Should Students Carry Concealed Guns on Campus?

Student leader explains why he thinks gun laws are unenforcable and don't work.

ByABC News via via logo

Feb. 16, 2008— -- Thursday's massacre on the campus of Northern Illinois University was the seventh mass shooting in the U.S. in the past month. In the almost-10 months since the nation's worst school shooting killed 33 people at Virginia Tech, debate has grown over campus security and gun laws.

Thought the majority of students and universities are pushing for tighter regulation, a vocal minority rejects the idea that tougher gun laws will make schools safer.

Michael Guzeman, the leader of the Texas chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, joined "Good Morning America Weekend" Saturday to make the case for his organization.

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus claims to have more than 12,000 members nationwide, dedicated to legalizing concealed weapons on American college campuses.

"Tougher gun laws don't deter criminals. If criminals cared what the law says, they wouldn't be called a criminal in the first place, they would be law-abiding citizens," Guzeman said.

He argues that gun laws won't help because they are unenforceable, and the recent campus shooting proves that. "In all these cases we see multiple gun laws have been violated. The campus at NIU is a gun-free zone. That's a gun law right there … you're on your honor to abide by them. Gun laws don't work."

GMAW anchor Bill Weir asked Guzeman why he thought his shot would be more accurate than that of a police officer.

"It's a different situation between civilians that are armed and police that are armed. When police respond there's multiple police officers, they're at a safer distance, 20, 30 feet away. And one officer doesn't fire, it's multiple officers firing," he said. "[If] it's one person, one criminal, a robbery, mugging, things of that sort [where] the victim is a couple feet away, you don't have to be a crack shot," Guzeman responded.

Gun advocates often point to the statistic that the in the majority of self-defense gun incidents, a shot is never fired. In their logic, simply brandishing the firearm is enough to deter the criminal.

The idea of a classroom full of armed students, though, sounds like a dangerous situation that could deteriorate quickly though.

Guzeman said that such a scenario would not happen because "only people who already have a concealed handgun license" would be armed.

"We want to give students a sense of having recourse to do something, rather than sit and pray and hope everything turns out okay and wait for the police to show up," Guzeman said.

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