To the gun lobby, the murder of 32 students and faculty at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007 represented another opportunity to put more guns into more hands—this time on America’s college campuses. Exploiting the fear of parents, students and faculty members, the NRA and its supporters are working to pass state laws to allow students and faculty to carry concealed handguns on campuses.
With the help of the NRA, a small group of college students formed Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (concealedcampus.org) in 2007 to promote guns on college campuses. Since its inception in 2007, SCCC now claims 44,000 members on its Facebook page and has chapters active at hundreds of college campuses around the country.
While only one state, Utah, expressly forces colleges to allow concealed handguns on campus, at least 22 state legislatures have considered legislation to permit concealed carry permit holders to take their guns to college classrooms, sporting events and dormitories since the Virginia Tech tragedy.
Despite strong opposition by college presidents, professors, students and parents, the march to arm America’s college campuses continues. In late 2010, the National Rifle Association announced the launch of NRA U, its campus recruitment effort which it describes as:
NRA U is a two-hour training seminar for college students interested in learning more about NRA, the Second Amendment, gun safety, legislative threats to gun rights and the gun control debate. NRA-ILA staff will travel to a college campus and provide seminar attendees with the tools they’ll need to become more effective activists in the fight to protect our freedom, both on and off campus.
Staff will address the myths of gun control, covering topics such as the history of the Second Amendment and the use of guns for self-defense, and provide the NRA’s solutions to reducing gun crime and accidents.
NRA U. is the group’s plan to recruit the next generation of pro-gun extremists and help build more campus chapters of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. It’s a recognition that the next generation doesn’t share the extreme views of its parents, so there is a need to counter the trend toward fewer gun owners and decreased gun sales.
To learn more about how you can help keep guns off college campuses, please visit: www.gunfreekids.org/campaigns.
National Gun Victims Action Council is a network of gun violence victims, survivors, faith leaders and ordinary Americans using our economic leverage to enact gun laws that promote public safety, preserve the right of all Americans to the pursuit of life and liberty, and respect the legal gun owner’s Second Amendment right. Please join us at gunvictimsaction.org.