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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wall Street Journal Covers Issue of Campus Carry

Campus carry suffered set backs in an number of states where it was introduced this year. Texas had looked like it was going to be the best opportunity this year but the bill died at the end of the legislative session. The Wall Street Journal ran an article (this link will only be good for seven days) on the subject this morning. Some points of interest:

Gun-rights advocates have won victories in several states in recent months allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons in public parks, taverns and their work places.

So it came as a surprise to Tennessee state Rep. Stacey Campfield that he couldn't persuade his colleagues to pass a law allowing students at public colleges to carry concealed firearms on campus. The bill died this spring in the Republican-controlled legislature -- one of 34 straight defeats nationwide for people who believe a gun wouldn't be out of place in a college student's knapsack.

Colin Goddard, a 21-year-old junior at the time (of the Virginia Tech shooting), was shot four times in a classroom where his teacher and 11 fellow students were killed. Not long afterward, Mr. Goddard began speaking out against guns on campus, and he is now an intern at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington.

Another former Virginia Tech student, John Woods, whose girlfriend was killed in the shootings, helped lead the fight this spring against the bill in Texas, where he is now a graduate student at the University of Texas.

I agree with the Journal reporter that Texas will likely be the best chance to pass a campus carry bill since Utah's bill which passed in 2004. For the effort to be successful in other states, proponents will have to overcome the emotional arguments that campuses should be places where people can be free from guns. For some reason, that sentiment seems to escape those who have used a gun to commit a crime on a college campus.

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