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Poll: Would Guns on Campus Have Changed Shooting Situation?

Poll: Would Guns on Campus Have Changed Shooting Situation?

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Samantha Hayes ReportingVirginia Tech and the University of Utah both have large student bodies and sprawling campuses, but one thing is very different: the gun laws regarding concealed weapons on campus.

Guns on campus are under debate as the nation asks what could have prevented this tragedy. Utahns shared their opinions in an exclusive poll for KSL-TV.

By far, most people feel the shootings could have been avoided. Now, whether it could have been avoided if guns were allowed on campus, that is far from unanimous.

Virginia Tech's policy on guns is intended to protect. The University of Utah follows a different law; concealed weapons are allowed on campus, and some say that's also intended to protect.

Brent Tenney, with Second Amendment Students, said, "It was a tragedy. I would hope this won't happen in the future. Sadly, we've seen this happen in other places. We need to be prepared."

For Brent Tenney, that means carrying a gun on campus. "It's a tool to be used in self-defense," he said.

A tool students and teachers at Virginia Tech did not have against Cho Seung-Hui, but would that have made a difference? Forty percent of those polled say fewer people would have died. Sixteen percent say more people would have died if guns were allowed at Virginia Tech. And 43 percent say it would not have made a difference.

Much more information about the killer has come out now, three days after the shooting, and based on what is known, 10 percent say the tragedy was completely avoidable. Fifty-seven percent say partially avoidable, 31 percent say it was unavoidable.

On the other side of the gun law debate, should Cho have been able to buy a gun with a known history of mental problems? Federal law says you must have been committed involuntarily for treatment, which Cho was not. A check of the law in Utah shows you are not eligible for a concealed firearms permit if a court finds you mentally incompetent.

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