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

David Edwards

Republicans in the Arizona State Legislature are planning to move forward with several bills that would expand gun rights. (photo: Flickr user kevindooley /Kevin Dooley)

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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