Nothing like celebrating the 2-year anniversary of the mass murders on the Virginia Tech campus by passing a bill that allows students to carry concealed weapons on campus. Yes, the proud representatives in the Missouri state house voted 2-1 to give students 21 and older the right to carry guns to classrooms. We can hope that the state Senate will not support the bill, or that the governor will veto if it is does, but this is Missouri and common sense doesn't always reign in the state government.
Missourians are joined in this nonsense by their colleagues in Texas, who are considering a similar bill. This is especially ironic, for while Texas law specifically prohibits concealed carry on campus, it also includes a clause which allows an individual college/university to 'opt out' of the law and allow concealed carry.
According to a pro-concealed carry website, there are 24 states that expressly prohibit concealed carry on college campuses by persons with a valid concealed handgun license/permit. 15 "Right-to-Carry" states leave the decision of concealed carry on college campuses entirely to each college/university.
There are a good number of groups advocating for concealed carry: the NRA is the largest, of course, though there is also a group called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus... That group is organizing a "third national collegiate Empty Holster Protest during the week of April 20-24, 2009," where students, faculty, and staff can walk around with empty holsters they wish they had filled. It was nice of them to wait a few days for the anniversary of the Virginia Tech murders.
I am happy to note that I have never worked at a school that allowed concealed carry. I don't like the idea of my students carrying guns in the classroom, nor would I ever carry a weapon. I don't think I would ever want to be on a campus that allowed students to carry concealed weapons; I might actually not take a job for that reason. I hope that faculty at schools in Missouri and Texas will lobby their legislators to vote against these bills. They are scary and should not be passed.