Concealed carry at BYU


KSL announced Monday that the Salt Lake City Police Department stopped what could have been a mass shooting. A man had very specific plans to attack innocent bystanders at the City Creek Mall, Sugar House Movie Theatre and a TRAX train or UTA Bus.

I’m grateful for the police department that made this arrest. However, I’m very unsettled about the location of these recent threats. The potential shooting this time was not only in my home state, but 40 miles away from my actual location.

I feel the utmost sorrow for the victims of shootings in Oregon, Colorado, Virginia and Connecticut, but the fact that this threat was so close gives me new feelings of anxiety. We may never find a logical explanation for all the recent shootings, but we do know that the threat is real and that tragedies are happening.

I’m unsettled because I am a holder of a Utah Concealed Weapons Permit. To receive this permit, I underwent hours of firearms training and an FBI background check. Many of my fellow students have permits, too. Yet we are not allowed to conceal carry while at BYU or to have firearms in our apartments.

Concealed weapons permit holders are allowed to conceal carry at other Utah institutions, including the University of Utah, Dixie State University and Southern Utah University. Dixie State University even held drills this summer teaching students and faculty how to respond in case of a school shooting.

People can argue all day over the effects of gun control on overall crime; that is not the point. What cannot be denied is that the American people have a constitutional right to defend life and property, and we have the right to bear arms.

The policy at BYU prohibiting legal and concealed firearms is inhibiting those constitutional rights, despite the fact that BYU professors teach these rights in American heritage and other courses. It is time for a change.

Mitchell Ottesen
St. George

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