Letters to the Editor for March 19th, 2008

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dear Editor,

Thanks to everyone who helped out at the Feb. 16 and March 15 work days for Buck Creek Trail.

We were able to accomplish a lot more than I thought we would. We had 44 workers for the first day.

Please visit our Web site to view the pictures. Again, thanks for your hard work.

Ricky Nance

Alabaster Parks and Recreation

Dear Editor,

The problem with Hank Erwin&8217;s bill seeking to arm academics and ROTC students on Alabama campuses isn&8217;t that it goes too far.

It doesn&8217;t go far enough, and it fails to ask the fundamental question: Why do we allow boards of trustees in state-funded institutions to violate the constitutional rights of its students?

Every eligible student who can obtain a concealed carry permit in the state of Alabama should be able to carry on campus, without exception, and with harassment by their educational institution.

The presumption that a permit holder is qualified to make life and death decisions isn&8217;t modulated by the fact that they are enrolled in school. Any permit-holder has the responsibility for knowing the rules of engagement the same way driver&8217;s license holders learn the rules of the road, and students are no exception. In fact, educated people are substantially less likely to commit violent crimes, and research shows that a concealed carry permit holder is 37 times less likely to use a gun in a violent crime than a non-permit holder.

The presumption that security is adequate on campuses is an alarming non-starter, akin to asserting that the police are more than adequate to secure every man, woman and child in their jurisdictions. Set aside the fact that it rest on a false assumption that we aren&8217;t capable of defending ourselves; it can&8217;t possibly be true.

At Virginia Tech, the shooter was able to commit the vast majority of his violent acts before security even arrived, and the only thing that might have saved those victims would have been an armed classmate.

No, the problem with Hank Erwin&8217;s bill is that it falls victim to the pervasive liberal notion that we should somehow have to justify our desire to carry a firearm, when the right to keep and bear arms in not only manifest in the Second Amendment, it is even more clearly guaranteed by Section Twenty Six of the Alabama Constitution of 1901:

&8220;That every citizen has the right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.&8221;

These words are crystal clear, and yet we allow them to be ignored.

It isn&8217;t bad legislation that would keep Alabama campuses safer. It would be respect for these Constitutions and for students&8217; intelligence and natural rights on the part of lawmakers and educators alike that made Alabama campuses unlikely scenes of mass violence.

George Oldroyd