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How Have Sex Toys Become The Symbol Of The Anti-Campus-Carry Movement?

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Article first appeared at Shooting Illustrated.

You know the anti-gun movement is out of ideas when its big protest idea involves waving around sex toys. Hot on the heels of a similar protest at the University of Texas (that didn’t change policy but did result in a segment on “The Daily Show,”) students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are ready to bust out the big guns (metaphorically speaking) to show their displeasure at any potential campus-carry measure introduced in the Wisconsin legislature.

The protests seem to be spearheaded by student Katherine Kerwin, who told The Capital Times newspaper that she had “200 sex toys on their way right now. We’re going to be breaking them out when the bill gets introduced.” What this is supposed to accomplish, Kerwin doesn’t say. I mean, “The Daily Show” has already done its bit on students and sex toys, but maybe Samantha Bee might be interested. As for lawmakers, I doubt they’ll be impressed.

Kerwin recently penned an anti-campus-carry diatribe for The Daily Cardinal student newspaper in which she says she fears campus carry “because my classrooms are politically charged places, full of thought-provoking discussions, where dearly held ideas are challenged. I don’t want to see such exchanges give way to fear and silence because of concerns that someone carrying a firearm may react to that in a violent way.”

Is Kerwin afraid that someone might get up and punch someone in class during a politically charged argument? Does that ever happen? Of course not. So why would a responsible, law-abiding concealed-carry permit holder whip out a gun upon hearing an opinion he or she doesn’t agree with? That doesn’t happen with concealed-carry permit holders off campus, so why would they suddenly behave differently in a classroom? This, of course, doesn’t even get into the fact that declaring a campus to be “gun-free” doesn’t actually make it so. But Kerwin apparently thinks that because guns aren’t allowed on campus now, no one with evil intent would ever violate the campus gun policies.

For several more paragraphs, she outlines her fears of campus carry. Never, though, does Kerwin tell us if her fears of concealed-carry permit holders also apply to her off-campus life. The campus-carry opponent says she worries that her classroom won’t feel “safe” if concealed-carry holders are allowed to carry firearms there. Does Kerwin really believe that the off-campus world of Madison, Wis., is “unsafe”? Is she afraid to go to the grocery store, the mall, or anywhere else where she may be in the presence of law-abiding concealed-carry permit holders? Does she spend her days cowering on campus, afraid to enter the larger world because there are people exercising their Second Amendment rights out there? I doubt it.

Then there’s the (and I’m paraphrasing here) “campuses are booze-soaked dens of iniquity” argument, which posits that college students are so plastered all the time that they simply can’t be trusted to responsibly exercise their right to carry. If that’s truly the case, then it seems to me that Kerwin should be advocating for car-free campuses. If students are so drunk they can’t have a gun, should they have car keys? But I’ve yet to find a single opponent of campus carry who would agree with banning their own cars from campus. Weird, huh?

Kerwin’s entire argument against campus carry ignores the fact that similar laws have been in place in many states around the country for years without negative consequences. The smooth implementation of campus carry in Texas has shown the anti-gun activists to be scaremongers desperately trying to freak out students and faculty about what “could” happen when people can legally carry firearms on campus. The simple fact is that the opposition to campus carry is really just opposition to concealed carry in general, and frankly, that ship has sailed. Not only do we have the clear wording of the Second Amendment protecting the right to bear arms, but more than 15 million Americans are now concealed-carry permit holders, and millions more are exercising their right to carry in states where permits aren’t required.

The fuss and fury over campus-carry proposals echo the over-the-top arguments about concealed carry that we’ve been hearing and refuting for decades, only now they’re waving around sex toys in hopes that being “edgy” will compensate for their lack of a coherent argument … or at least get them a segment on a late-night basic cable comedy show. While they clamor for attention, we’ll keep fighting for our right to bear arms—and our human right of self-defense.

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