PHOENIX — A new student organization at Arizona State University believes more guns on college campuses would limit the number of victims during mass school shootings.
ASU Students for Self-Defense is a university-recognized student group with approximately 70 members. Its goal is to lobby school leaders to change the university’s policy banning guns and other weapons on campus.
“We are trying to fill a gap here,” Jacob Pritchett, Students for Self-Defense outreach director, said. “There isn’t going to always be somebody there to hold your hand. You all don’t have your own private security detail, and when it comes down to it if you are attacked how are you going to defend yourself?”
A week ago, a gunman shot and killed nine people at an Oregon community college. The suspect was killed in a shootout with authorities.
Pritchett, a political science major, said he believes ASU’s security and student safety programs are not enough to protect everybody on campus during an active-shooter situation.
“They haven’t answered the question ‘what are we going to do if we are actually attacked’ with anything else but ‘call 911’ and we all know that that doesn’t help,” he said.
“The average response time for a police call is around 10 minutes, a lot can happen in 10 minutes.”
The group’s motto is ‘No More Victims’ but Pritchett said he believes university bans on firearms leave students vulnerable.
He said the organization’s efforts are as much about the Second Amendment as they are about student safety.
“We allow firearms in the rest of the state, and we believe that students are entitled to the same rights as everybody else,” he said.
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