Newsweek Interviews Students for Concealed Carry on Campus
It was a sickeningly familiar scene. A student-gunman opened fire Thursday during a lecture at Northern Illinois University, killing five and wounding 15 before turning the gun on himself. The deadly spree was the fifth school shooting this week—and a traumatic reminder that for all the efforts to improve campus security nationwide since the massacre at Virginia Tech last year, students and faculty remain disturbingly vulnerable.
A nonprofit organization called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus would like to change that. The group, whose 12,000 members nationwide include college students, faculty and parents, champions legislation that would allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons on campus, in the hope that an alert and well-trained citizen could stop a deranged shooter before he or she could do serious damage. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 13 states are currently considering some form of "concealed carry" legislation aimed at campuses. Utah is the group's model; after a state Supreme Court ruling found that the state university had violated a law allowing permit holders to carry concealed weapons, the school agreed that guns could legally be carried on its grounds. Some states, like Colorado, do not explicitly ban licensed students and faculty from carrying hidden weapons onto school grounds, though most universities in such states impose restrictions of their own.
There are signs that the "concealed carry" group was making headway even before the tragedy at Northern Illinois. Earlier this month the South Dakota House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to force state universities to allow students to carry weapons on campus, according to GOP state Rep. Tom Brunner. The bill, which Brunner sponsored, recently died in the state senate, but Brunner said he intends to bring it back as soon as he can. "It's not an issue that's going to go away," Brunner said. "We feel pretty passionate [that] students and teachers should have a right to defend themselves, and weapons on campus should be a part of the plan." . . .
Those interested in joining Students for Concealed Carry on Campus can do so at facebook here. The group has a second national protest coming up from April 21 to 25th.
Thanks to Rich for sending the link from Newsweek to me.