A Debate Over Concealed Carry on Campuses

August 9, 2011

WASHINGTON -- A survivor of the Virginia Tech shootings and the author of a book advocating more gun ownership debated here Monday as part of a conference held by a group that favors broader access to weapons on campuses. The 2011 meeting of Students for Concealed Carry, which fell just just three days after false reports of a gunman at Virginia Tech evoked a mass shooting similar to the one in 2007 that left 33 people dead, including the gunman. Colin Goddard, who survived the Virginia Tech shootings and now works for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that preventive measures like strengthening background check laws would be more effective than changing state laws to allow guns on campus, as several states have passed or are considering. John R. Lott Jr., the economist and gun rights advocate who wrote the book More Guns, Less Crime, argued that penalties tacked on for carrying a firearm on-campus or in so-called "gun-free zones" only deter noncriminals from carrying weapons, as most perpetrators of mass shootings either commit suicide or plan to, he said.

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