Even before a gunman killed seven people and injured more than a dozen others at Northern Illinois University yesterday, what USA Today calls a small but growing movement was under way at universities and state legislatures to allow students, faculty, and staff to carry guns on campus. Twelve states are considering bills that would allow people with concealed-weapons permits to carry guns at public universities. The efforts were started after the Virginia Tech massacre last April.
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, an Internet-based organization with 11,000 members in its Facebook group, is calling attention to the issue with a protest from April 21 to 25, a week after the one-year anniversary of Virginia Tech shootings. “The only way to stop a person with a gun is another person with a gun,” says University of Cincinnati sophomore Michael Flitcraft, 23, a mechanical engineering major who has a license to carry guns but is prohibited from bringing one onto the campus. The state House in South Dakota approved a bill last week that overturns the policy of the state’s six public universities barring guns on campus. Bills are pending in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.