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Afraid at Dartmouth: A stalker and a gun ban

At Dartmouth College, a young woman fears for her life. Junior Taylor Woolrich, 20, has a stalker. In San Diego, where she is from, he has tormented her for four years, she said. She wants to carry a gun in case he finds her on campus, which he has threatened to do. The college will not let her.

Woolrich made international news last week when she told her story during a Students for Concealed Carry conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. When police arrested the man she has identified as her stalker, they say they found a “rape kit” in his vehicle. Woolrich says the college refuses to let her carry a handgun for her own protection. She has called campus security for an escort so often that she says they have told her to call only after 9 p.m., as if stalkers keep evening business hours.

“What if today is the day he finds out I live in a gun-free zone?” she said at the event last week. “I’m constantly wondering, ‘What if?’ because I have no way to protect myself.”

After Newtown, President Obama ordered a massive federal study of gun violence in America. When it was released, he ignored it in part because it concluded that studies “have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.” That is, armed crime victims suffer fewer and less severe injuries than unarmed crime victims.

It is understandable that college administrators want to keep guns off campus. But gun bans don’t do that. Nor do they keep students safe from rape, assault, or worse. If Dartmouth will not let Woolrich arm herself, the least it could do is provide her with an escort.

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