Columbine massacre survivor and now Colorado State House Minority Leader Patrick Neville supports the idea of armed school campuses.
Neville recently endorsed the idea of school carry in an interview with NPR in the wake of the STEM school attack in Highlands Ranch, where one student was killed and several others were injured.
He argued that the students at the school would have been safer if there had been a legally concealed handgun on campus the day the shooting took place.
Neville argued that “I think that probably wouldn’t have – the shooting probably wouldn’t have happened in the first place.”
The State Representative then expanded:
“One of the reasons I propose this bill year after year is the fact that it’s a major deterrent. If they (school shooters) know they’re going to go in there and face opposition and they don’t know where that opposition’s going to come from, they’ll probably think twice about doing it in the first place. So I think they probably would have been safer had it actually broken out. But I think it probably would have prevented it from even happening in the first place.”
Neville is onto something when discussing campus security. Since the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 was signed into law, schools have effectively turned into soft targets for mass murderers. Research has indicated that the overwhelming majority of shootings take place in these areas, roughly 98 percent to be exact.
However, there are signs that this trend could be reversed with Florida signing Senate Bill 7030, which gives school boards the power to allow trained teachers to be armed on campus. Although this legislation is not the ideal libertarian solution, it’s a step in the right direction. SB 7030 reasserts local autonomy for schools while also gradually advancing the idea of an armed campus.
Colorado is definitely in need of such legislation. Once one of the most pro-gun states in the country, Colorado has slipped in recent years thanks to gun control measures passed after the Aurora shooting in 2012.
Now, Guns & Ammo magazine puts it in an abysmal 40th place in its ranking for most gun friendly states. Representative Neville is on the mark when it comes to armed campuses.
Getting teacher carry passed in Colorado at the very least would stem the tide of gun control that’s been surging in the state for the past decade.