Your Education or Your Life? Stalking Victim is Told That She Can’t Carry A Gun on Campus

Dartmouth College is so squeamish about guns that they are refusing to let a stalking victim have an exception to carry a gun on their precious “gun-free zone” campus.

Right now, Taylor Woolrich is safe because her stalker is currently in jail for violating the restraining order she had on him. This was not a domestic violence case – this is a scarily obsessed stalker.

Woolrich was 16 years old and working in a San Diego café when she says a man came in to buy coffee and then kept returning throughout the day, staring at her for long periods of time and trying to flirt with her. The man, 67-year-old Richard Bennett, kept this up for days, she says, even sitting outside the store for an entire day and then following her home, demanding that she talk to him and saying he was “trying to protect her.”

She filed a restraining order, but it did little to keep Bennett away. Woolrich says he constantly harassed her during her first two years at Dartmouth, stalking her on social media and sending messages in which he “promised” to fly across the country to see her at college.

“I thought they were empty threats, but when I came home from school last summer, he was at my front door within eight hours of my plane landing,” she said. “That’s when I realized how serious it was.”

Woolrich and her family called the police, and Bennett was arrested. A search of his car uncovered a slip noose, a knife, gloves and other items.

If convicted of felony stalking and the violation of the restraining order, Bennett could spend up to four years in prison. However, because he could make bail, Taylor Woolrich looked into protecting herself and not just waiting for her stalker to show up on her doorstep again. Dartmouth College, however, would rather take the risk and let her be a victim instead.

But Dartmouth administrators told her she was “absolutely not” allowed to carry a weapon on campus. She says she tried to plead her case and was told to speak with several campus officials, all of whom provided little to no help.

“There’s no option. There’s no one to go to. They don’t want to hear my case,” she said.

Woolrich says Dartmouth’s Department of Safety and Security told her that instead of carrying a gun, she should call campus security and arrange for an escort if she felt unsafe after dark. But she says she was often asked to justify her requests when she called, and security officers gave her a hard time for calling often.

“What they don’t understand is that it’s not enough,” she says. “Stalkers just don’t only show up after dark. Unless they have an armed guard in front of my dorm room, I’m not sure how safe I will be. I don’t think there’s much an unarmed guard can do.”

Dartmouth officials declined to comment on Woolrich’s situation, but they said their strict weapons policy is necessary.

No, their strict weapons policy is a coward’s line to make themselves feel better about “keeping students safe.” We all know that crazy stalkers always obey the laws, especially those restraining orders that were supposed to keep them away in the first place.

This never works with bad guys.

How many times have women been told to simply call for help if the bad guys come to the door? The always-reliable gun grabbers at Everytown for Gun Safety tried recently to convince people to #SaveWomensLives with what was possibly the best advertisement EVER for buying a gun for self-defense.

Restraining orders are a necessary part of the legal system. But they are not a bulletproof shield. And college campuses have been the site of violent crimes even WITH those “gun-free zone” policies. Take all of the school shootings that make the news out of the equation – here is one case, from my own alma mater, where a restraining order and a gun-free zone meant that Rebecca Griego was a defenseless victim on the day her ex-boyfriend decided to break the law.

On the morning of Monday, April 2, 2007, the deranged ex-boyfriend of University of Washington employee Rebecca Jane Griego (1981-2007) kills her at the UW’s Gould Hall before fatally shooting himself. Griego, a Colorado native who had been working at the UW since her undergraduate graduation in 2004, had warned colleagues about her attacker and had petitioned for a protection order in King County Superior Court. But Jonathan Rowan (1966-2007) — who had a warrant for an ongoing drunken driving case, who was wanted for questioning in a Seattle theft investigation, and who for years had eluded immigration officials with an expired 90-day visa — could not be located before the shooting.

From what we know, Rebecca Griego never attempted to get permission from the University of Washington to arm herself at work, or even arm herself at home. But groups like Everytown for Gun Safety constantly push the idea that calling the police to come and defend you in an emergency. But as they showed in their own ad, the police are not fairies or State Farm agents that magically appear when you call for help. Any responsible and logical person realizes that.

Taylor Woolrich does not want to be the next Rebecca Griego, and has already stated that if her stalker gets out, she will leave school. Dartmouth doesn’t care that she will leave school in order to protect herself. So long as their precious politically correct sensibilities are not offended by someone who sought to follow the law and protect herself, they don’t care. And they won’t care until someone ends up dying because they insisted that their “gun-free zone” policy was more important than a human life.

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Ava Gardner