John Woods was a student at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007 when fellow student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 students and wounded 17 others during two separate attacks about two hours apart before committed suicide. Among those killed was Mr. Woods’ girlfriend, Maxine Turner. Mr. Woods serves as a spokesperson for the family and has directed his attention to advocating for “common sense regulations on firearms”.
When discussing the issue of campus carry, similar to the stance by West Texas A&M, Mr. Woods states “I am a big supporter of local control. Example, if the student body and the administration in a more rural area decide that they would like to allow people to carry on campus, I support it. But I feel that it gets complicated with larger universities, example with 50,000 students or more.”
When asked about his thoughts regarding safety of students on campus, Mr. Woods states that he is not in favor of an assault weapons ban. In fact, he states “I also think students should have better access to mace, pepper spray, and tasers, which are currently banned on campus. I think women should be able to use telescoping batons, but probably not men.”
Discussing his personal experiences with the Virginia Tech shooting Mr. Woods states “it's about making something good come from it. In my role as spokesperson for Max's family, and for Texas Gun Sense, I get to talk about the tragedy a lot. Talking is always better than not talking. The people I know who've not only survived April 16th but thrived -- they talk about it. A lot.”
John Woods testified in front of the Texas Legislature with regard to his experiences. He is now planning to participate in a rally on April 6th at the capitol in Austin to demonstrate support for measures that control guns on campus.
In the next part of this series, a member of a large campus police department shares their view on the issues of campus violence and campus carry legislation.
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