Students rally against campus guns bill

April 16, 2009 4:15:21 PM PDT
If some state lawmakers have their way, students will be able to carry concealed handguns on Texas college campuses. This is the second anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre where a gunman went on a shooting rampage, killing 32 people on the college campus before taking his own life.

It's that tragedy that some say is why Texas should have this legislation, but hundreds of college students marched on Austin with a different argument.

Chanting anti-gun slogans, hundreds of University of Texas students walked out of class shortly before noon. They gathered at the steps of the state capitol hoping to send a message that they don't want guns on campus.

"I just hope the Texas Legislature listens to us, it's not just our school, it's all the schools across Texas," said UT student Steve Gohoke.

The proposed legislation would allow licensed students and professors to carry guns on college campus. Supporters constantly point to the devastating Virginia Tech shootings as a reason to pass the bill.

"If someone had a CHL license, a professor or someone with authority had a CHL license, they might have been able to prevent some deaths," said State Representative Charlie Howard of Sugar Land.

But one of the organizers of the student rally graduated from Virginia Tech. John Woods still remembers the day his friends and classmates were killed.

"One close friend never saw him come in, if she had had a gun, she would still be dead," he told us.

Woods rang a bell in honor of those who died at Virginia Tech. Today on the anniversary of that tragedy, he and others are hoping the legislature listens to them.

"If we want to be safer, let's focus on prevention, not reaction, police, mental health background checks," Woods advised.

This particular bill passed a state House committee but has not been scheduled for a floor debate in the state House yet. If it passes there, it will have to go to the Senate.

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