Concealed Gun Bill Sparks Debate

'Relatively Few' Campus Shootings Per Year

Both Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and Woods have difficulty citing statistics for gun injuries because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention no longer budgets to produce the data. The occurrence is also rare, according to the Virginia Tech report.

"The numbers of shootings on campuses are relatively few -- about 16 a year at approximately 4,000 colleges and universities," the report said. No stereotypical profile exists for someone who would want to commit such a crime.

"Some say that school shooters are cowards," Woods said. "That means we have no profile on school shooters."

The Virginia Tech report recommends that guns be banned on college grounds and in the buildings unless overturned by law. The Students for Concealed Carry on Campus' pro-gun proposal has garnered national attention, however, with group members featured on "Good Morning America," ABC Nightly News, Fox News and the BBC.

"We have [Students for Concealed Carry on Campus] members in all 50 states, some in the U.K, and some in Canada," said Guzman. "Currently there are 11 public universities that allow concealed carry on campus: Colorado State University and the public college system of Utah."

Colorado University remains the only other university to enact a gun ban on campus using student legislation. The state of Georgia saw a concealed weapons law pass at the end of 2008.

Guzman stressed that the requirements to get licensed prevents just anyone from having a gun and that the Virginia Tech gunman would not have passed.

"You have to be licensed, certified, and the requirements are very stringent," Guzman said. "Any type of infraction above a minor traffic violation will get your license revoked."

'We Have No Way of Defending Ourselves'

"For a long time, campuses [have been] basically disarmed," said graduate student Norman Horn. "We have no way of defending ourselves. We are victims from the beginning. If we do allow concealed weapons on campus, we will be able to protect ourselves."

UT Student Government President Keshav Rajigopalan said he sees both sides of the issue, but ultimately feels guns should not have a place in an educational setting.

"In their [the students'] view, there is a sort of sanctity and sacredness in a classroom," Rajigopalan said. "That is not the equivalent of a movie theater. That is not the equivalent of a grocery store."

If the Texas legislature passes the bill, Wood's resolution automatically is voided and the law takes effect within the next session of Texas public colleges.

"Not only would the bill be introduced to allow guns on campus, it would strip colleges of their ability to ban guns on campus," Woods said. "In other words, you can't bring a calculator or a hat to a math test, but you can bring a gun."

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