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After Tucson Shootings, Ariz. Republicans Push for Guns on School Campuses

by David Edwards

Gun rights advocates aren't letting a shooting that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) in the hospital slow them down.

Republicans in the Arizona State Legislature are planning to move forward with several bills that would expand gun rights.

One bill aimed to allow college and university faculty to carry concealed weapons on campus. Utah is currently the only state to currently allow concealed weapons on campuses. The National Conference of State Legislature noted that 24 states have outright bans.

Arizona Republicans also wanted to expand laws allowing gun owners to display a weapon for purposes for self defense. Another proposed law would prevent landlords and homeowner associations from "restricting the right to bear arms in self defense," the Associated Press observed.

"There are going to be some nervous nellies, so to speak, but I think that it will be overcome," John Wentling of the gun advocacy group Arizona Citizens Defense League told AP. "We still have an obligation to protect constitutional and civil rights."

"I don't think [the tragedy] really changes anything," Republican state Sen. Ron Gould said. "I don't see how gun control could have prevented that shooting unless you take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens."

But an armed citizenry can also present complications. For instance, an armed bystander in Tucson said he nearly shot the man who disarmed the alleged gunman.

A panel of criminology and statistics experts with the National Research Council the National Academies published a study in 2004 that found no reduced crime in states with right-to-carry (RTC) laws.

Another study, published in 2010 by the Stanford Law School, found that "the most consistent, albeit not uniform, finding to emerge from the array of models is that aggravated assault rises when RTC laws are adopted."

A mass shooting on the campus of Virginia Tech in April 2007 left 33 people dead, including the gunman.

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