Firearms

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 11:31am

Guns could soon be allowed on Texas college campuses.

If legislation currently in this year's Texas Legislative Session passes, college campuses may no longer be gun-free zones.

What some lawmakers think will help make students feel safer may do just the opposite.

"I'm not too fond of my classmates carrying around guns just because how do you insure proper training and mental stability of students on campus?" said Ryan Posey, a sophomore at University of Texas at Arlington.

Mass shootings like the Virginia Tech massacre are what prompted some lawmakers to say students should be able to defend themselves against gunmen.

"It's kind of like a wolf to sheep, you know. I would rather be one of the sheep that can take care of myself. I don't want to be at the mercy of someone that's going to take my life," said Juan Ricardo, who supports the legislation.

"I think there just needs to be better security to keep the weapons off the campus. It's not the responsibility of the students to defend themselves against a person with a gun," said Posey, who believes guns have no business in a classroom.

The bill is still in committee and has not been voted on by the House or Senate, but it has broad support in the Legislature, including support from Governor Rick Perry, who carries a gun.

Some students say knowing guns are on campus will make them feel more at ease.

"I probably would feel a lot safer because you think the normal person that would actually own a gun and actually take the time to carry it with them, take a concealed carry class, they're going to be a more responsible gun owner," said Rachel Avra, a UTA senior.

Another argument against the proposed legislation is the collateral damage that could ensue.

"For a person who is not a police officer, an average everyday citizen, there's got to be reaction time. There may be a sense of panic. They may overreact," said Dr. Randall Butler, a criminology professor at the University of Texas Arlington. "If they just start shooting at the shooter, they may hit other people in the same process."

The UTA Criminology Department will host a debate on the issue on February 24th.
 

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