In the wake of the horrific Ohio State University knife incident that left 11 people injured and the suspect killed, an OSU student organization is taking matters into its own hands— the students' right to self-defense, to be more specific.
Buckeyes for Concealed Carry on Campus, a chapter of the national group, Students for Concealed Carry, posted a public statement on its Facebook page and created an online petition via Change.org asking the Ohio Senate body to revise HB 48.
The law currently allows campus carry in Ohio, but delegates that decision to each individual school and reduces the penalty of having a gun on campus from a felony to a misdemeanor. Unlike the Texas version of “campus carry,” Ohio State University was allowed to opt out of letting permit holders to carry firearms on campus.
In the petition, Buckeyes for Concealed Carry on Campus, asks for support in revising the bill passed in 2013.
“I implore you to consider amending House Bill 48 to allow licensed campus concealed carry and remove the university campus carry opt-in clause retaining the authority to regulate campus carry in the general assembly.”
The Government Oversight and Reform committee of the Ohio Senate heard public testimony from the community on the House Bill 48 Tuesday morning and will continue on Wednesday, November 30th. Coincidentally, the hearings were already scheduled before the OSU incident occurred.
The student group clarifies why it feels the law doesn't go far enough in ensuring protections for those who wish to carry concealed in Ohio universities. It writes,
“...as evidenced by pending litigation brought by Students for Concealed Carry and Ohioans for Concealed Carry against Ohio State University, there is little desire to enact a policy permitting campus carry much less follow current law with respect to possession of firearms on college campuses.”
The group continues:
“The authority to regulate firearms on our public property should lie with the general assembly, not some appointed group of individuals who are not accountable to the people of Ohio through the election process.”
The gun rights organization sums up its heartfelt call to action with these two sentences:
“Please, for the sake of our best and brightest, amend HB48 and pass real campus carry. The time to restrict their right to choose is no more.”
Members of the Buckeyes for Concealed Carry on Campus are not the only ones who are tired of not being able to defend themselves. In an exclusive interview with Independent Journal Review, third-year OSU law student and former Miss Ohio USA 2014, Madison Gesiotto, had this to say:
“Criminals and terrorists do not respect the law ,and they will not follow the law. We need campus carry to protect ourselves and out friends on campus. I am sick of schools serving as victim target zones for these criminals and terrorists. Instead, we should be empowered to protect ourselves and those around us.”
Gesiotto is an avid supporter of President-elect Donald Trump, who has promised to get tough on mass shootings and those who carry them out.
The president-elect had this to say in the wake of the shooting:
The Ohio Senate has a lot to consider in regard to whether to revise the HB 48 bill in favor of gun rights supporters. Monday's tragedy will certainly be a major topic of concern.
Editor's Note: this article was edited for content after publication.