Experts: College Campus Shootings Spark Safety Debate
WASHINGTON, D.C. —
Last year there were 31 shootings on U.S. college campuses. In 2015, that number has reached 17.
Of those schools, seven don't allow their security personnel to carry weapons on campus.
Walter Bumphus, President & CEO of The American Association of Community College, said Monday he's concerned about the statistics.
"Anytime I hear about an incident like that I'm very distressed," he said.
He and other policy makers are now considering re-thinking current rules, including who's allowed to carry weapons on campus and who isn't.
"I think we've learned a lot over the last few years with what's happening at some of our public schools as well as our colleges and universities," he said.
"I think it all started with the Virginia Tech incident a few years ago."
University of the District of Columbia Police Chief Marieo Foster said unlike enclosed buildings where those coming in and out can be screened, the layout can make it difficult to police.
"In a college or university environment, it's wide open," he said, adding more aggressive policing tactics may be needed.
A new debate is now emerging over gun free zones - which the vast majority of U.S. college campuses are, and whether that's still the best policy.
Bumphus said a session at his organization's upcoming conference will include a session about campus security.
"I think we've learned a lot over the last few years with what's happening at some of our public schools as well as our colleges and universities and I think it all started with the Virginia Tech incident a few years ago.
New policies about guns, as well as mental health, may take precedence, as school officials navigate this new era of violence.