Opinion OPINION: Republicans Report — On the proposal to arm eligible academics By Aaron Reining Posted on October 1, 2019 6 min read 0 18 188 Aaron Reining is a senior double majoring in history and political science. The following article reflects the opinion and views of the author and does not present the thoughts of the Ohio University College Republicans. The state of crime in Athens is enough to warrant concern to anyone. The right to individually possess and bear arms is the traditional deterrence against those who would threaten harm to our community. For example, one of the major issues that the student body has routinely drawn attention to is violence and sexual assault on and around campus. Recent crime statistics data provided by the 2018 Clery Act Annual Security Report for Ohio University show the somber state of reported assaults. Beyond those cited instances, it is indicated that there are additional cases that go unreported. The comparative rate of crime is lower on college campuses, like Ohio U, compared to the national average of reported crimes. A study done by Mark Gius, a professor at Quinnipiac University who has done research in public policies from abortion to gun control, proved little correlation between permitting concealed carry on campus to increased crime rates. So permitting individuals to carry does not increase risk but instead offers a safeguard against future assaults. The concern for the public as well as individual safety is not a partisan issue. Instead, it helps bulwark against continued attacks and should be heavily considered in respect to all those who deserve their right to defense. There remains a constitutional right to bear arms and defend oneself in the face of danger. As such, students and faculty of higher learning should be granted the merit they deserve as other respectable citizens who freely carry off-campus. From their position as burgeoning community leaders and respectable professionals throughout all fields, academics over the age of 21 should be qualified to obey and defend the laws and standards that bind them to their academic institutions. Therefore, as is the case in many colleges across the country, Ohio U should allow and advocate for concealed carry permits on campus for the common defense of its student body and faculty. Across the nation, 10 states have already passed campus-based legislation which allows students, faculty and staff to carry concealed firearms. Typically these permits are only accessible to those who are 21 or older. In some states, public universities are required to allow these permits, and in others like Arkansas, public universities are individually granted the option on whether or not to permit licensure on campus. With recent gun-related national tragedies, many have argued for continued restrictions on owning firearms. However, it is profoundly problematic that some people who are running for office desire a future in which most guns are not available to the public. Criminals who disobey the law will still carry a gun, illegal or not. Alarmingly, the independent socialist candidate running for mayor in Athens, Damon Krane, recently voiced support for disarming the police. Athens is on the precipice of becoming a haven for criminals and thugs who can just shove the police aside and commit crimes whenever they want, without fear of consequences. If you believe in your God-given rights, consider bearing arms and evening the odds in any potential circumstances of danger. We do not yet dwell in a utopia and humanity will never fully be peaceful and docile. To those of Athens who dread walking home at night under the cover of darkness, the constitution ordains the right to carry and be free from fear, if people will stand up for it. This is a submitted column, and please note that these views and opinions do not reflect those of The New Political.