My name is [omitted]; a student at the College of Southern Nevada, registered voter and Nevada resident. I am concerned about your comments that I read recently in the UNLV’s Rebel Yell as well as recent Review Journal articles where you basically intend to abuse the power of your office to obstruct a democratic process we live under. Senate Bill 231 has overwhelmingly strong support among not just your constituents, but the constituents of other senators.
At the March 18th committee hearing where public testimony was taken on SB 231, You held a paper offered by the NRA showing the locations of known sex offenders surrounding college campuses in Nevada. You mistakenly believed that these were the locations of sexual assaults; and thus you errantly concluded that Nevada colleges were free of these crimes. While these crimes do not occur every day on college campuses, they do occur nonetheless; The testimony you heard on March 18th confirms that.
SB 231 is not about Virginia Tech style massacres, these are statistically rare events. It isn’t even about students saving other students lives. It’s about affording a free people the ability to act in their own defense to save their own life. There are many violent crimes committed on and around college campuses more often than the media reports upon. Prohibiting well trained law abiding students on campus effectively infringes upon my rights off campus as a result. If I can’t be permitted to carry my firearm with me for lawful purposes on campus, I must leave my firearm at home. This violates my rights under Article 1, section 11 of the Nevada Constitution.
I am thirty-two years old, a veteran of the U.S. Army, and a well-trained CCW permit holder. Contrary to what you might think, college students are, by and large, a well behaved, well-mannered group. The misconceptions that we’re all binge drinking, drug using frat boys is a byproduct of Hollywood and media sensationalism. Seventy-one colleges in this country already allow properly licensed permit holders to carry firearms on campus. Among these colleges, there have been no incidents of crime or accidents on the part of permittees. The college parties that do go on, do so in off campus locations where no prohibition exists. If one applied the logic that CCW permittees in that environment posed a public safety risk, evidence would already exist to support it. Furthermore, drug use by college students is a reality, but no more so that drug use by the general population as a whole. Laws are already in place that govern then possession of firearms by those who are under the influence of controlled substances, and permittees are thoroughly background checked to verify any history of drug and alcohol abuse, not just once, but twice; once when the firearm is purchased, and again when a permit is issued.
The same tired arguments that we heard in 1995 when the CCW permit process was transitioning to “Shall Issue” are being rehashed, only now they are reworded. Instead of fender benders turning into shootouts, decenters claim that classroom debates will become shoot outs, or a student who gets a bad grade on an exam will use deadly force in retaliation. These are irrational fears. Seldom does a day go by when I am not offended by someone else’s behavior, yet I still maintain my composure and deal with the perils of life without resorting to violence. Statistically CCW permittees demonstrate exceptional judgment, restraint and respect for the law. This bill is not going to hand out guns to students, or make it easier to get a CCW. It would be unlikely that the percentage of the student population carrying firearms on campus would exceed that of the rest of the general population off campus.
Finally, I must address your patently undemocratic remarks that you intend to use the power of your office to countermand the will of the people you are entrusted to serve. You alone, do not represent the entire population of Nevada. For you to allow your personal bias to stand in the way of the will of the people goes against everything this nation was founded upon. Our nation’s fighting men and women fight and die to protect our process and for an elected official to act contrary to liberty and democracy, dictating your will by abusing your power of office is an insult to the American way. Senate Bill 231 must be given a debate and up or down vote by representatives of all Nevadans. Never forget that you serve us, not the other way around.