Forums / Political & Legal / Georgia college student saves 10 lives with gun; Ohio's defenseless students targeted by criminals

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Submitted by cbaus on Fri, 05/15/2009
Ohio PoliticsEducationGuns in the News
By Chad D. Baus

One of the principle claims made in Diane Sawyer's rigged campus carry experiment, recently aired on ABC's 20/20, was that having a gun wouldn't protect a college student, that ordinary people like college students aren't trained to handle stress, that they might shoot innocent people, and that the bad guy might take their gun away.

Apparently someone forgot to tell a student in College Park, GA that they were better off without having a gun ready at hand...and at least ten college students say they are alive today because of it.

From Atlanta, Georgia's WSBTV:

A group of college students said they are lucky to be alive and they're thanking the quick-thinking of one of their own. Police said a fellow student shot and killed one of two masked me who burst into an apartment.

Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Jones met with one of the students to talk about the incident.

"Apparently, his intent was to rape and murder us all," said student Charles Bailey.

Bailey said he thought it was the end of his life and the lives of the 10 people inside his apartment for a birthday party after two masked men with guns burst in through a patio door.

"They just came in and separated the men from the women and said, 'Give me your wallets and cell phones,'" said George Williams of the College Park Police Department.

Bailey said the gunmen started counting bullets. "The other guy asked how many (bullets) he had. He said he had enough," said Bailey.

The story says that's when one student grabbed a gun out of a backpack and shot at the invader who was watching the men. The gunman ran out of the apartment.

The student then ran to the room where the second gunman, identified by police as 23-year-old Calvin Lavant, was holding the women.

"Apparently the guy was getting ready to rape his girlfriend. So he told the girls to get down and he started shooting. The guy jumped out of the window," said Bailey.

A neighbor heard the shots and heard someone running nearby.

"And I heard someone say, 'Someone help me. Call the police. Somebody call the police,'" said a neighbor.

The neighbor said she believes it was Lavant, who was found dead near his apartment, only one building away.

Bailey said he is just thankful one student risked his life to keep others alive.

"I think all of us are really cognizant of the fact that we could have all been killed," said Bailey.

One female student was shot several times, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Police told the media they are close to making the arrest of the second suspect.

Meanwhile, back in Ohio, officials at The Ohio State University say that the increasingly high level of street-level crimes - thefts, robberies, assaults and break-ins - in the University District is no coincidence. In fact, criminals are targeting students specifically because they know they'll be defenseless.

From OSU's The Lantern:

"What we're seeing is a shift into the university area where [criminals] are finding that students are an easy target," said Tom Wildman, the Code Enforcement & Safety Committee chair of the University Area Commission.

In the past six months, 680 street-level crimes were committed in the district, according to a Lantern analysis of crime data from crimereports.com, which takes its information from the Columbus Division of Police. These statistics include only the off-campus areas of the district, and not the OSU campus itself.

These numbers dwarf the statistics for Columbus' less densely populated core downtown area, which tallied 301 street-level crimes over the past six months, according to crimereports.com data.

Ohio is one of at least eight states that have had bills pending in the current legislative session which are designed to restore students' self-defense rights on college campuses.

Campus carry legislation has already been signed into law during the current legislative session in North Dakota. In Missouri, the House of Representatives has already passed campus carry legislation, and hearings are now being held in the Senate. A campus carry bill is currently stalled in Indiana's Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Oklahoma legislature allowed that state's campus carry bill to die for this session. Things are going better in the Tennessee House House Judiciary subcommittee, where hearings have been held on a Vol State campus carry bill. Hearings on campus carry legislation are also being held in both chambers of the Texas legislature.

Back in the Buckeye State, Rep. John Adam's HB129 has yet to receive a hearing. And the students of Ohio's campuses continue to pay the price in the loss of blood and treasure.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman, and a NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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