Columbine Massacre Survivor Introduces Bill To End Gun-Free School Zones

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Feb 04, 2015 6:10 PM
Columbine Massacre Survivor Introduces Bill To End Gun-Free School Zones

Colorado State Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) was a student at Columbine High School in 1999, when two of his classmates brought guns to school and went on a rampage, killing 12 students and one teacher, and injuring another 24. He's now proposing a bill that would allow people with a permit to carry a concealed weapon on school property.

Currently, thanks to the 1990 Gun-Free School Zones Act, otherwise law-abiding gun owners and concealed-carry permit holders are unable to carry in a school zone. Since the act was passed, nine of the top ten deadliest school shootings have occurred.

“This bill will allow honest law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm for protection if they choose to,” Neville said in a news release. “But most importantly, it will give them the right to be equipped to defend our children from the most dangerous situations.”

He is sponsoring the bill with his father, Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton. The family is known for its support for fewer gun restrictions.

House Bill 1198 has been assigned to the Democratic-controlled House State Affairs committee. It is not one of the seven gun bills scheduled to be heard today.

An April 2014 poll from Quinnipiac University found 50 percent of Colorado voters supported allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds. Men supported the measure 59 percent to 38 percent while were opposed 51 to 42 percent.

According to polls, while roughly half of Coloradans are okay with the idea of teachers being armed, they're divided as to if this is the best strategy to protect students. Thirty-eight percent of Coloradans feel metal detectors are the best way to protect schools, while 30 percent prefer arming teachers and 21 percent want stricter gun control laws.

Well, right out of the bag it's clear that stricter gun control laws don't actually work. With the exception of the 1966 University of Texas Tower shooting, nine of the ten deadliest gun attacks at a school have occurred since the passage of the Gun-Free School Zone Act. Additionally, the Columbine High School shooting was in 1999, in the midst of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the perpetrators of the massacre, acquired their guns (which conformed with regulations outlined in the Assault Weapons Ban) through an (illegal) straw purchase and through another illegal transaction. They also planned on bombing their cafeteria and shooting the fleeing survivors, but their bombs were crudely made and did not detonate as planned. Point being, people who want to commit mass murder will figure out how to commit mass murder, laws be damned.

The 1997 shooting at Pearl High School in Mississippi is an excellent example of why people with concealed carry permits should be allowed to carry on school property. Assistant Principal Joel Myrick was technically violating the law when he kept a Colt .45 in his truck on school grounds, but when he retrieved the weapon in the midst of the attack on his school; he was able to subdue the attacker before he reached the nearby middle school.

Concealed carry holders are less likely to commit crimes. Why shouldn't they be allowed to carry everywhere?