Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shooting at UT Revives Debate Over Guns on Campus

As most people not only in the Austin area but around the country are aware, on Tuesday the University of Texas at Austin was the stage for yet another incident of gun violence on the grounds of a college campus. In this instance, the lone gunman fired several rounds with an AK-47 and ended the attack by turning the weapon on himself. No other students were harmed during the frightening incident and campus authorities and police have been commended for their quick and thorough response in notifying the student body of the threat.

In addition to the questions about why nineteen-year-old student Colton Tooley brought a gun onto campus that day and why he took his own life, little time passed before the topic of allowing concealed weapons on campus was revived across the state. A state bill that would have lifted such a ban failed to make it through the State Senate last year.

Coincidentally, John Lott, professor and author of the best-selling book More Guns, Less Crime was scheduled to speak on campus on the day of the attacks. His appearance was not cancelled, but instead moved to a nearby bookstore, and Mr. Lott used the deadly events of that morning to emphasize his theory that a armed student body would make campus even safer.

We probably will be hearing arguments in our state capital for and against concealed weapons on college campuses, prompted in part by this latest attack. Where do you fall on the issue? Should students be allowed to obtain a permit to carry a gun on campus? Or, do you think the presence of weapons on our campuses should continue to be illegal?