Shooting survivors, students rally against campus carry

FILE (AP Photo)
FILE (AP Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Survivors of some of the most deadly school shootings spent the day at the state Capital urging lawmakers not to move forward with a new, controversial gun law. If passed, it would allow people to bring guns into public college classrooms and dorms, a move some students say would alter the college atmosphere.

Colin Goddard knows what it is like to be in a classroom when an armed man bursts in and starts shooting.

“I was shot four times myself,” said Goddard. “I’ve thought about that morning every single which way.”

The 2007 Virginia Tech shooting survivor is sharing his story and pushing Texas lawmakers to allow colleges to choose for themselves when it comes to guns.

“The message is don’t remove the ability for schools to set their own decisions and policies on allowing guns in dormitories, in classrooms, science labs, etc. It’s just not the right way to go about it,” he said.

Like Goddard, some University of Texas at Austin students are hoping a few signatures they gathered from elected student government officials will be enough to stop guns from coming inside the classroom.

“Regardless of if I feel comfortable around guns or not, the general sentiment is that this would make a college campus generally unsafe,” said Jordan Pahl, a junior at UT.

At least 20 states allow some form of campus carry, and supporters say the proposal will help protect students. They say only people over the age of 21 can get a Concealed Handgun License, a fraction of college students. A Texan with a CHL can already go onto public college campuses, just not in the classroom.

“When this law passes, no one is going to know any difference or see any difference except in one situation where some bad guy decides to assault some lady or someone on campus and that person can defend and protect themselves,” said Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress.

The Texas Senate gave final approval of the measure in March. A similar bill has passed out of a House committee and is waiting for a floor vote.

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