Debate in Washington State over Whether to Create or eliminate Gun-Free Zones
The bill offered by Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, would ban weapons at colleges that host high school students. That would include community colleges that offer the Running Start program, and universities when high school students are touring.
In response to Murray's bill, Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, introduced her own measure that would prohibit universities from banning concealed weapons. Her argument is that people with permits to carry weapons would make campuses safer. Most universities now ban weapons on campus, but that is not a state law. . . .
But Roach declared, "Based on the policy of the last 30 years, it may be evident that this is a failed policy, there have been 38 college and school shootings since the prohibition of guns in schools was enacted. There were only two recorded during the 150 years preceding that prohibition." . . .
"I want to make sure the record reflects that Virginia Tech was a gun free zone, and results (were) painfully predictable," said Brian Judy, testifying for the National Rifle Association. "Only the victims were gun free."
But gun foes said guns on campuses would create more trouble.
"Well-intentioned people who have firearms and want to save the day often end up adding to the violence of the situation or becoming victims themselves," said Kristen Comer, executive director of Washington Cease Fire. "Any time we start to get into the area of vigilante justice, it's a bit precarious."
I think that I have an easy response to Kristen Comer's concern below about what might go wrong with allowing concealed handguns onto campuses: its called experience. Why do we have to debate about what might happen when we have a lot of experience about what actually happens in these circumstances?