Campus Life Blog: Handguns on Campus

March 3, 2011  

Posted by Elena Harding
eharding@smu.edu

Tuesday, a Texas bill that would allow people with a concealed handgun license to carry a gun on college grounds, was referred to Homeland Security and Public Safety. It is tailored for community colleges and would not affect schools like SMU.

The reason other institutions of higher education are not included is not clear in the bill. However, in a press release its author, Rep. Van Taylor, said the reason is due to “very different atmospheres” from four-year universities. He was basically suggesting that four-year universities are safer than two-year colleges.

I disagree. I transferred in to SMU from a community college and I felt just as safe there as I do at SMU. Nor would I have felt any safer surrounded by a bunch of armed classmates.

There is another problem with this bill. It sounds like it could open the door to allowing concealed handguns at any institution of higher education. Quotes in the press release from an NRA representative suggest it and that would definitely not make me feel safe.

If approved, the act will take effect in the 2011 fall semester.

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Comments

3 Responses to “Campus Life Blog: Handguns on Campus”

  1. someothername on March 4th, 2011 2:06 pm

    Here’s the problem in Texas:

    Motor Vehicle burglary crimes have steadily increased on all campuses.

    Current policy requires that Licensees can carry their gun all over Campus, but must store it in their car while in a class or Library or building.

    Sec. 46.035 TEXAS Penal Code
    f) In this section:
    (3) “Premises” means a building or a portion of a building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.

    Guns are allowed on Campuses already and always have been. It’s only inside the buildings that they are prohibited.

    It is 100% more likely that my car would be broken into and my gun stolen, than someone reaching into my pants inside a classroom to steal a concealed gun they didn’t even know was there which is safely holstered and retained by a reinforced belt. (Sadly, I can’t even remember the last time anyone in a classroom reached into my pants to try to grab anything concealed in there)

    Current policy gives criminals easier access to guns.

    Campus Police officer point of view:

    Licensees can be armed in city libraries, but on campus we prefer to create a situation of giving easy access to guns to criminals? That doesn’t make sense.

    If you were a campus police officer on a call to a burglary of a vehicle in progress, would you prefer to walk up to a burglar holding a bunch of CDs and an I-Pad, or holding a gun a Licensee had to store in his car while he runs into the library?

    Let the Licensee who carries daily in a secured concealed holster keep his or her weapon secured and concealed, not in a car for a criminal to take.

    Passing the campus carry bills will aid in keeping guns out of the wrong (criminals’) hands.

    Now, licensees can carry their concealed gun all over campus except into the library or classrooms, so they have to store them in cars which get burglarized when they are going into a building.

    As I said, I can’t even recall the last time anyone reached into my pants in a classroom. However I have had my car broken into and contents stolen,

    Vehicle burglaries are on the rise at all campuses, this is where you currently have to store your gun, allowing easier access to criminals. Criminals who will use your gun to commit other crimes. 70% of gun crimes are committed with stolen guns.

    The Texas bill needs to pass, it’s just common sense.

    Ray Hunt, the 2nd vice-president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union, the largest police union in the state of Texas, spoke out in favor of legalizing licensed concealed carry (of handguns) on Texas college campuses and dismissed the notion that the presence of armed citizens would somehow cause chaos or confusion during or following a campus shooting.

    He also mentioned that the union had been originally fairly anti-CHL, fearing shootings of CHL-holders by police amongst other things. Upon seeing that that hadn’t occurred at all, they were happy to throw their support behind the concept of CHL in general, and they now specifically support concealed-carry on campus.

    It isn’t hard to tell a person walking desk to desk executing people from a CHL hiding under a desk waiting his turn so he can shoot upwards at the shooter and any bullet passing through the shooter hits the ceiling instead of other students on the floor. Police are trained for shoot-no shoot situations.

    The current status quo of forcing responsible adults who conceal a weapon safely every day store it in a car to go into the library on campus, just provides easier access to guns for criminals. 70% of gun crimes are committed with stolen guns.

    If I were a Police Officer, I’d rather respond to a car burglary and find someone holding a bunch of CDs, than a gun someone had to store there.

    If the largest group of Police in Texas who encounter licensees on almost a daily basis during very stressful traffic stops etc. support it, it must be a good idea. It’s just common sense. Alternatively, we can continue providing free guns to criminals on campus [property to be used in other crimes.

  2. someothername on March 4th, 2011 2:08 pm

    Here’s the thing:

    On FRIDAY THE 13th of April 2007
    Everyone FELT safe at Virginia Tech
    on Monday the 16th, they found out that they weren’t
    If you want to FEEL safe, carry a rabbit’s foot, if you want to BE safe, carry a .45

  3. someothername on March 4th, 2011 2:13 pm

    Gun free zone FAIL this week:

    Gun seized from student was loaded
    Sheriff’s officials said they have no reason to believe David Alexander Vanheeren had violent intentions Wednesday when he brought the gun, four pocket knives and a tube of an unknown white substance to school.

    “As far as we can tell there wasn’t a plan,”
    By Jennifer Swartz
    The Daily Reflector
    Friday, March 4, 2011
    (Google it for more details)
    ——————————————————————–

    “no reason to believe … had violent intentions” …….. ?
    “loaded gun, four pocket knives and a tube of an unknown white substance” … probably for “show and tell”?

    Perhaps the letters were too small on the gun free zone sign?