The victims of Virginia Tech had no way of defending themselves, making the situation all too real for some local college students who say they should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Some students say if only one person at Virginia Tech had a gun, things would be different. Some students say no-matter how safe their campus is, without the right protection, they're just sitting ducks. These students are right here in the Tri-Cities.
The Virginia Tech shooting has changed college students across America, including one student on the campus of Hastings College.
"I just think of 30 of my friends getting shot and I can't do anything to stop it," said Jamie Brisbin, a Sophomore at Hastings College.
Brisbin is a campus crusader, trying to recruit students to the Hastings' Students for Concealed Carry on Campus or SCCC. Next week they'll wear empty gun holsters, a protest to show schools officials, they're defenseless.
"Its an interesting argument that more guns on campus would guarantee more safety," said Vice President of Student Affairs, Ron Chesbrough.
Chesbroug said guns are not the answer, and has no intention of changing the Colleges rules. But Brisban said putting guns into the hands of licensed responsible students, who would have to undergoe extensive training, would make the campus safer.
"This is the only way to defend ourselves and to prevent more tragedies," said Brisbin.
It's a nationwide movement, their website boasts 25,000 members. But the majority of students on the Hastings campus aren't buying into it.
"It would make me feel less safe because accidents could happen," said one Hastings College student.
"Hastings doesn't need guns, we're a small campus," said another student.
"That's what students at Virginia Tech thought," said Brisbin.
While guns on campus may or may not be the answer, these students are doing everything they can to feel protected and safe.
"It's worth it to me, if I would be able to save someone one day," Brisbin said.
Eleven colleges across the nation now allow concealed weapons. Hastings College officials said better than bringing guns on campus, is to catch the "at risk" students before it comes to the point of a Virginia Tech massacre, and is much easier to do on such a small campus like Hastings.
For more information on the SCCC go to http://concealedcampus.org/
Only students over 21 would be allowed to get a permit. They would have to take numerous classes and take extensive training.
Share your thoughts on this story on Community Correspondent.