College students weigh in on allowing guns on campus - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

College students weigh in on allowing guns on campus

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Tuesday's shooting has sparked a state-wide debate about whether or not concealed handguns be allowed on Texas college campuses.

State lawmakers discussed the issue almost two years ago, after the Virginia tech killings, but no Texas laws were changed.

Now, the issue may appear again in January's legislative session even though shootings on college campuses are rare, despite the media attention given to such events.

In East Texas, it's hard to imagine anything like that happening on the quiet Angelina College campus, but students can't say it's impossible in light of what happened in Austin.

"I was kind of shocked, but it's not the first time it's happened," said Leah Nguyen, Angelina College Engineering student.

"I have a couple of friends at UT I hadn't heard anything from - obviously those thoughts were going through my mind," said Paul Engelking, A.C. Drafting student.

It was closer to home for A.C. student Kelly Deiters who says he went to the same high school as the U.T. shooter.

"It was just weird knowing everybody from that area and the types of people who went to my school that he could be somebody involved with that," said Kelly Deiters, A.C. drafting student.

There was only one casualty, but already there's talk about allowing guns on college campuses.

State house hopeful James White says if he's elected, he'll support any initiative in the legislature.

"By all means, let's move to ensure we protect and guarantee our second amendment rights," said White.

A.C. students we talked to on both sides of the issue were concerned with one thing: the emotional maturity of college-aged kids.

"I think people have the right to bear arms, but college is a very difficult time - there's a lot of stress involved whether your doing well or poorly in classes," said Deiters.

Proponents for allowing guns on campuses say they could stop a shooter planning on doing harm. However, A.C. student Leah Nguyen says it wouldn't make her feel any safer.

"It would probably make me feel uncomfortable if I know like five kids in my class that had guns cause not all of them are going to get along," said Nguyen.

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