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Conservative journalist Katie Pavlich speaks about gun rights and sexual assault

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Katie Pavlich thinks a common myth about concealed guns is that they create a “wild, wild, west” atmosphere.

Pavlich, New York Times best-selling author and news editor for Town Magazine, spoke about students’ right to carry guns and sexual assault on college campuses in the Student Union Theater on Oct. 27. UB College Republicans and Young America’s Foundation (YAF) co-hosted the event

“It’s funny how university officials tell all of you that you’re the best and the brightest and you should come to their university and pay them lots of money because you’re responsible adults who can handle the college experience,” Pavlich said.

Pavlich said there is hypocrisy among politicians who advocate gun control, but surround themselves with heavily armed security, including Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg.

She distinguished two distinct gun cultures in the U.S., one “deeply rooted” in American history, with a respect for firearms. Pavlich said the other gun culture, which is quite distinct from law-abiding gun use are the violent inner cities.

“Ironically, the worst violence occurs in these cities with the strictest gun laws. It is the same violence culture promoted in Hollywood films by liberals and in music worshipped by those in violent gangs,” Pavlich said. “In cities like Chicago, the breakdown of the family, lack of firearms education and a missing respect for proper firearms use is to blame for violent gun culture in addition to criminals committing crimes.”

Ashley Gates, a senior political science major who attended the discussion, said it is important to consider the larger picture and why these communities have experienced “breakdown of the family.”

“This blame on Chicago being this crime-ridden area with [bad] families and all that, there’s reasons for that, there’s legislation that put those men in jail, this has been created, so I don’t know it just needs to be thought about why it started and what we can do to fix it,” Gates said.

Gates said she considers herself a Republican, but not necessarily conservative and doesn’t think the two labels need to be considered interchangeable.

“I don’t necessarily like the fact that everyone on each side needs to fight each other so I just want to see what everyone has to say, I’m kind of disappointed on how everyone is just bashing each other on both sides,” Gates said.

Gene Doyle, a senior medicinal chemistry major that also attended the event, said he supports students’ right to carry on campus. When looking at examples like Virginia Tech and Columbine, Doyle said people on school campuses tend to be “swamped” in one area, totally defenseless.

“I think if you receive the proper training and you have the proper documentation, you should be allowed to carry and use your permit on-campus,” Doyle said. “When I had to go through that training, I mean it was rigorous and it took time; it’s an arduous process and I think you learn a lot during it.”

Pavlich advocated for automatic and semi-automatic weapons and referenced historical examples such as the L.A. riots when they were used to save lives.

“When [bureaucrats] dictate to us about how many rounds we’re allowed to have in our guns, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” Pavlich said. “Not to mention, this isn’t about need at all, this is about the right to take your own safety into your hands.”

Pavlich said women need to be able to protect themselves in dangerous situations when law enforcement or other aid is too late.

“There’s no data to support that argument and in fact in places where people have laws allowing concealed carry and you’re not sure if someone has a gun, people tend to act a little more politely, because they might get shot,” Pavlich said. “That’s just the way it is.”

She said the danger of a firearm is like anything else dangerous – it requires education and respect. Pavlich said teaching children about firearms is no different from teaching them not to drink bleach under the sink or go near a pool without an adult.

“It is empowering to be responsible for your own safety and to exercise your second amendment rights, it’s part of your history and nobody has a right to turn you into a victim,” Pavlich said.

Sarah Crowley is the assistant news editor and can be reached at sarah.crowley@ubspectrum.com. Follow her on Twitter at @crowley_spectrum


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