The slaying of three University of Virginia students on Sunday underscore concerns in the U.S. about access to guns on college campuses and the trend of U.S. school shootings overall.
James Alan Fox, a Northeastern professor who maintains the longest-running and most extensive data source on mass killings, says the recent event in Virginia, where a former university football player allegedly killed three current student-athletes, underscores a worrisome trend over the past 15 years that has enabled people to carry guns on campuses in as many as 40 states.
Fox says prior to the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007—where 32 people, including 27 students, were killed—only Utah permitted people with a concealed carry license to have guns on campuses.
Now, because of the efforts of Students for Concealed Carry, a grassroots organization that was formed after the Virginia Tech massacre, Fox says there are 20 states that permit guns on all college campuses.
Another 20 states empower colleges and universities to decide whether to permit guns, Fox says.