On August 23rd , just 3 days after the beginning of the Fall semester, a young woman was sexually assaulted in or around the Dutton Parking Garage on the campus of Baylor University. This comes after new revelations that the Baylor administration was not only aware of sexual assault allegations against then-football player Tevin Elliott, but actively covered up those allegations.
Elliott went on to rape a female Baylor student, a crime for which he was convicted in January 2014 and is currently serving a 20-year sentence.
But despite this clear and present danger on Baylor’s campus, students are not allowed to exercise the right to self-defense enshrined in the US Constitution and reaffirmed by Texas’ campus carry law. Signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June 2015, the law allows law-abiding Texans to carry concealed weapon at public university campuses across the state. Private universities may choose to opt-in or opt-out.
Sadly, Baylor chose to disarm its law-abiding students and make them easy prey for crimes such as the one committed a week ago.
The reasoning one will most often hear from the Baylor administration against campus carry is that allowing this will bring unnecessary danger to campus, and students have no need to conceal-carry a firearm. They argue the Baylor Police Department is more than capable of protecting them.
The argument that allowing concealed-carry permit holders to carry on campus will make Baylor a more dangerous place does not hold water. The fact is, Texas concealed-carry licensees are 14 times less likely to commit a crime and five times less likely to commit a violent crime than the general public.
These facts aside, how they shamelessly make the argument that Baylor PD and the administration at-large is willing and able to protect students is anyone’s guess. Baylor University is neither capable nor willing to protect their students. The former is demonstrated by the aforementioned sexual assault, and the latter by the revelation that Baylor actively covered up sexual assault allegations against a football player who went on to brutally rape a female student.
Even if Baylor didn’t have problems with systemic sexual assault, students should still be allowed to conceal-carry on campus, as Baylor is in one of the most dangerous areas in Texas.
As I noted in a previous article, Waco has a crime index of 8, meaning it is safer than only 8% of American cities. For context, Chicago has the same crime index of 8, and Compton has a crime index of 12, making it statistically safer than Waco, despite the cities’ reputations in pop culture and media as among the most dangerous in the country.
The onus is no longer on Baylor students to demonstrate why they should be allowed to exercise their right to self-defense on campus. Rather, it is now on the Baylor administration to explain why Baylor students must rely on an incompetent and corrupt administration to protect them, consigning them to the whims of those who wish to do them harm, of whom there are many in and around the university.
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