Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guns On Campus In Texas

On Tuesday a bill that will allow college students and employees to carry their concealed handguns on campus passed with preliminary approval in the Texas Senate.

I'm surprised this has taken this long and why there is any controversy at all, except from strident gun control activists. If the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech taught us anything at all, it should have taught us that "gun free zones" are nothing but death traps. Imagine if one of the professors or students in that building had had a gun. Imagine all the young lives he could have saved.

You see, the problem is that insane gunmen don't abide by the "Gun free zones" rule.

Opponents of this bill say it would make campuses more dangerous with the potential for typical college disagreements with boyfriend and girlfriends, over grades, during drunken parties. They might have a point if the numbers didn't reveal the opposite. 11 colleges — nine public schools in Utah, the University of Colorado and Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave — that allow concealed carry permit holders to bring their firearms onto campus, but have not experienced any incidents.

In order to hold a handgun license in Texas one must be at least 21 years old and pass a training course and a criminal background check. This ensures maturity and training. I would think this would mainly be used by professors and workers on campus, not students. But having trained students carrying guns isn't a bad idea either. Consider the shooting at Appalachian School of Law in which 2 students were able to retrieve their weapons from their cars and stop a shooter. If they had been allowed to carry guns on campus grounds, they could have stopped him even more quickly.

This isn't a done deal. It needs a final Senate vote before it can be sent to the House. It could die under a legislative deadline. I hope that doesn't happen. People on college campuses deserve to feel safe.

crossposted at Texas Magazine