Dartmouth College student Taylor Woolrich is calling on lawmakers to allow conceal carry on campus, saying she received threats from a stalker for years.
“I hate to see these women that had the potential to protect themselves and were unable to because of legislation,” said Woolrich at the 2014 Students for Conceal Carry conference in Washington, D.C.
Students, like Woolrich, faculty members and advocates gathered at the National Press Club last summer to push for legislation that would allow students the same gun rights both off and on school property.
Woolrich told the audience that she lived in fear while at school and wanted the option to carry a gun for protection.
She said that her stalker continued to make contact on social media and email, even after she had moved across the country from San Diego to attend the Ivy League university.
Woolrich said she felt Dartmouth’s campus security was inadequate and dismissive.
“It was humiliating. They [campus security] said things like, ‘you can’t keep calling us.’ Or , ‘you can only call after nine.’ As if my stalker would only show up at night,” she said.
Dartmouth wouldn’t comment on Woolrich’s specific case because of privacy reasons, but Diana Lawrence, Director of Media Relations said in a statement that, “the safety and security of all Dartmouth students is a top priority.”
“Any student who reports being stalked is provided with individualized attention and heightened protection,” said Lawrence.
Dartmouth, like many college campuses, does not allow firearms.
“It’s terrifying to think that a policy on campus that’s supposed to keep us safe could end up putting me in grave danger or someone that I really care about,” said Woolrich.
This week, pro-gun state lawmakers are seeing the opportunity in high profile campus sexual assault cases to push for more lenient campus carry laws.
But student advocates for gun control say these proposals do nothing to stop sexual assault and are actually a cynical attempt to capitalize on difficult and often tragic events.
Students for Concealed Carry, which was founded after the killings at Virginia Tech, argues that allowing students to carry on campus has the potential to prevent crime.
“These are people trying to keep themselves safe, not cause harm,” said Robert Eager, Georgia Tech chapter of Students for Concealed Carry.