COMMON SENSE WINS: School Campus Carry Picks Up Steam Across America

It’s interesting that truth and common sense are winning in this fight to arm students and teachers on campus. After the shooting in Newtown, Conn. officials tried to figure out what would help protect students. What do you know…being armed and able to stop a shooter is the best way to protect people:

Momentum on the issue actually started picking up in the wake of the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, when people raced to figure out the best way to protect school campuses from such massacres. “After that, we really started to see the K-12 schools looking at it,” Mr. Arnold said. “We have at least 70 school districts that have teacher carry one way or the other.”

Amid a spate of shootings across the country in 2015, including several at colleges, many states now are pushing legislation to allow concealed weapons to be carried on campuses so that students and faculty can defend themselves.

It’s the latest instance of both gun control and pro-Second Amendment supporters taking their fight away from Capitol Hill, where action on firearms is stalled, and to the states, where lawmakers are feverishly debating and writing new policies.

The most high-profile example is Texas, where lawmakers passed a bill that will allow people to carry guns on public university campuses starting Aug. 1, 2016, with some exceptions and carve-outs.

“Texas was a big victory for us this year,” said Michael Newburn, a spokesman for the group Students for Concealed Carry.

More than a dozen states saw bills introduced to allow for concealed weapons on public school campuses. Texas was the only state to adopt the policy, and the issue is still pending in Ohio.

California, however, pushed the other way. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to ban concealed weapons at elementary, secondary and college campuses.

Andy Pelosi, a spokesman for the group Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus, said while his side succeeded in heading off most of the efforts, they don’t think they’ve won the issue by any means.

“I think our side had a very successful year defeating legislation, but we know that these victories tend to be temporary, as the gun lobby will and does refile bills in most of these states,” Mr. Pelosi said.

The shooting spree that killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon in October drew increased attention to the issue, as did campus shooting incidents in Arizona and Texas.

But Larry Arnold, director of the Texas Concealed Handgun Association, says momentum on the issue actually started picking up in the wake of the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, when people raced to figure out the best way to protect school campuses from such massacres.

“After that, we really started to see the K-12 schools looking at it,” Mr. Arnold said. “We have at least 70 school districts that have teacher carry one way or the other.”

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