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Santa Monica shooting puts gun-free-campus rules in question

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Conservatives and Second Amendment activists are calling into question a California state law and Santa Monica College rules that ban guns on campus, arguing that a recent fatal mass shooting only proves the need to revisit the policy.

John Zawahri, 23, killed his father and brother on Friday and forced a woman to drive him to the campus. He shot and killed three more at the school, until police responded and engaged in a shootout with him. He was killed during the shootout.

The campus — like all in California — is a gun-free zone that allows only police and permitted security personnel to carry weapons. And some see such laws as part of the problem — that openly prohibiting law-abiding and permitted gun owners from bringing their weapons onto college campuses only eases the path for would-be killers.

Universities, and not state politicians, should have the ability to decide whether or not school grounds should be gun-free zones or right-to-carry campuses, argued one person in The Daily Caller.

"The state should butt out of the matter," said Jacob Hornberger, president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, in The Daily Caller. "If one university says that guns are allowed, so be it. If another says no guns allowed, so be it."

He added in The Daily caller: "A would-be murderer would be crazy to go on a shooting spree in anything but a gun-free university. In a gun-free university, he would know that no one would be able to defend himself."

SMC said it's not going to revisit its ban on guns, however.

"There is no need to revisit it, we don't allow guns," said the campus spokesman in The Daily Caller. The school also is denying that the shooting was a so-called "school shooting," because it originated off campus.

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