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Missouri Rep. Munzlinger: Concealed weapons amendment 'common sense'

Friday, April 24, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — State Rep. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, has a response for those who argue that a concealed-carry law would create additional danger on campus. He says it follows "common sense."

"Criminals tend to take the soft targets where it's a gun-free zone," he said of the history of campus attacks. The sponsor of the amendment that applies to firearms on campus, Munzlinger said he doesn't want to belittle campus security officers but that they cannot be everywhere all the time; that leaves a gun-free campus vulnerable.

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The presidents of Missouri's public universities who oppose the amendment "cannot show one single case where concealed-carry has caused a problem on campus," Munzlinger said.

"I think they're (the presidents are) just fearing law-abiding people when they should be fearing criminals."

The provision to allow concealed weapons on state campuses passed the House and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Munzlinger, who has a daughter at MU, said that in more than 80 combined semesters, no campus that allows concealed weapons has had a problem caused by gunmen or by students carrying firearms on campus. He also said he was not aware of any incidents before that.

According to the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus' Web site, Colorado State University, Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Va., and all public and state universities in Utah allow concealed weapons on campus.

Munzlinger, a member of the National Rifle Association who owns several firearms and has received training to carry concealed weapons, said those who take the time for the required training are responsible and have not been shown to be a danger. Also, students with permits and weapons on campus could help subdue a gunman on campus if security was not immediately present, he said.

The bill would change the legal age to obtain a permit from 23 to 21 for those who have undergone eight hours of training. While uncertain about future Senate action, Munzlinger said he hoped that they will pass the bill.

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and the NRA were involved in drafting the bill. The student group proposed language to Munzlinger two years ago, and the NRA has provided research information.


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Comments

Brit Yocum April 24, 2009 | 10:24 a.m.

As evidenced during recent mass shootings, the primary method of stopping the massacre was a bullet. Too often the only person with a method of defense is the perpetrator. This is unfortunate for those who are victimized by criminals. Relying on the police for protection is a poor choice as cops are too heavy to carry and they don't fit into a pocket. Also, they cannot be everywhere to protect you. Ultimately protection is your right and more importantly your responsibility. Failure to provide for your own protection may cost you your life. The right to self-defense comes not from you, a citizen, nor from the government, nor the Constitution; this right is inalienable, and assumed at birth. The act of self-defense is witnessed throughout our environment everyday; see the gazelle’s horns, the spurs of a turkey, the hoof strike of a zebra. Some frogs defend themselves with poison; touch them and you die. Surrendering to an attacker is an act for those unable or unwilling to defend themselves. You are free to do so, but I’d rather keep my options open.

(Report Comment)
Dale Armstrong April 27, 2009 | 9:47 a.m.

I agree. I think we should allow all students to carry automatic assault weapons over their shoulders along with their backpacks. And why wouldn't we want to extend it to high schools ... maybe middle schools? That would sure give those kids a shooting chance and send a message to any ambushers lurking in the bushes. Oh, and the kids could solve their own disputes without involving teachers or parents ... assault rifles at 200 yards.

(Report Comment)
James Herring April 27, 2009 | 10:45 a.m.

Wow, lets blow it out of a reasonable discussion. Automatic weapons are regulated, so unless you have a Class III permit you can not legally own one.

I know, I know, you were being sarcastic, and I know that I won't change your opinion, any more than you will change mine. But by letting people defend themselves is a lot better than letting the crazies know they have an open season until the police arrive. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley April 27, 2009 | 5:03 p.m.

Yes Dale. You are right. How about LAWS Rockets too? Or Stinger Missiles? I mean, perhaps a mad man might commandeer a tank or a fighter jet to attack a school with, right....

To be realistic, nobody is asking that college students be allowed to carry weapons of mass destruction. What people are asking is that students be allowed to carry a firearm that is sold commercially for the purpose of self defense.

You can blow this debate out of proportion, if you want to. But you only make yourself look silly. Because everyone else here knows what type of firearm we are talking about carrying concealed, and the purpose for which it would be carried.

Rick.

(Report Comment)

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