Allowing Concealed Guns on Campus is Back Before the Texas Legislature

HandgunInPants_texastribune.jpg
Texas Tribune
Back in 2011, a simpler time, the most heated gun-related debate in the Texas Legislature was over a provision allowing concealed weapons to be brought onto college campuses. That proposal seems almost quaint as the focus has shifted to proposals to arm elementary school teachers.

That's not to say that the campus carry debate has gone away; far from it. Even after Senator Jeff Wentworth's 2011 proposal failed to pass the House, legislators and gun rights groups never really stopped pushing the proposal. And now, it's officially back.

Senator Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, filed a bill this morning to allow handguns on college campuses.

The bill itself if pretty straightforward, allowing those with concealed handgun permits to bring their gun on campus and prohibiting colleges, public or private, from saying otherwise. Schools would be allowed to establish rules governing the storage of weapons in dorms and other residential facilities, but public institutions could do little else. Private colleges would be allowed to bar guns from certain areas of campus, but only "after consulting with students, staff and faculty."

Wentworth told the Texas Tribune last April that campus carry has "overwhelming support in both the Senate and the House." He also predicted a "vigorous debate" during the current session. Here's betting he's right.


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24 comments
bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

Ask yourself, which is scarier: Guns in the hands of raving sociopaths. Or gun legislation in the hands of Texas legislators.

Seanmhair
Seanmhair

Concealed Carry anywhere is taken seriously in Texas.  Remember there must be a background check more vigorous than a law enforcement officer.  The Legislature has said you must be at least 21 before you can get one and you must be aware of the consequences of using deadly force.  Many faculty, staff and students have concealed handgun licenses and meet all these and more requirements.  

We are aware that there are illegal guns on campuses already.  Knowing that there are legal ones there as well will act as a deterant.   Gun-free zones are killing zones.

MisterMean
MisterMean

How about this:

Require all state representatives and senators to be packing loaded guns in their respective legislative chambers.  Any visitors to said chambers would be issued a loaded fire arm upon entering.  It would be relinquished when the visitor left.   Same would be required at any public meeting where said politician hosted.  Politicians would be required to have at least 1 meeting per month.  They could not restrict any citizen who attended said meeting.

Same for the Governor, Lt. Gov, and Attorney General.

roo_ster
roo_ster

I am all for it.  Adults ought not lose their liberty because some school bureaucritter is hoplophobic.  

Gotta be 21YO for a CHL, so that limits the potential population a bit.

NewsDog
NewsDog

The big problem I see is with the private school part. Private schools are private property and they can set their own rules on this. Just as private businesses can prohibit carrying a weapon in their buildings.

When I was attending SFA in the early ‘80s it was pretty much a given that there were guns in vehicles parked on campus, I had three in my trunk, because so many people hunted. Once I even carried my shotgun up to my dorm room to clean it. My RA walked in to ask me something and said ‘you’re really not supposed to have that in here’ then asked how my hunt was. It wasn’t a big deal.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

it'll be interesting to follow.  Though it seems they excluded one reasonable party.  Why can't those living in dorms have guns?  I'm not saying that it shouldn't limited, but if one has a concealed carry, a way to secure it, why not?  It's not crazy that a student might have a couple of hunting rifles, perhaps the dorm should have safes available in the office.  We can ignore the problem by banning them, or acknowledge their presence and regulate and craft policy to deal with them.  Not all those living in dorms are under 21 yr old kids. 

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Drunk college kids with guns, what could possibly go wrong?

CraigT42
CraigT42

Having attended 3 colleges in TX and worked at another one I can tell you for a fact that handguns, concealed or otherwise are abundant already.

tracker1312
tracker1312

@SuperfuzzBigmuff Drunk college kids with cars, what could possibly go wrong? Better prohibit them from driving too. While you're at it, maybe lock them in a padded room so they can't hurt themselves or get knocked up/someone else knocked up or get an STD. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@observist @scottindallas no, sounds like Tarantino's next movie.  "Texas Panty Raid--the Girls Fight Back"  poor women have been denied their panties for too long, it's only rational that they have the Constitutional Right to defend their maidenhead.

observist
observist topcommenter

@tracker1312"X is can kill people, so why don't you ban X too?"  No gun-related thread is complete without this imbecilic argument being made at least 3 times.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@j.walter.miller well there are the ones that prefer to get high too, sorry.

fistofsouth
fistofsouth

@observist @RTGolden1 @tracker1312 I've used firearms most of my life and killing is only one of the possible applications.  Guns can be used for any number of things that do not involve the death of anyone or anything. 

You are correct when you say that guns differ from automobiles and other implements commonly referenced in these discussions.  The right to bar arms is enshrined in our constitution while the right to cars  or transportation of any kind is not reflected in the Bill of Right


One last thing; the death count on 9-11?  That was all the result of box cutters.  In fact go find the top instances of mass slaughter in this nation and you will find that bombs and cars are much better mass killing devices than guns.

observist
observist topcommenter

@RTGolden1@observist@tracker1312 

The crux of the argument is that guns are just like any other potentially dangerous object, which is simply not true. None of the other things are built solely for the purpose of killing, none of them are used to intentionally kill people as often as guns are, none of them are as effective and efficient at killing as guns are, and all of them have other uses beneficial to society. The fact that there is a constitutional amendment specifically addressing "arms", as opposed to any potentially dangerous objects, clearly puts weapons in a class by themselves. So, there are plenty of valid arguments about the constitution and the deterrent effect of guns, but this particular argument equating accidental automobile deaths with intentional firearm deaths, which is often expressed with a glib "Q.E.D" self-satisfaction, is irksome to me. But you're right, calling it names acheives nothing.

I also disagree with this statement:

"Banning or restricting an implement of death will do nothing to stop or restrict the rate of death."

A murder takes both the violent impulse and the ability to carry it out. Guns dramatically increase the physical ability to carry it out. A couple days before Sandy Hook a man in China attacked a bunch of school kids with a knife. He injured 23 kids and killed 0 - same impulse to harm kids, but without a gun he had to chase them around individually and could simply not kill them as easily.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/24/world/asia/china-school-knife-attack/index.html

In contrast to Sandy Hook where a man with a gun could stand in one place and kill 20 kids in a matter of seconds. The implement directly affected the rate of death.

tracker1312
tracker1312

@observist @RTGolden1  So because you don't like the conclusion to a valid argument, you call the argument names. That's classic, that is. You have nothing valid to prove that outlawing guns would do anything other than create a police state and/or more crime via a black market, as the criminals certainly don't care about the law.

 Life is dangerous. Freedom even more so. I find it abhorrent, a travesty, an absolute insult to everyone who fought for our freedom. Of everyone who gave everything they had so that we would be guaranteed the RIGHT to defend ourselves from criminals, despots and tyrants. It is not a privilege. It is not to be regulated, infringed, denied, or slowly done away with. If you want to live with a jackboot upon your neck, at the mercy of organized crime, please go do it somewhere else (I hear Russia is nice this time of year), as the rest of us would like to not be dragged down with you. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@scottindallas @RTGolden1 @observist @tracker1312 You're comparing apples to onions Scott.  Nobody is advocating making fully automatic weapons available to the public.  There are laws that make it extremely difficult and expensive to legally purchase a fully auto weapon.  Those laws need to stay firmly entrenched.  I would fully support a law to close the 'bump-fire' loophole that effectively makes a semi-auto into full auto without breaching the 'letter' of the law.

For future reference, suppression fire is not a 'noise-maker'.  It is a specific tactic with a very defined purpose.  Also you need to clarify your statement about assault squads.  US squad tactics in urban environments don't rely on automatic fire, because our military actually teaches marksmanship to the troops. Other countries rely heavily on automatic fire, because volume theoretically makes up for skill.

In any event, we probably share a closer view on gun control than you might think.  I'm not opposed to sensible precautions aimed at actually reducing the possibility of a person with harmful intent acquiring a firearm.  I am opposed to restricting the rights of law-abiding free men just because some people find guns scary.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@RTGolden1@observist@tracker1312 I don't think it's a great argument.  The utility of a car is tremendous, where the utility of guns are far more limited.  But, no one is proposing banning guns.  Perhaps a few models.  We DON'T let any vehicle on the road, they have to have certain safety features to be allowed on the roads.  


Now RT, what's the utility of a machine gun, or even an autofire machine gun.  Not even tactical assault squads use the autofire setting.  If you're down to autofire, the s has already hit the fan; or it's used for suppression fire, not a direct tactical application--but a noise maker.  So, we do put qualifications on automobile use, and all that's been proposed are a few limits on gun ownership.  

I'm not of a single mind on this issue.  I do think laws need to be limited in scope and scale as we will never be able to fully enforce sweeping changes. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@observist @tracker1312 calling it an 'imbecilic' argument doesn't make it so.  Why is this not a valid critique?  Is it because you like being able to drive, but are not particularly fond of firearms?  Automobiles aren't just a cause of death, it is the leading cause of un natural death from birth to early middle age, exceeding drowning, falls and poisoning, all of which exceed firearms deaths.  Kind of hard to ban or regulate the existence of water or gravity, but we should be able to limit and regulate the hell out of automobiles.  Mini-vans are not engineered to have a stable center of gravity when fully loaded, making these little toddler transporters more susceptible to roll-over with each child strapped into it.  Why not ban high capacity vehicles?  I'll tell you why it's imbecilic: Banning or restricting an implement of death will do nothing to stop or restrict the rate of death.  Swift, severe prosecution of crimes with prompt carrying out of the sentence will reduce crimes, including gun crimes.  a PERSON commits a crime, not a tool, not a device, not a force of nature, but a person.  Punish the criminal for effect.  Anything else is just a diversionary tactic.

j.walter.miller
j.walter.miller

@SuperfuzzBigmuff Here is the thing:  there are plenty of veterans going to school on these campuses that are extremely responsible, mature individuals.  And we have a raft of laws in place to punish, severe anyone that carries a weapon while they are intoxicated.  The penalties are crushing.  It's game over if you get caught drunk or high with a concealed weapon.  I'd be game to make the penalties even more severe for violating those existing laws on a campus.  First offense, mandatory 10 years.

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