11.28.16 Statement Regarding OSU Campus Attack
The incident on the campus of The Ohio State University today turned out not to be a shooting, but an act of violence where an 18 year-old male student of OSU used a vehicle and butcher knife in the attack. Eleven people were injured in the attack and taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
My initial emotion when we learned that the attacker didn't use a gun was relief, because we all know how much worse the situation could have been if the weapon of choice was a gun, or even worse, a military style assault weapon.
It is currently a felony offense for civilians to carry hidden, loaded weapons onto our college and university campuses, and the events of today only reinforce the need to preserve our gun free zones. Law enforcement responded to the scene in less than one minute, and the attacker was shot and killed by a law enforcement officer within another minute after failing to comply.
Now, imagine if misguided but well-intentioned civilians had tried to intervene with guns. Would the police have known who the "bad guy" was? Would a plain-clothes police officer responding have been attacked by armed vigilantes?
Meanwhile, the 'Guns Everywhere’ bill, HB 48, is up for hearings this week in the Ohio Senate. Part of this dangerous bill would allow college and university administrators to allow hidden, loaded guns to be carried on their campuses. And you can be sure that the gun lobby will say that the incident today, is proof that we need to have civilians carrying guns into these safe spaces.
We couldn't disagree more with the gun lobby's view, and the growing body of evidence showing guns on campus lead to more gun violence confirms our beliefs.
We need to let law enforcement professionals do their jobs, not complicate situations further by introducing more guns in our zones of peace.
I hope you'll join us for Virtual Lobby Day, , to speak out against the Guns Everywhere bill through your calls, email and social media activity.
Jennifer Thorne, Executive Director
Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence