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Univ. of Missouri Students Unite to Oppose Guns on Campus

Student leaders from the University of Missouri, along with college
administrators, gun violence prevention advocates, and state lawmakers joined
together to oppose HB
, a bill that would force concealed and loaded guns onto college and
university campuses.

The gun lobby’s dangerous legislation would completely strip the right and
ability of Missouri’s higher education system from deciding for itself how to
protect the safety and security of its students, faculty and staff. Student
leaders and university administrators lashed out at such an audacious power grab
by the gun lobby to weaken safety at Missouri’s public colleges and

(Watch KRCH Ch. 13's coverage)

“I am strongly against any legislation that would allow concealed weapons to
be carried onto college campuses,” said Sen. Jeff Smith (D-4). “College is
wonderful but it doesn’t come without stress, anxiety, and uncertainty.
Combining these volatile emotions, binge drinking, and guns will not have
positive results. Over 40% of all college students are binge drinkers according
to Department of Health and Human Services, and bringing guns into this
tumultuous campus culture will only increase the already high number of
alcohol-related injuries and deaths. Further, this will detract from an
atmosphere that promotes a free exchange of ideas and opinions. Intellectual
debate may be stifled if students fear their classmates are carrying weapons.
This misguided proposal will hamper the social, intellectual, and emotional
development of Missouri’s college students, and potentially endanger their

The gun lobby has yet to pass legislation to force “Guns on Campus” in any
state. State legislation has failed in all
nineteen states where it has been introduced
. Most recently, a handful of
NRA-endorsed and “A-rated” Senators voted against North Dakota’s “Guns on
Campus” bill sending it to defeat. Tremendous pressure from students, advocates
and university officials have caused ardent gun lobby supporters to reconsider
their positions on these bills.

“The flawed notion that college students could carry a loaded and concealed
gun into a classroom is a chilling prospect that our student body vehemently
opposes, and it’s time our voices are heard on this matter,” said Brian Roach, a
member of the University of Missouri Student Senate. “Students deserve a safe
learning environment. Permitting armed students into a unique campus environment
would break that fundamental promise of safety.”

Colin Goddard, a student who was shot four times during the Virginia Tech
tragedy, called the proposed Missouri legislation a “fantasy borne out of
watching too many movies.” Goddard continued: “The fact that the Missouri gun
lobby looks at the horror of the Virginia Tech tragedy as an opportunity to push
its deadly agenda is completely unsettling to those of us who were shot and
wounded. It represents a lack of serious thought about what happens in this kind
of situation. I lived through that nightmare, and I can tell you more guns would
have made matters worse, not better. I would work toward removing the two guns
that were there, in the hands of the shooter, instead of putting five more in
the hands of students. This proposal is reckless, and won’t reduce gun

Presidents and administrators of the University of Missouri System strongly
oppose legislation to permit students to carry guns on campus such as Columbia
University of Missouri, Kansas City University of Missouri, St. Louis University
of Missouri, the University of Missouri of Science and Technology (at Rolla), as
well as Missouri Southern State University.

Nationally, the Campaign to Keep
Guns Off Campus
is organizing colleges and universities to band together to
fight the gun lobby’s agenda. The Campaign has 80
colleges and universities in 21 states
that have signed resolutions
calling on lawmakers to prohibit the carrying of firearms on college campuses.

“The gun lobby does not make idle threats. American’s colleges and
universities cannot afford to stand on the sidelines on this issue, said John
Johnson, outreach coordinator for the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus. “College
and university administrators must become active in their state legislatures if
they want to keep their right to maintain gun-free campuses.”

Read the Opposing Views debate, Should Guns be Allowed on College Campuses?


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