Columbine lawmaker pushing for guns in schools

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A Colorado state lawmaker who survived the Columbine shooting as a student is pushing a bill that would allow guns in schools. 

State Rep. Patrick Neville, a Republican from Castle Rock, Colo., on Monday introduced gun legislation that would allow teachers with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms in Colorado public schools.

Neville, who graduated from Columbine High School and was there on the day of the shooting in 1999, believes that arming teachers is the best way to protect students.

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"This bill will allow honest law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm for protection if they choose to," Neville said. "But most importantly, it will give them the right to be equipped to defend our children from the most dangerous situations."

Neville's bill is a long shot in the Democrat-controlled Colorado House.

Gun legislation has become highly controversial in Washington, D.C., following the more recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Democrats have rallied around gun control legislation, but the legislation failed to gain traction in Congress.

Gun control advocates argue that firearms should be kept out of schools, because arming teachers is more likely to escalate the situation than protect students.

But Neville said that laws blocking teachers from carrying guns put students in harms way and make them "sitting targets for criminals."

"As was the case in 1999, criminals aren't deterred by a flashy sign on the door," Neville said. "The only thing that is going to stop murderers intent on doing harm is to give good people the legal authority to carry a gun to protect themselves and our children."

"Our teachers and faculty were heroic in so many ways that day," he continued. "That's why I truly believe had some of them had the legal authority to be armed, more of my friends would still be alive today."

The Columbine shooters killed 12 students and one teacher, while injuring more than 20 other people attempting to escape the school.