News 12 First at Five, May 17, 2007
AIKEN, S.C.---Should guns be allowed on school campus?
It's a question that has a lot of people talking in South Carolina after some lawmakers say concealed weapons should be allowed on campuses, even at elementary schools.
After last month's deadly shootings at Virginia Tech some supporters of the bill say it could prevent school shootings, but not everyone agrees.
Vice-Chancellor at USC-Aiken, Deb Kladivko, says even the possiblity of the bill passing in the state, scares them even more.
"Students will be worried if the person sitting next to them has a gun in the classroom," Kladivko said.
The bill would allow anyone 21 and older with a permit to carry a concealed weapon to do so on school grounds.
But students are uneasy about the measure.
"I'm not for it because you never know what a student is capable of," USC-Aiken student, Shantivia Boneparte said.
"I think it's unnecessary to have any weapon on campus," USC-Aiken student, Chris Reckart said.
Assistant professor at USC-Aiken, Maggi Morehouse, echoes the same concerns saying if anyone could carry a gun how would officers even know who to arrest?
"What I don't want to be in the middle of is, is a shootout of who are the good guys and the bad guys," she said.
To make matters worse, school administrators say because college is one of the most stressful times in a person's life, students are more susceptible to erratic behavior.
"When you're grading someones intellect, whether they put the comma in the right place or not I don't think you want to introduce any kind of weapon into it," Morehouse said.
The bill has been approved by a state house subcommittee and now it will head to the house judiciary committee.
But it's not expected to pass the legislature before lawmakers adjourn next month.