Skip to comments.Guns on campus bill killed in committee(LA)
Posted on 06/02/2011 7:09:23 AM PDT by marktwain
2theadvocate > Blogs > Louisiana Politics Guns on campus bill killed in committee
Posted by Jordan Blum | Capitol News Bureau | on June 1, 2011 | 3:00 p.m. UPDATED 7:32 p.m.
Travis Spradling/The Advocate
State Rep. Ernest Wooton, No Party-Belle Chasse, testifies Wednesday for a bill that would permit allowing concealed handgun permit owners to carry concealed handguns on college campuses. The bill failed in the House committee Wooton chairs.
Legislation that would have allowed handguns on college campuses died quickly Wednesday in a Louisiana House committee without any public testimony allowed because of a time crunch.
House Bill 413 by state Rep. Ernest Wooton, No Party-Belle Chasse, would have made it le-gal to carry licensed, concealed handguns on public college campuses in the state.
With a victim of the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre in atte-dance, Wooton posed the legis-lation as a Second Amendment issue more so than a safety matter. He said it is a constitu-tional right.
"If someone is going to com-mit a crime on campus, I don't think he's going to run and go get his permit," Wooton, a for-mer sheriff, told the House Committee on the Administra-tion of Criminal Justice.
"I just don't believe that," Wooton said of the legislation he sponsored. "I don't think it's going to cause a run on per-mits."
HB413 was defeated on an 8-to-3 vote by the committee, which Wooton chairs. He has proposed similar legislation unsuccessfully multiple times starting in 2008. He is term-limited in the House after this year.
Critics have alleged that al-lowing guns on campuses could increase violence and make it more challenging for campus law enforcement to respond to incidences.
At one point in the debate, state Rep. Roy Burrell, D-Shreveport, proposed an un-successful amendment that would have allowed permitted carriers to have their handguns in other banned areas, like air-ports, detention centers and the State Capitol.
"I just don't want to be a hypocrite," Burrell said. "Ei-ther we are carrying them eve-rywhere or not." Doubting his sincerity, Wooton told Burrell that he is a hypocrite.
After the committee ad-journed, an angry Wooton con-fronted Burrell, pointed at his face and called him the "big-gest hypocrite" he knows.
"If I didn't like you, I'd take that as a threat," Burrell re-sponded, "a man-to-man threat."
The debate did not allow for public testimony because the full House was about to con-vene and the committee had to wrap up its business.
But Virginia Tech graduate Colin Goddard was prepared to testify.
Goddard was shot four times in his French class in 2007. He has a titanium rod in his leg and three of the bullets remain in his body. Twelve of his class-mates and his instructor died that day, and the shooter, Se-ung-Hui Cho, killed himself in Goddard's classroom. Goddard had placed the 9-1-1 call before he was shot. After the committee meeting, Goddard said the mentality that having "more guns in more places" so people can bet-ter defend themselves is wrong.
Noting that the U.S. has about 300 million guns, Goddard said, "we would probably be the saf-est country in the world, and we are far from it."
"As a survivor, as someone who experienced it, this is not the way forward," he said.
Named after the number of people murdered at Virginia Tech, Goddard recently starred in the "Living for 32" documentary that premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in January.
The debate over guns on campuses became a hot topic nationally in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.
That was followed by the murders of two international students in an on-campus LSU apartment in late 2007. Weeks later, a Louisiana Technical College student in Baton Rouge killed two students in a class-room before killing herself.
Licensed concealed handgun carrying on college campuses is currently only fully allowed in Utah, although it also is legal at several Colorado colleges because of legal challenges.
The Arizona Legislature ap-proved allowing handguns on campuses in April, but the leg-islation was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer.
Concealed carry legislation currently is progressing in Texas and Nevada
Last year, Wooton success-fully pushed through legisla-tion that eliminated the fire-arm-free school zone provisions from applying to concealed handgun permit holders on the edge of campuses.
Voting to DEFEAT HB413 (8): State Reps. Roy Burrell, D-Shreveport; Mickey Guillory, D-Eunice; Dalton Honoré, D-Baton Rouge; Frank Howard, R-Many; Walt Leger III, D-New Or-leans, Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport; Char-maine Stiaes, D-New Orleans, and Ledricka Thierry, D-Opelousas.
Voting FOR guns on campus (3): Chairman Ernest Wooton, No Party-Belle Chasse; and Reps. Damon Baldone, D-Houma; and Ricky Templet, R-Gretna.
Because it feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeels good.
“After the committee meeting, Goddard said the mentality that having “more guns in more places” so people can bet-ter defend themselves is wrong.”
A person that just doesn’t get it. Those that harm you are only deterred if you can harm them. They are cowards that seek out the weak.
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