Should Guns Be Legal On College Campuses?

By: Pachatta Pope Email
By: Pachatta Pope Email

The shooter in the Virginia Tech massacre bought the guns he used legally.

Dave Burdett owner of Burdett and Son Outdoor Adventure Shop says Virginia gun laws could not have prevented what happened.

"Laws aren't going to stop people from doing that," Burdett said.

Burdett believes Virginia Tech students with concealed hand gun licenses should be able to carry guns on campus. He says if they had--it might have lowered the death toll.

"It's not unlikely that one or more of those people might have had a hand gun to fight back, had they been legally entitled to do so," Burdett said.

Last year, the Virginia legislature considered a bill which would stop most universities in the state from prohibiting or regulating gun possession on campus by college students with valid concealed handgun permits. The bill was voted down.

Donnie Ohana and Connie Donnellan, students at Texas A&M, believe that bill could have given those students a fighting chance at survival in that situation.

"If you do not have something to counter the threat at that level it's going to be impossible to over come it," Ohana said.

"If you have, you know, any of the various personal defense weapon like you're going lose when it comes to a gun," said Donnellan.

But other students do not believe guns will make campuses safer.

A&M student, Andrew Sullens holds a concealed handgun license. He says even though he is able to legally carry a gun in some places, a university campus should not necessarily be one of them.

"As far as a security stand point that's a good thought, but for the general safety of others, you know, I think there's other measures that can be taken," Sullens said.

Fellow Aggie, Ryan Rieger says he agrees with most universities' policy not to allow guns on school grounds. He says having guns easily accessible could increase violent situations on campuses if individuals reacted in haste during disagreements on campus.

"I think it's best not to have them on campus and have them prohibited, that way you don't have that likelihood of it happening more often."

According to Texas A&M University policy: all firearms, illegal knives and weapons are prohibited, both on the physical campus and on any grounds or buildings where a university activity is being held.

However, Burdett thinks, an individual with a permit to carry a gun could put any criminal on the spot.

"He doesn't know whose got a concealed had gun to fight back and who doesn't," Burdett said.


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