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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Thoughts on Campus Carry Conference

This year's conference was well attended. Both Amanda Carpenter, a victim of rape while on campus in Reno,NV, and Nicole Goeser, who saw her husband killed in a Tennessee bar which at the time was a gun free zone, both made compelling arguments for ending gun free zones. In summing up her remarks, Amanda asked the question to those who oppose campus carry, "How does taking away my right to self defense make you safer?"  Amanda had a carry permit at the time she was assaulted, but was banned by law from carrying on campus.  Nicole was very active in the drive to repeal the restaurant ban in Tennessee and works at the Tennessee legislature.

Amanda Carpenter tells her story to the conference

Nicole Goeser followed Amanda and was equally compelling

Following their comments, there was what was billed as a debate between Dr. John Lott and Virginia Tech shooting survivor and current Brady Campaign staffer Colin Goddard.  It was less of a debate and more of a statement of positions with an opportunity for rebuttal of the other's comments.  Lott had the facts and numbers at his disposal.  Goddard relied pretty much on what is his standard line when talking about increasing background checks to cover private sales.  He said during his comments that he was the victim of a background check that lacked important information.  Goddard was a last minute addition to the conference which had originally scheduled Paul Helmke.  Helmke has left the Brady Campaign.  Lott was gracious in his closing, thanking Goddard for stepping in at the last minute.

Dr. John Lott makes the case for ending gun free zones

Colin Goddard admits at the start that the audience is on the opposite side of him on the issue
It was an informational afternoon.  But the folks attending don't need to be convinced of the necessity for campus carry, those who oppose the effort need to be educated.  Maybe a few of them watched on C-Span.

Also participating in the conference were academics Nelson Lund at George Mason University, Bob Cottrol of George Washington University, and Jim Purtilo of the University of Maryland.  Video of the conference is still available on the C-Span web site.  Click here to view the archived video.

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