On Campus

Nevada students won't be allowed guns on campus

Some students say they need guns to protect themselves

guns by nukeit1

Photo courtesy of nukeit1 on Flickr

A Nevada bill that would have allowed students and faculty members to carry concealed weapons on campuses has died in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, reports the Las Vegas Sun. The bill died when the judiciary committee decided there wasn’t enough support to bring it up in the assembly. Nevada’s current law requires individuals to get permission from their school’s presidents to carry concealed weapons, which many presidents are loathe to allow.

Nevada is just one of many U.S. states that have recently debated whether to allow guns on campus. As of February, 38 states had banned guns at schools, 11 had laws similar to Nevada’s and one state — Utah — requires universities and colleges to allow guns. In May, the Republican-dominated Texas Senate approved a bill that will legalize guns on campus there, if it’s passed by the house.

Last month in the Nevada’s Democrat-controlled senate, where the now-dead bill passed 15 to 6, students argued that guns would help them “concentrate” on their educations. University of Nevada Reno student Amanda Collins testified that she was raped in a garage on campus, but couldn’t protect herself because the current law forced her to leave her gun at home.

Gun violence has plagued American universities, but legislators are split on how best to respond. The issue was brought to to the forefront of American politics after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, when student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured another 15 in the biggest single incidence of gun violence in U.S. history. Canadian schools, particularly those in Montreal, have experienced deadly shootings on campus too. The Dawson College shooting in 2006 left one dead and 19 others injured. The Montreal Massacre at Ecole Polytechnique in 1989 left six women dead and three others injured.

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