Guns on college campus debate continues

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The debate over allowing guns on college campuses heats up.

This after a bill was recently signed into law that allows guns to be locked in parked cars, in middle and high school parking lots.

“I’m completely in favor of guns on campus,” said Paul Patrick, a Senior at Indiana State University.

Gun advocates are now asking why college students and faculty can’t be armed.

“I believe everybody should have a gun, or feel the safety of having their own gun,” agrees Michael Isaac, a Junior at ISU.

Guns are currently banned from ISU’s campus, a decision made by the University’s Board of Trustees, but that doesn’t stop students who want to discuss their rights on the issue.

“The people that do have guns would protect others from a potential attacker,” adds Patrick.

ISU Police Chief Joe Newport, who strives to protect those students, has a different stance.

“If we could guarantee that there will be no alcohol issues, drug issues, no mental health issues, no domestic violence issues then I would be for carrying handguns on campus, but absent that guarantee I don’t feel comfortable,” said Newport.

In 2012, police responded to five weapons related incidents and more than 400 alcohol and drug related reports on campus.

“Young people they behave in a manner that is pretty normal for college students but if you want to marry that with carrying a gun it’s just not good common sense,” Newport said.

For now, the debate over whether allowing students to carry guns would be a negative or positive in creating a safe campus continues.

“We have other problems, such as alcohol abuse, that have already caused us problems on campus, so I don’t know if in combination with that it would be beneficial here,” said Josh Stolz, a Junior at ISU.

“I think it would make for a safer campus because everybody would trust and know that they could protect themselves,” said Isaac.

Seven states currently have laws allowing concealed weapons on campus.

Indiana is among several states with no legal stance, allowing university’s to decide.

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