Florida State University Shooting Shows Gun Control Debate Still Relevant


The shooting at Florida State University that sent three people to hospital is being thought by many to show that the debate on gun control is still relevant despite the fact that the motion to legislate guns failed in the U.S Senate last year. In this week’s shooting, Myron May, a former student at the university, returned to the institution and started shooting at students who were studying at the library. He was shot to death by the campus police.

Florida police hope that they will find the reason for May’s action when they open envelopes he sent to eight people that he knew prior to the incident at the university. They hope that there will be a video or manifesto explaining his actions.

Myron graduated from Florida State University in 2005. He then joined Texas Tech law school. After graduating, he joined the Andrews Kurth law firm. According to CNN, May had recorded videos and written in a journal that he was being targeted. Michael De Leo, Tallahassee Police Chief, said May may have been undergoing a crisis. He said May was acting alone.

It is not known if May has a license to carry a firearm. Florida issues licenses to carry concealed firearms to both residents and non-residents. When that knowledge is made public, it  is likely to have an impact on this debate over the bill which failed to pass, depending on whether it would have impacted the current crisis. For many, however, there are enough issues presented to prove that the shooting at Florida State University shows that the debate on gun control is still relevant.

The shooting of school children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 opened extended debate on gun control which led to a bill on gun legislation in the senate. More school shootings have been reported on campuses since then. However, the debate between opponents and proponents of gun control rages on. In January 2013, a group calling itself Students for Concealed Carry demanded that students be allowed to carry guns on school compounds so as to defend themselves against attackers.

The group, which was formed after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, sued the University of Colorado for banning the carrying of firearms on campus. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the group.

Six states have introduced legislation to allow students to carry guns on campus. The National Rifle Association and other organizations say that faculty and students should be allowed to carry guns to defend themselves from criminals.

Other groups, such as Campaign to Keep Guns Off campus, as well as most college administrators, argue that allowing guns on campus would increase chances of accidents and violence. Fox13, a television station based in Salt Lake City, Utah, reported this week that gun control supporters presented 22,000 signatures to governor Harry Herbert’s office Friday to compel him to support those who argue against having guns in meetings and assemblies in public universities and schools.

The petition was launched after Anita Sarkeesian, a Canadian-American feminist who had been invited to speak at the school, cancelled the engagement after she received death threats for proposing that guns should be kept out of meetings and assemblies in schools.

Clark Aposhian, a Utah gun lobbyist who is an official of Shooting Sports Council, disagreed, saying that those who held permits to carry guns were less likely to use them for criminal activity. On both side of the issue, there are those who believe that the shooting at Florida State University where students found themselves defenseless shows that the debate on gun control is still relevant.

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Photo image by Bent Tranberg – Flickr License

3 Responses to "Florida State University Shooting Shows Gun Control Debate Still Relevant"

  1. Richard   December 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Campuses that allow concealed carry by students 21 years or older and by faculty and staff appear to be safer than those that don’t. According to the Department of Justice’s own National Institute of Justice /Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the FBI Uniform Crime Report, when and where there are fewer gun restrictions and more law abiding citizens with guns in public, there are fewer and declining violent crimes, including fewer gun crimes.

  2. Ben Ateku   November 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    You have raised an important observation, given the number of shootings that have been reported to take place in schools and colleges. It will be interesting to find out what his motivation was, and why he chose FSU.

  3. Sp60   November 23, 2014 at 7:29 am

    All the FSU shooting showed is that when people want to rack up a body count, they find the nearest ‘gun free zone’ they know about.

    This guy had been out of school for a while. but when he decided to go shoot someplace up, he went right to the one place in FL guaranteed to be ‘gun free’, a state school.

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