The Norman Transcript

Opinion

March 21, 2014

Campuses should remain gun-free

NORMAN — Ever since the deadly shooting at Virginia Tech University in spring 2007, state legislators have been trying to arm more college students while they are on campus.

The theory is that one student — trained in weapon use — could have taken out a shooter before the death toll rises. (Thirty-two students died at Virginia Tech before the shooter took his own life.)

Legislatures, including Oklahoma, have debated whether students with permits to carry weapons — concealed or otherwise — should be allowed to do so on public university campuses.

Each session, for the past six years, Oklahoma lawmakers have either discussed or introduced legislation that would have allowed licensed permit holders to bring their weapons to campus.

The Oklahoma House this past week passed legislation allowing licensed handgun owners to carry weapons on campus without prior written consent.

It’s now up to the Senate to slow this one down.

It’s become something of a wedge issue between lawmakers and college presidents. Some think it could become a funding carrot. We hope that doesn’t happen.

In an active shooter scenario, police won’t be able to distinguish between the perpetrator and the would-be hero. Anyone holding a weapon will be at risk of being shot by law enforcement.

These bills were misguided when they were first introduced six years ago, and they haven’t gotten any better since.

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