A Columbine survivor who has gone on to become Colorado’s House Minority Leader has spent the past few years advocating for a proposal that he believes could help combat school violence.
Patrick Neville, a Republican, was a sophomore at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, when two gunman entered and killed 12 students and a teacher before turning their weapons on themselves.
Neville believes that removing gun restrictions in schools could help protect students and faculty, alike, and he has introduced a bill every year since his 2014 election that is aimed at doing just that, Fox News reported.
The shooting survivor-turned-politician differs quite starkly from some survivors of other school shootings who have responded by calling for greater gun control measures. Instead, Neville wants to remove barriers for concealed carry in Colorado’s K-12 schools.
Currently, people with concealed-carry permits can bring guns on school property, but must lock them inside their cars. Neville’s proposal would essentially ensure that schools are no longer gun-free zones, The Washington Times reported.
Neville believes more students could have survived if Columbine teachers were armed.
“This act would allow every law-abiding citizen who holds a concealed carry permit, issued from their chief law-enforcement officer, the right to carry concealed in order to defend themselves and most importantly our children from the worst-case scenarios,” the politician said in a statement. “As a former Columbine student who was a sophomore during the shootings on April 20, 1999, I will do everything in my power to prevent Colorado families from enduring the hardships my classmates and I faced that day.”
Neville continued, “Time and time again we point to the one common theme with mass shootings, they occur in gun-free zones.”
The House held a hearing on the proposal on Wednesday, but it was shot down. Neville said he will continue to propose it.
(H/T: Washington Times)