Is the answer to mass shootings on college campuses to arm students and staff? Eight states are considering legislation that would allow people to carry a concealed handgun into the lecture hall, the library or the dorm. Ground zero for the debate is Texas, where a proposed law would remove “premises of higher education” as gun-free zones.
“Right now, so-called gun-free zones, I think, ought to be renamed Victims Zones,” says state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, a San Antonio Republican who is sponsoring a bill that would allow handguns on campuses. “I just don’t want to see a repeat in Texas of what happened at Virginia Tech.”
Wentworth was referring to the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007, when a student killed 32 people on campus and injured many others before turning the gun on himself.
Last September, the University of Texas at Austin had its own scare. Colton Tooley, a 19-year-old math major wearing a dark suit and ski mask, started shooting an AK-47 assault weapon in the air, then ran into a library and committed suicide. No one else was shot. Campus police were praised for their quick response.
Wentworth and other supporters of the proposed law say a citizen with a handgun can possibly take out a campus shooter before police arrive “because when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”
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I’m sorry, but I feel like this is crazy business. If there was a shooter, and someone did have a gun in a large lecture hall to try to take him out — what if they are a terrible shot and only hurt more people?