By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - This week some Tech students will join the national "Empty Holster Protest." Students will wear their empty holsters into classrooms all week to push for changes in legislation that would allow them to carry in classrooms.
"Students for Concealed Carry on Campus" was created after the Virginia Tech shooting. Members say carrying their handguns is for self defense.
"God forbid something like that happens here at Texas Tech but we do have other incidents and things that being able to carry on campus would prevent," says Peter Farr, Tech campus leader for Concealed Carry on Campus.
Texas law and Texas Tech Police currently allow licensed gun holders to carry on campus grounds and in vehicles, but not in buildings or residence halls. Farr hopes Tech will move to change those policies. "I think it disarms me," says Farr who lives on campus and feels he should be able to carry for self defense.
Other students have mixed opinions. Texas Tech Sophomore Lindsey Shipp says being able to carry in class has it's up and downs. "If there were something to happen at school it would be nice knowing people had guns in class to take care of the situation, but at the same time it could also be used for bad things," say Shipp.
Senior Amy Terry says people should have the right to carry if they have license, but that the classroom isn't the best place to have them. "I think we live in a World where bad things are always going to happen, and if you bring guns into the classrooms and try to protect bad things from happening, more bad things are going to happen," says Terry.
Those students who support concealed carry point to research for their reasoning. Concealedcampus.org states that since concealed carry laws were introduced crime levels have dropped. The web site also notes that since twelve universities began allowing guns in campus buildings, not a single one has had a violent gun incident.
Farr says he hopes the silent protest will spread awareness throughout the week on the issue. "We'll be excited to see what public reaction is, and how many students didn't know about it at the beginning of the week who will be able to carry a holster at the end of the week," says Farr.
Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.