CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WGHP) — University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students are reacting to calls to end “gun-free” zones on campus.
“The campus is a gun-free zone … so a number of students have said, ‘Why do they have to be unarmed when clearly there’s a way bad guys can get on the campus?’” said House Speaker Tim Moore Thursday after an incident involving a firearm on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus the day prior.
Moore wasn’t the only politician to bring it up. Senate Leader Phil Berger also said “gun-free” zones should be up for conversation.
We asked students at UNC and UNC Greensboro how they felt about guns on campus.
“I want to be clear. Guns are prohibited on this campus and every campus across North Carolina,” Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said Wednesday.
On Aug. 28, police say a grad student brought a gun to UNC’s campus, shooting and killing associate professor Zijie Yan.
16 days later, police say a 27-year-old man pointed a gun at a bagel shop cashier, sending the campus into chaos for the second time this semester.
“A college campus is supposed to be safe not a place where you worry someone is going to pull a gun on you,” Chapel Hill sophomore Evan Klein said.
Some say there should be more security on campus.
“I don’t know if they’re going to have to start doing random checks for guns or something like that,” said Matteus Butler.
Others say they trust armed campus police to do their job and perhaps other qualified professionals but not students.
“If the right people had them to protect us … it’s OK, but I don’t think students should have them whatsoever,” Klein said.
At UNCG, students are feeling uneasy after what happened in Chapel Hill, but they aren’t sure arming students will help.
“You don’t know what one student is thinking … If you allow people to have guns on campus, one can use it for safety, and one can use it for you never know what,” senior Justin Knight said.
22 states nationwide allow colleges and universities to make their own decisions about whether or not they allow students to carry a gun. 17 states prohibit carrying a firearm altogether, and 11 have rules that allow it with some exceptions.