As you may know, our oldest daughter, Aubrey, is now a senior in college and this past April she turned 21. My gift to her was a 9mm handgun because I know it’s not an especially safe world out there. I will not have my daughter be a victim in any case, and she doesn’t have her own personal security detail (PSD) so her safety is a personal responsibility — and a right. So when I heard about the story of 20-year-old Taylor Woolrich, a Dartmouth student, it kinda hit home.
As reported by Fox News, Woolrich “may have to give up her Ivy League dream and drop out of school because the prestigious college won’t allow her to carry a gun — to protect herself against a predator. Taylor Woolrich, a junior, says Dartmouth administrators told her they won’t let her carry a gun on campus, even though she lives in fear of a man who has been stalking her since she was a high school student in San Diego.
“It’s absolutely unfair,” Woolrich said about her attempts to have the school make an exception to its weapons ban. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with.” Her story has been going on since she was 16 in San Diego when 67-year-old Richard Bennett started giving overt attention to Taylor at the cafe where she worked. Bennett would keep this up for days, she says, even sitting outside the store for an entire day and then following her home, demanding that she talk to him and saying he was “trying to protect her.”
I have to tell you, this dad would have made sure Mr. Bennett was “dancing with the devil by the pale moon light.” While Taylor did get a restraining order placed on Bennett, he continued his stalking via social media and threatened to travel across country.
“I thought they were empty threats, but when I came home from school last summer, he was at my front door within eight hours of my plane landing,” Woolrich said. “That’s when I realized how serious it was.” Woolrich and her family called the police, and Bennett was arrested. A search of his car uncovered a slip noose, a knife, gloves and other items. Bennett is currently in jail in San Diego County, accused of violating the restraining order and felony stalking, as well as other charges. His next court date is Aug. 20. If convicted, his maximum sentence would be four years, according to Fox.
Woolrich says she inquired about obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon in California and learned that the minimum age to get one is 21, though exceptions can be made under special circumstances. She says the Sheriff’s Licensing Division told her she could qualify, and she learned the same exception can be granted in New Hampshire, where Dartmouth is located.
But Dartmouth has slammed the door shut on Woolrich. Officials declined to comment on Woolrich’s situation, but said their strict weapons policy is necessary.
Woolrich says Dartmouth’s Department of Safety and Security told her that instead of carrying a gun, she should call campus security and arrange for an escort if she felt unsafe after dark. But she says she was often asked to justify her requests when she called, and security officers gave her a hard time for calling often.
“What they don’t understand is that it’s not enough,” she says. “Stalkers just don’t only show up after dark. Unless they have an armed guard in front of my dorm room, I’m not sure how safe I will be. I don’t think there’s much an unarmed guard can do.”
Dartmouth is a private institution so it is going to be herculean for Ms. Woolrich to get any special consideration. Her case reminds me of Shaneen Allen in New Jersey, the young black single mom who had been robbed twice and now faces three years in prison for having a legal gun and concealed carry permit when she ventured into New Jersey and was stopped on a traffic violation.
Once again, it appears the liberal progressive gun control agenda outweighs women’s protection. This is the real War on Women.
So where is Sandra Fluke, Nancy Pelosi, or Debbie Wasserman-Schultz speaking on behalf of Ms. Woolrich? Heck, where is Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson for Shaneen Allen? Nah, not the right issue for liberal progressives to champion. So, if Ms. Allen is sentenced to three years in prison, or would have been killed in a violent crime — crickets. And if Ms. Woolrich is attacked — silence. It’s more politically advantageous to talk about income inequality or contraception — what about the most basic right for these two women: their life?
Do I think we need gunned-up college students? Probably not, but there is evidence that casts doubt on the fear mongers. Campus security officials should be able to develop commonsense special waivers for certain cases. Fox reports that “the pro-gun rights Crime Prevention Research Center, in a study published on Monday, said there have been no reported problems or issues with college-age permit holders on campuses in the nine states – Colorado, Florida,Wisconsin, Utah, Pennsylvania,Oregon, Mississippi, Kansas and Idaho – whose laws mandate that students and others be permitted to carry concealed handguns on public college grounds.”
The simple assessment is this: liberal progressives love victims. But constitutional conservatives love victors, and advocating for the rights of Americans to protect themselves.