Colleges and universities are sacred places of learning, and are naturally safe, right?
Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael Rao today branded as “absolutely unacceptable” six robbery-related crimes on or near campus last night and said he was pressing for a meeting later today with Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones.
Six “robbery-related” crimes in one night. To be more specific, it was actually six robberies or attempted robberies in one hour.
The first robbery was reported at 7:37 p.m. at 913 W. Franklin St. A second robbery was reported about an hour later at Laurel and Cary streets.
In addition, three attempted robberies were reported – one at 8 p.m. at Grace and Foushee streets; the second at 8:30 p.m. at Laurel and Cary streets, and the third also at about 8:30 at Cary and Belvidere streets, VCU police said.
During the same time frame, a report of a man brandishing a firearm was reported at 8 p.m. at First and Grace streets.
Police said the victims were approached by an armed black male who demanded money.
Two successful robberies, three attempted robberies, and one “brandishing” that sounds a lot like an attempted robbery (but that could be bad editing on the paper’s part). From what I can tell on Google Maps, 4 of those took place on the actual campus, and the other two were within 6 blocks of campus. They took place late enough that most classes were done with, but early enough that many students might be pulling late nights studying or working in computer labs on campus, or having a late dinner.
Yet VCU continues to ban the legal carry of concealed handguns on campus – a ban that is enshrined in the state administrative code, unlike most other universities in Virginia. We see frequently how such bans are total failures at preventing crime.
We need to allow those students who would otherwise legally carry a concealed firearm to do so even when they cross the invisible line that separates “campus” from the rest of the city. The same students who can lawfully carry anywhere else – to the grocery store, to local restaurants, or just walking down the street – and do so daily with no problems.
We need to end the ban on campus carry!
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