In 2007, a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech left 33 people dead. It was a turning point. Now, the debate over gun control often centers on schools.
Julie Gavran represents Students for Gun-Free Schools, a group started after Virginia Tech. She was also a victim of gun violence fourteen years ago.
February 23rd, 1999 – Ohio Dominican University
“I was an undergraduate student. We were in a dorm.”
“I just exited my room to throw away my trash.”
“He just came out. He had the gun. We were about this far away and he started flashing it in front of me. I turned around to walk away. He called my name a couple times.”
“When I turned around, he had it pointed, point-blank, to my face.”
“I knew immediately that it was real.”
“That’s when he pulled the trigger a couple of times. Like I said, I don’t know if it wasn’t loaded or if it just jammed.”
“I ran back to my room.”
“It was like, run in and quickly shut the door. Just kind of collapse at that point.”
“I was full of fear.”
“Security searched the room. They found multiple weapons.”
“He said that he was an immature 18-year-old from another country. Administration tended to believe him.”
“It was kind of the end of the case for them.”
That experience is why Gavran thinks guns should stay off campuses.
“You never know when it will accidentally go off and shoot someone. It’s just, the college campus isn’t the place.”
On the other end of the spectrum is another group that started after Virginia Tech: Students for Concealed Carry. In north Texas, the group is represented by Tim Gottleber, a professor at North Lake College in Dallas.
“Every mass shooting in the last 50 years has happened in a gun free zone. “
“I don’t want to have a gun so I can shoot somebody. I want to have guns on campus so bad guys don’t even come there. That’s the real message.”
“I want them to think twice about going to my campus.”
- What banning concealed carry will mean for university students (collegian.com)
- Texas lawmakers renew debate over guns on campus (kens5.com)