By Shaya Rogers, Features Reporter
The CNM Shooting Club believes that carrying firearms should be legal on campus, Mitchell Jackson, CNM Shooting Club president, said.
Illegal weapons are brought on campus, and the issue has not been addressed, he said.
“The law-abiding, licensed individuals that could make a difference in the event of a school shooting are following the law. We know they don’t have a weapon, but there are weapons at the school,” he said.
To protest the ban of firearms on campus, the shooting club is holding an Empty Holster Protest, which began on April 8 and runs through April 12, Jackson said.
The protest is designed to inspire thought among students and staff about allowing licensed owners to carry on campus, he said.
No firearms will be brought on campus for the protest, but those participating will be wearing empty holsters.
“We just wear it around campus, if we’re asked about it then we’ll explain our position, but we’re not trying to cause a lot of trouble. We won’t get together; we won’t march on the administration’s office,” he said.
The protest is a nationwide event, sponsored by the grassroots group Students for Conceal Carry. CNM is the only participating school in New Mexico, he said.
“It’s a national protest to demonstrate our disagreement with school policies that prevent legally licensed individuals from carrying campus’,” he said. handguns on school
Anyone can join in the protest. It is not something that is exclusive to the Shooting Club and the more support, the better, he said.
“You don’t have to be organized with the group. You don’t have to be involved with Students for Conceal Carry on campus,” he said.
There are students on campus who believe in the right to conceal carry at school, but have never gotten involved and this creates that opportunity, he said.
“If you believe that the rights of individuals who are licensed to carry weapons are being infringed by the school policy, which obviously they are, but if you believe that is inappropriate then you are encouraged to participate in the protest,” he said.
The point of the protest is to open a dialogue about guns on campus that takes a strategic aim since guns have a negative reputation in our society, he said.
“I hope that students will be encouraged to at least think about the fact that there are guns on this campus, at least think about the realities of if something happens, do they really want to wait for police?” he said.
The school should not be able to choose the way in which students are allowed to protect themselves while on campus, he said.
“We don’t get to choose when violence happens or where violence happens, and as much as our good wishes would want to prevent a shooter on campus, that doesn’t actually do anything,” he said.