Jeff Knox: GRPC ’09

        One of the challenges of GRPC is the fast pace and very short time allotted to each speaker.  The topic of my panel was "Expanding Self-Defense and Right to Carry."  The point I wanted to make is that we, as a movement, have fallen into bad habits of using the language of our opponents to frame the debate and by so doing we weaken our case.  When we use phrases like "arming teachers" and "arming students," or say things like "responsible, licensed citizens should be allowed to carry guns in National parks…" we are undermining our own position.  There should be no debate about whether you have the right to defend yourself and your family.  There should be no question whether you have the right to have the means available to effectively accomplish such defense if needed.  Therefore there should be no talk of "allowing" or of "arming," but rather talk of "banning" and "disarming."  It is wrong that the means for effective self-defense is banned from college campuses simply because they are college campuses.  It is wrong that qualified students and faculty who take responsibility for their own protection everywhere else in their lives are disarmed simply because they are on a college campus.

        If we wish to expand self-defense and recognition of the right to carry, the first thing we must do is make sure that the language we use to frame the debate recognizes these as RIGHTS, not priviledges.