.

Even outside the prospect of direct assault, events like rape, robbery, and A&B (assault & battery) have become common place in our institutions of higher learning. Why is it then that students are not allowed to protect themselves with a concealed carried firearm? Students for Concealed Carry breaks down the statistics of on-campus violence here – for those interested.

Concealed Carry on Campus – Boon or Bane?

The world is changing before our very eyes. Even while FBI crime statistics report a drop in violent crimes, it seems that there is still quite a lot of it going around. Almost every state in the union allows for a 21 year old to apply for a resident concealed carry permit. With the proper training and readiness, these young people would have the means to undoubtedly protect themselves and their classmates from violent gunmen rampaging their campus. Is that not something worth considering?

For most students, simply an inside-the-waistband (IWB) handgun holster for a sidearm could potentially mean the difference between being the victim of the next mass on-campus shooting and being the last line of defense against needless aggression.

For a world teetering ever more chaotically into uncertainty, isn't it time we put our trust and faith in a younger generation to become the first line of defense against senseless brutality?

What are your thoughts?
Tell us in the comments section.

James England

About The Author

James England is a former United States Marine Signals Intelligence Operator and defense contractor with over two tours spread over the Al Anbar province and two more operating across Helmand and Baghdis. He is presently a writer focused on Western foreign policy and maintains an avid interest in firearms. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, he presently resides in New Hampshire – the “Live Free or Die” state. He is finishing up his first novel, “American Hubris”, which is set to hit shelves in Fall of 2015.