One of the victims of last week’s Florida State University shooting is a concealed weapon permit holder. Another person who was there is a seasoned combat Army veteran who “had a clear shot at the shooter” during the incident. Both were helpless to do anything because FSU is a “gun free zone.”
Although the concealed carry holder, Nathan Scott, was himself shot in the leg, he was nonetheless able to limp out and warn others. But university policy stripped him of the tools he needed to actually stop the shooter.
The FSU chapter of Students For Concealed Carry credited the fast response time of local law enforcement personnel for having prevented even more injuries, but the group unequivocally states that the shooter could have been brought down earlier with a change in state law.
“The events of the last week in Tallahassee make plainly clear that it is unacceptable for responsible students who have gone to training, had extensive background checks, had their fingerprints taken, are of legal age, and are licensed by the state to be prevented from carrying their self-defense weapons on campus,” the group said in a statement posted to its Facebook page.
Getting to specifics, the group stated:
This is highlighted by two FSU students, one of whom was a US Army Infantry combat veteran and had a clear shot at the shooter, the other is gunshot victim Nathan Scott who is a member of Students for Concealed Carry at FSU who was able to go and warn other students about the shooter despite his injury. Both of these individuals, in spite of having the training and skills necessary to end the shooting, were powerless to prevent it due to Florida’s laws.
Two students were injured in addition to Scott — one who was left permanently paralyzed. Students For Concealed Carry closed by asking for a change in FSU’s policy.
“As a result of this tragedy, we implore Florida State University President John Thrasher to reconsider his stance on campus carry despite being one of the main opponents to Florida’s campus carry bill in 2011,” its statement read.
FSU’s president was a Florida state senator in 2011, and during his tenure he played a key roll in defeating an NRA-sponsored bill that would have allowed anyone properly licensed to carry weapons on the campuses of post-secondary schools. The Tampa Bay Times reported:
As a state senator three years ago, Thrasher was instrumental in blocking legislation that would have allowed guns on campus in some cases. He called it “beyond personal.”
Florida is among 20 states that ban the carrying of a concealed weapon on a college campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.