Arizona legislature OKs guns on campus
Arizona's legislature passed a bill Thursday to allow guns on the streets and sidewalks of public college campuses. Texas is also considering a broader bill to allow guns in campus buildings.
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In Texas, two Senate Democrats who had originally supported the guns-on-campus bill withdrew their support this week after being bombarded with opposition from constituents and college officials.Skip to next paragraph
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Alcohol use and depression among college students increase the potential for violent outcomes, he says, if weapons are introduced into the mix.
Homicides are rare on campuses – an average of fewer than 20 a year nationwide – which counters the argument that guns are needed for self-defense, Fox says. Even if there is an attack, “in the heat of the moment, most gun owners are ill-prepared for such a panic situation,” he says, and having attackers and victims both drawing guns would make it harder for police to intervene.
Students for Concealed Carry, a national grassroots organization, counters such arguments. Since 2006, in Utah and at two campuses in Colorado and Virginia that allow concealed weapons, there haven’t been any incidents of gun violence, the group’s website says. It also notes that police are trained to discern who an assailant is, even if some of the victims are armed.
Bills like those currently pending in Arizona, Texas, and about half a dozen other states “remove the idea that college is some sort of magical zone where people should not be allowed to protect themselves,” says David Burnett, the Kentucky-based president of Students for Concealed Carry.
This week, the group’s members have been wearing empty holsters to class, their signature yearly protest to signify how defenseless they feel when licensed gun owners aren’t allowed to bring them to campus.
The measure now on the governor's desk is one of a series of bills to scale back gun control that have been working their way through the Arizona state legislature. Gun issues are particularly hotly debated in Arizona in light of the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six and wounded US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.