Oregon shooting reignites guns on campus debate

- The shooting in Oregon has given new fire to the push to make guns legal on college campuses.

But opponents say the shooting boosts their side too.

Florida is one of twenty states where guns are banned on campus.

The sponsor of a bill to allow them says today's shooting is exactly what more guns could prevent.

"It is very frustrating to see exactly what I am trying to prevent from happening in the state of Florida, happening in another state where it is a gun free zone," said State Rep. Greg Steube (R-Sarasota).

Oregon allows guns on campus, but not in buildings.

Steube says concealed carry permit holders can be trusted to protect a college campus.

"(They) could, maybe, if they are there, God forbid, stop an atrocity that may occur."

This year's bill has passed the criminal justice committee, but must still get through three others, including judiciary.

It died there last year when the Republican chair refused to hear it.

"The easiest thing to do is fly off the handle and grab a gun," said State Sen. Arthenia Joyner. "It's a toxic mix. Guns, sex, drugs and education."

Most of Florida's college presidents, college police chiefs and faculty unions agree with her, vocally opposing last year's bill.

Thursday, students at Florida State Manatee-Sarasota said they want compromise.

"I think it should be OK for teachers to be licensed, background checks, obviously," said student Emily Butler. "Even if it is just one teacher on a floor."

"I don't think it is a good idea for students to have guns," said Emmalee Clark. "Maybe in their personal lives, but not on campus. There are too many possibilities."

Steube says he hopes today's shooting convinces the chair of the judiciary committee to at least hear the bill this time.

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