A school shooting at Lone Star College, a community college in Houston, has thrown a debate on guns on campus into stark relief, according to the Daily Beast. The question is whether people with concealed carry permits should be allowed to take their guns on campus.
Details of the shooting
According to the Houston Chronicle, the shooting took place as the result of an argument between two men at the Lone Star College library. Carlton Berry, 22, has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault. He is alleged to have pulled a weapon and wounded two men, the man he was arguing with and a nearby maintenance worker who was an innocent bystander. Both men are said to have non-life-threatening wounds. Berry was also wounded, apparently by accident, and was identified at the hospital by the two victims. A woman was also treated for what was described as a "medical event."
Guns on campus
The Daily Beast notes that the Lone Star College shooting may have complicated efforts to allow people with concealed carry permits to carry handguns on college campuses. State Sen. Brian Birdwell has filed Senate Bill 182, the Campus Personal Protection Act, that would allow legal hand guns to be carried on campus. Lone Star College, according to CBS News, is a "gun-free zone" which means that Berry is alleged to have violated school policy by taking a firearm on campus.
The Virginia Tech Massacre
The debate over guns on campus has roiled ever since a disturbed student slaughtered 32 people and wounded another 17 on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University on April 16, 2007. Virginia Tech, like many other universities, had been declared a "gun-free zone." Those like Birdwell argue that if law-abiding people with concealed carry permits are allowed to carry firearms on college campuses, they would be better able to stop crazed shooters before they kill many people, according to the Daily Beast.
More gun control advocated
Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, however, used the occasion of the shooting to tout her own gun control legislation that she is pushing in Congress, according to the Houston Chronicle. The legislation would raise the handgun eligibility age from 18 to 21, would prohibit people below the age of 21 from possessing assault rifles or large capacity magazine clips, and would increase the penalty for those who knowingly transfer such forbidden weapons to people under the age of 21. Lee also touted the idea of enforcing gun-free zones.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.
- Politics & Government