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To: Thomas W. Ross, President, The University of North Carolina
From: F. Paul Valone, President, Grass Roots North Carolina
Re: Your recent comments on House Bill 937, “Amend Various Firearms Laws”

Dear Mr. Ross:

WRAL-TV yesterday quoted you as saying that provisions in House Bill 937 (“Amend Various Firearms Laws”), and particularly its provision allowing concealed handgun permit-holders to keep firearms in locked vehicles on college campuses would “increase the risk to public safety and hamper our ability to protect not only our students, staff and faculty, but also campus visitors.” Perhaps your view from the Ivory Tower is obstructed, Mr. Ross, so allow me to describe the landscape . . .

The University of North Carolina is doing a woefully inadequate job of protecting its students, staff, faculty and visitors. In fact, just a few hours after your representatives testified to the North Carolina House Judiciary A Subcommittee in opposition to the bill, one of your students was raped outside North Carolina State University’s Free Expression Tunnel.

Is that your idea of “protection?”

What about the student who, two days later, was robbed at knife point in the parking deck of the Reynolds Coliseum?

Is that your idea of “protection?”

I am advised that over the past five months, NCSU students have received six “WolfAlerts” for such crimes. Indeed, my own son, a student at NCSU until last year, witnessed police taking down an armed robber outside the window of his classroom.

Is that your idea of “protection?”

What about Eve Carson, the UNC Chapel Hill student kidnapped, robbed and brutally murdered?

Is that your idea of “protection?”

These crimes are but a tiny sample of the victimization going on every day in the university system you direct — a university system in which victims are prohibited from protecting themselves, instead forced to rely on police who generally arrive in time to interview victims, gather evidence and fill out police reports.

That you can’t protect students and faculty from rape and murder isn’t your fault. Police have neither the ability nor the legal obligation to protect individuals from violent crime. I don’t blame you for that.

But I blame you for the arrogance of claiming you can.

By the admission of NCSU police chief Jack Moorman, testifying to the committee, a large part of the reason for opposing the measure is that allowing firearms on campus might force campus police responding to crimes to ascertain the intent of those they encounter.

Really? Is it your position, sir, that students should be victimized for the convenience of law enforcement? After all, identification is a problem law enforcement officers elsewhere manage to solve every day.

Who are you to say that lawmakers shouldn’t pass rational legislation to deter violent crime? Controlled, multi-variate studies by John R. Lott, William Landes and others have demonstrated that concealed handgun laws deter murder, rape and aggravated assault.

Who are you to say that my son, a concealed handgun permit-holder who has proven himself sane, sober and law-abiding, should be disarmed not only on campus, but in travels to and from campus?

And most importantly, who are you to tell your students, faculty and visitors they can’t exercise their natural right to self-protection against violent predation?

I can tell you who you aren’t: You aren’t a person who can defend them, and you aren’t a person who should dictate their rights.

F. Paul Valone
President, Grass Roots North Carolina

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  1. Great letter. Knowing college administrators as well as I do, I expect that Mr. Valone’s son will soon be expelled. Just to keep everyone safe.

    • Ralph-I do believe this gentleman need not worry about his son:
      “Indeed, my own son, a student at NCSU until last year, witnessed police taking down an armed robber outside the window of his classroom.” On another note, this was a very well written letter.

      • They may try to rescind his diploma, retroactively expelling him. I put nothing past the “educated elite”.

  2. No doubt you’ll get a standard Feinstein-style non-reply in return, one that completely evades all the points you made and takes three paragraphs to say, “Thanks for your opinion, but we’re the Big Bad University Erudite Faculty and we know better than you.”

  3. Good try. BUT, wasting his time. Since when did those in power, EVER give a rat’s behind about our safety?

    Get a clue, this University, gun grabbers, politicians of every flavor, every where, only care about their power (and money).

    This University is a small example. Simple put……..keep the serfs powerless.

  4. Great letter. Also simply issuing it is a sacrifice.

    By putting themselves out there like that it puts his son on the radar and it will be dangerous for him to “just carry anyway” which is what any adult student who has the need does anyway. And it doesn’t cause a bother or cause any problems.

  5. That letter was as much (if not more) for those in the NC State House of Representatives as for the school. Valone, as president of our state’s 2A lobbyist organization, is in the middle of fighting to get NC HB937 passed, which would be a HUGE victory for us in NC. It was scheduled for a floor vote on 4/30 but has now been twice postponed.

  6. The “disagreement gone ballistic” argument is bull. You haven’t heard of a spree of students walking up to their professor in the middle of class and bashing their skulls in with a textbook or a desk. You don’t hear about an epidemic of stabbings (with tiny knives!) or throttlings over Faulkner or field equations. If you have the self-control not to attack your arrogant, pompous windbag of a professor after you humiliates you in class and screws over your grade on a test, you’re probably not going to do it just because you have a gun instead of a 15lb textbook.

    Then again, maybe students in Utah and other places CCWers can carry on campus just don’t give as much of a crap about academic arguments.

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