The national gun debate turned to college campuses after a San Diego woman gave a speech to an activist gathering in Washington D.C., this week criticizing her Ivy League college for not letting her carry a concealed weapon to protect herself from a longtime stalker, reports U-T San Diego. Taylor Woolrich, a 20-year-old junior at Dartmouth College, said she asked university officials to make an exception to their campus gun ban because she feared an attack from Richard Bennett, 67, who she said started stalking her when she was 16.
Bennett was arrested by San Diego County sheriff's deputies in June and is in jail on suspicion of stalking with a court order in effect and possessing a firearm while under a restraining order. “I deserve to feel safe and know that if something did happen that I'd have the ability to protect myself and those around me,” Woolrich told Students for Conceal Carry and the Crime Prevention Research Center. She was a part of a panel that included other stalking victims and a mother whose daughter was killed in the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. Dartmouth doesn't allow people to carry handguns on campus, like most universities. Dartmouth officials wouldn't address any specific student's situation. College officials cited a policy statement from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities that says, “Even with the best of intentions, armed students or employees could escalate an already explosive situation further, accidentally cause harm or use a gun in a situation that is not warranted.”