Sunday, February 20, 2011

Texas Considering Allowing Students to Carry Firearms on Campus

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism




Texas Considering Allowing Firearms on Campus 
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas is preparing to give college students and professors the right to carry guns on campus, adding momentum to a national campaign to open this part of society to firearms.


More than half the members of the Texas House have signed on as co-authors of a measure directing universities to allow concealed handguns. The Senate passed a similar bill in 2009 and is expected to do so again. Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who sometimes packs a pistol when he jogs, has said he's in favor of the idea.


Texas has become a prime battleground for the issue because of its gun culture and its size, with 38 public universities and more than 500,000 students. It would become the second state, following Utah, to pass such a broad-based law. Colorado gives colleges the option and several have allowed handguns.


Supporters of the legislation argue that gun violence on campuses, such as the mass shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Northern Illinois in 2008, show that the best defense against a gunman is students who can shoot back.


"It's strictly a matter of self-defense," said state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio. "I don't ever want to see repeated on a Texas college campus what happened at Virginia Tech, where some deranged, suicidal madman goes into a building and is able to pick off totally defenseless kids like sitting ducks."
A strong advocate of the right to bear arms, I frankly find myself at odds with the move in Texas, or anywhere that would allow the faculty and students to carry concealed weapons {handguns} on campus. The desire to prevent mass shootings as occurred at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Northern Illinois in 2008 is certainly understandable. However, does this nation really desire a return to the romanticized "wild wild west" in twenty first century America?

It is sensible, at least in this writers opinion to allow campus security{following proper background checks and firearm training}to carry weapons for the purpose of protecting students and campus personnel in the face a deranged killer. It also make sense to allow professors {following proper background checks and firearm training} to carry concealed weapons to insure student safety in the classroom.

However, allowing students to legally "pack a firearm" on campus is, in this independent conservative's judgment not only misguided, it presents potential dangers as well. Universities and colleges are places of higher learning, not the OK Corral. Lets keep them that way. Give the responsibility and authority to insure campus safety to those properly trained, those who posses the necessary  maturity as well as being  in the best position to make instant judgments for insuring the safety of all students and personnel on campus.

The rest of the article here.

Cross posted to Democracy Central

Via: Memeorandum

8 comments:

  1. Les: As a gun owner, with a license to carry a concealed weapon, my first thought was "Are we going back to the wild west?" Now, it's my favorite era, and we've come a long way since shoot-outs at high noon, but I'm still thinking it's not a good idea that students, even those of "adult" age, carry guns around in their backpacks. Now a "no gun zone" isn't my idea of safety either, so I think I'll side with you and the armed security guards.

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  2. I'm a 29-year-old student in WI, served in the military for 6.5 years (guard & active duty). We have a law in WI that prohibits firearms within 1000 ft of school grounds and on school grounds with the usual exceptions. Since state schools are "public property" there should be no law in the first place to restrict this right. Secondly, if you have uniformed guards and teaching staff carrying it will deter, but it will also tell psychos who to shoot at first. By having a few students carry this is far more of a deterrent as the people holding the guns are not easily identifiable. If there should be a class or training program put into place to select students to carry then so be it, but laws like this still are unconstitutional.

    I hope my Gov. Walker has it in his upcoming agenda to get rid of this ridiculous law (considering you are violating the law if you live within 1000 feet of a school zone and have a gun in your house) and make it so students can carry. Once it's legalized I'll carry everyday.

    Even if it's legalized I'm sure there are only very few students that are going to start carrying.

    Plus I don't think you're going to find many of the liberal professors willing to carry either, and if they don't have it in them to carry or don't want to they shouldn't be forced to.

    The other problem with hiring security staff is that the staff will be insufficient due to adequate funding. Most state campuses already have police, and the staff is minimal . . . maybe 5 officers at most on a single campus. A uniformed staff that would be minimally sufficient would have to be equal to the maximum amount of classrooms in use at any given time. When someone factors training, providing firearms, salary, benefits, etc. the cost becomes quite high, and most states right now are trying to cut costs to balance deficits.

    So, yes, I say if students want to voluntarily take up arms they should be allowed, and if someone uses a firearm irresponsibly there should be harsh, and I mean harsh, penalties.

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  3. It's the smart thing to do. My only concern is the abundance of students on mind altering drugs prescribed by their physicians. Every last one of the school shooters in recent history was on antidepressants of one kind or another...it alters perception dangerously.

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  4. We shouldn't shout "fire" in a crowded theater any more or less than we should carry a gun into a civic debate. Let's get real here. Les is absolutely correct. Grown men and women know the line "when they see it."

    JMJ

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  5. Let's drop the "wild west" analogy; it's inaccurate. I've read various places that murder rates per capita were no higher then than now, and that was often with law a hundred-mile horseback-ride away. There weren't too many rapes, either, with even many women packing guns. "Grown men and women" need to wake up and smell the coffee.

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  6. Gorges et all: - Not talking about outlawing guns. Merely using common sense in the determination, and application, as to who ought to be licensed to carry in the public domain.

    The greater issue in my mind is 1) the leniency in laws as pertaining to criminal acts, 2) the length of time to go to trail, and 3)the pregnant appeal process.

    Th reality is that lawlessness in the "wild wild west" was such that sheriff's were left little choice but to take action such as requiring the dropping off of firearms at the sheriffs office when you entered town.

    I haven't seen the data you are referring to with respect to per capita homicides. I shall have to research this. A question I would have is accuracy of reporting at that time.

    I am in agreement with the 100 mile horseback ride required in some cases for the law to arrive in town. But I am not sure of it's relevancy given the leniency shown by the courts today.

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  7. Hmm. On the one hand, the right to carry arms is Constitutional.

    On the other, I am quite nervous that the college kids I see today, drunk/doped/sense of self-importance/mama's boys/chicks who drop their panties too quickly, are ill-prepared for such a huge responsibility.

    So it's not that it is a bad idea. It is simply a bad idea to allow such narcissistic children to carry weapons that can kill. Like giving matches to a 5 year old. Bad idea.

    Donald in Bethel, CT

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  8. "Mr. X, you have failed most of your tests this semester, I'm going to have to give you an F." "Oh, yeah,...
    bang!"

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