FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(New York, NY, Feb. 14, 2012) – Today marks the fourth anniversary of the school shooting at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Steven Kazmierczak, a former graduate student at NIU, entered a large auditorium-style lecture hall where approximately 120 students were attending an oceanography class. Kazmierczak was armed with a shotgun concealed in a guitar case, three semi-automatic handguns, and eight loaded ammunition magazines. From the front of the stage auditorium, Kazmierczak fired into the crowd of students, killing 5 and wounding 21, before committing suicide as police arrived.
The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus issued the following statement on the anniversary of this shooting.
“We extend condolences to the families and friends of the victims, and the entire NIU community.
“Nearly all colleges and universities have policies that prohibit the carrying of firearms on campus. In recent years the gun lobby has mounted a campaign to force colleges and universities to allow anyone with a permit to carry concealed weapons – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – to carry guns on campus.
“The gun lobby argues that allowing students to carry guns would make college campuses safer. This argument is misguided.
“The case against guns on campus is strong. Studies show that whenever guns are brought into an environment, the result is more gun deaths and injuries. Furthermore, armed students would be unlikely to prevent a mass shooting. On the other hand, the unintended consequences that would result if guns were to become readily available to students – a shooting during an argument or dispute, attempted suicide, unintentional shooting – are real and would make college campuses more dangerous every day.
“Whereas school shootings such as occurred at Northern Illinois University receive a great deal of media attention, such events are rare. The fact is that America’s colleges and universities are among the safest environments for college students; far safer than the communities that surround them. For example, the homicide rate on college campuses is about one homicide per year per million students. If this rate were applied to the general population, the U.S. would have just 300 homicides a year rather than the current 17,000. Gun homicides account for about 70% of this total.
“We applaud America’s colleges and universities for the steps they have taken to make college campuses safe environments for students. The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus wants to keep it that way.”
The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus was founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to band together to oppose the gun lobby’s agenda to push guns onto college campuses. To date, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and more than 300 colleges and universities in 37 states have joined the Campaign by signing a resolution that opposes legislation that would restrict an educational institution’s autonomy to regulate possession of firearms on campus. View list at https://www.keepgunsoffcampus.org/list/
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Contact: Andy Pelosi, email: [email protected]