College student wants right to carry gun on campus

Taylor Woolrich shares her story of being stalked

VISTA, Calif. - A San Diego woman has sparked a national conversation after speaking publicly about her frightening experience being stalked by an El Cajon man.

Taylor Woolrich wants college students to have the right to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

"I deserve to feel safe and know that if something did happen, I have the ability to protect myself and those around me," Woolrich said.

Woolrich shared what it's like being stalked and afraid for her life at the Students for Concealed Carry's national conference in Washington, D.C.

The Dartmouth student was denied her request to carry a gun on campus. Instead, college officials told her to call for a security escort.

"I got responses like, 'You can't keep calling us all the time,' or 'You can only call after 9:00 p.m.' I'd like to say my stalker doesn't care what time of day it is," Woolrich said.

The conference marked the first time the San Diego native has spoken out about her encounters with Richard Bennett. Woolrich said she met him while working at a Lakeside coffee shop in late 2010 and claims the man would show up at places she was visiting.

After multiple restraining orders, Woolrich's family moved to Ramona to hide from him, but she said he showed up there anyway.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Bennett and say they found knives, duct tape, rope and other items they believe could have been used to rape the victim.

In a jailhouse interview with 10News, Bennett maintained his innocence.

"I am innocent as the day is long," Richard Bennett said.

Despite Bennett being in jail, Woolrich said she still fears for her life and is now advocating for legislation that would allow her to carry a concealed weapon on her college campus.

A spokesman for Students for Concealed Carry said Woolrich's experience has brought awareness to the issue that schools are not inherently safe places.

"What we're saying is this invisible line that isn't keeping criminals from bringing illegal weapons onto campus, that isn't stopping crimes from happening on campus and shouldn't prevent law abiding students from protecting themselves on campus," Zach Zalneraitis said.

In the meantime, Woolrich said she plans to get a gun because she doesn't want to take the risk of not having one.

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