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New college divestment campaign targets ‘killer’ gun industry

Gun advocate says it seems like a ploy for donors

Students Demand Action, a pro-gun control advocacy group, recently launched a grassroots activism campaign that demanded all universities nationwide divest from and disassociate with the firearm industry.

The group announced its new “#KillerBusiness” campaign in partnership with Students Demand Action’s parent group, Everytown for Gun Safety.

“Students Demand Action volunteers are asking colleges and universities to cut economic ties with the gun industry until these companies take accountability for their harmful practices,” the group stated.

The College Fix reached out to Students Demand Action to ask what types of assets and investments at universities would be included in calls for divestment from the firearm industry. The group did not respond to two emailed requests for comment sent in the past week.

The group further said that “college students around the country will be organizing on their campuses to hold their schools accountable for their investments and the economic role they play in supporting a killer industry.”

The activism campaign drew criticism from a group that supports gun rights for students.

Students for Concealed Carry told The Fix on February 6 that the campaign is a “bid for relevance” and questioned the ties between higher education institutions and gun manufacturers.

“This seems like a bid for relevance from a small anti-gun group, probably to show their donors they’re ‘doing something,’” spokesperson David Burnett told The Fix via email.

“Just like their gun-grabbing policies couldn’t stop college shooters, ‘Students Demand Action’ hasn’t been very successful in stopping any of the dozen campus carry bills we’ve passed in the last decade,” Burnett said.

“Besides that, I would be very surprised to learn of heavy connections between the firearms industry and Big Academia,” Burnett said. “Maybe there’s internships from engineering programs, but that’s probably it. Frankly, I’m not sure the firearms industry wants to be associated with legacy academia either.”

The public relations director for Students Concealed Carry also told The Fix that measures to restrict guns on campus are not effective in stopping mass shootings.

Gun control has proven a failure, on college campuses. Colleges aren’t even trying to keep out would-be gunmen; probably because they can’t. It’s an utter delusion that anything they ever suggested posed a serious barrier to one of these killers. The only reason we haven’t seen a dire college shooting for a while is probably because no one wants to shoot up the campus. And small wonder, because at hundreds of colleges across the nation, people on campus aren’t forcibly disarmed by college bureaucrats usurping constitutional rights. There’s a very real chance that someone seeking notoriety through a mass murder will be shot by an armed citizen. That’s what happened with Eli Dicken. He’s college-age, and took down a mass shooter in Indiana within seconds. No one talks about the shooter now; just how brave Eli was.

Dicken is a 22-year-old Indiana man who shot and killed a mall shooter in July 2022.

Burnett said that he is proud of the role that Students for Concealed Carry has played in advocating for policies that allow guns on campus and prevent mass shootings.

He concluded by saying that campus concealed carry policies are important to ensure that individuals are protected in the tragic instance that there is a shooting.

“Campus carry isn’t about changing who can carry, but removing arbitrary and dangerous restrictions on where they can carry,” Burnett said. If there is a “psychotic shooting spree..at least [students] have a fighting chance.”

Students Demand Action also stated that “gun companies have doubled down on their business practices, placing profits over human lives and refusing to take responsibility for the violence they enable.”

It included a list of “common sense steps the gun industry can take to reduce harm: such as ending production of “AR-15s and other assault weapons that use high-capacity magazines,” and “stop producing weapons that are easily modified to make them shoot more rounds more quickly.”

MORE: Universities confirm no gun violence linked to campus carry

IMAGE: Everytown for Gun Safety/YouTube

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About the Author
Jack Applewhite -- University of Georgia