But, since Virginia Tech, 12 states are considering bills that would allow students to have concealed weapons permits at public universities.
Helping push the effort is Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, an Internet-based group, which claims to have 11,000 members, reports USA Today. From April 21 to 25, the group will hold a nationwide protest by getting students to wear empty holsters to class.
Some states, including Virginia, are considering legislation to require public colleges and universities to notify a parent if a student is deemed a danger to himself or others. This did not happen in the case of Virginia Tech shooter Seung Hui Cho, although the issue is being hotly debated by privacy advocates.
The U.S. Senate recently passed a bill that would call on school administrators to contact parents if a student is considered a harm to themselves or others. It is awaiting action by the House.
Questions remain as to how much can be done to prevent a gunman intent on wreaking havoc on college campuses, which pride themselves on their openness.
"You know, I wish I could tell you that there was a panacea for this kind of thing, but you've noticed that there's been multiple shootings all over this country within the last six months," NIU Police Chief Don Grady told reporters. "It's a horrendous circumstance, and ... it's unlikely that anyone would ever have the ability to stop an incident like this from beginning."