Jeremy Clark, a Villanova University law student, says the sickening spate of campus shootings, from Virginia Tech to Northern Illinois University, left him feeling vulnerable without his Glock 9mm semiautomatic handgun, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. “If I’m in a classroom where a shooting is taking place, I’d like a chance to be able to defend myself,” said the 29-year-old Army veteran from Bethlehem, Pa., who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Villanova, like nearly all colleges and universities nationwide, bans firearms on campus. A new group, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), argues that concealed-carry permit holders should be able to bring weapons to school to defend themselves and their classmates against a deranged killer.
Next month, supporters plan to wear empty holsters to class during a day of protest. At least 13 states are considering some form of legislation allowing concealed-carry on campus, says the National Conference on State Legislatures. Critics say there are many reasons why guns and colleges don’t mix. “The more guns you put on campus, the more likely they are going to be misused,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Trained police officers hit their targets only 20 percent of the time in emergency situations, he said. Not only is it unlikely that a student or teacher would be able to save the day, police responding to the scene could not tell the good guys from the bad guys. The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement does not endorse concealed-carry on campus, noting the potential for accidents or misuse.