High caliber learning: Texas bill allows handguns on campus
The Texas Senate is weighing in on whether or not to pass the Campus Carry Bill — legislation that allows licensed gun owners to carry concealed handguns on public university campus grounds. Claims of safety are at the heart of both sides of the debate, with Republicans and gun-right activists pitted against student groups and school officials.
If the bill passes, Concealed Handgun License (CHL) holders will be permitted to carry a handgun on campus. In Texas, you can obtain a CHL if you are over 21 years of age, go through the four hour training course, and pass criminal and mental health background checks. This procedure makes it relatively easy to get a gun license and easier still to buy a gun in trigger happy Texas.
Gun-right activists argue that more guns on campus would decrease the chance of a school shooting, while school officials counter by saying that it would only lead to an increase in accidental shootings.
The number of guns in any area isn’t the issue up for consideration; it is the state of mind of those carrying guns that creates unnecessary risk. College students are under an immense amount of stress. Anyone current or former college student understands that a college student’s state of mind is always treading a thin line between stress and exhaustion.
While gun-right activists argue that allowing students to carry on campus will deter the possibility of gun violence because there will be more chance of defense, most CHL holders are not well-trained marksmen. A four hour training program is not enough to train someone to react to a hostile situation that would require them to break leather and open fire.
In Texas, all public university campus police are sworn police officers with the same authority as their fellow Texas law enforcement agencies. These officers are trained and carry enough firepower to prevent a worst-case scenario, like a school shooting.
With already well-trained law enforcement present on campus, the argument in favor of the bill is flimsy at best. More guns on campus being carried by civilians with various degrees of firearm experience only adds to the opportunity for complications and violence.
What do you think? Does having more guns on campus make you feel safer? Share your opinion here or find me on Twitter @jesusgreaser