On Monday, the Associated Press reported Texas legislators were considering new laws to legalize concealed carry by licensed individuals within the boundaries of their state’s college campuses. Unfortunately, their report focused only on the negative, and gave undeserved “face-time” to Mr. John Woods, author of the UT Student Government resolution opposing the legislation. The article also presented the same unsubstantiated, fear-mongering claims used by anti-self-defense groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership.
The article asserts, “students and faculty members will live in fear of classmates and colleagues, not knowing who may pull a gun over a drunken argument in a dormitory room or a poor grade.” This claim assumes that all CCW holders are irresponsible, temperamental drunks. It is absurd to claim that responsible CCW holders who are able to control their temper and alcohol consumption off campus will suddenly abandon any pretext of decency once they cross the invisible line onto university property.
Mr. Woods himself claimed, “The idea that somebody could stop a school shooting with a gun is impossible.” Really? My memory may be failing, but as I recall the VA Tech, Blacksburg, VA State, Montgomery County Police Departments and the SWAT team all arrived at the scene with lots of guns. If it is impossible to stop a school shooting with a gun, why did law enforcement agencies bring so many of them? It seems despite Mr. Woods belief, the best tool for stopping a school shooting is a gun. It’s a shame the only person who had one in Norris Hall that day was the murderer.
Outside the world of media and university administrators, the response is not nearly so one-sided. The Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC), only briefly mentioned in the article boasts membership more than 25,000 stronger than its competing organization, Students for Gun Free Schools (SGFS) even though the groups were founded almost simultaneously. Where SGFS reports 21 member colleges in 11 states, the SCCC has 363 member colleges in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Three of these states have more member colleges than the entire SGFS organization (TX-33, PA-22, OH-22).
The broad-based support of the pro-self-defense movement is evident in the state legislatures. Seven States (AZ, GA, LA, MO, TN, TX, and SD) are considering legislation that would legalize concealed carry on campuses and prohibit administrators at public colleges from circumventing the legislation through university policy. Meanwhile, the eleven colleges at which concealed carry is permitted continue to operate without incident despite the dire predictions of anti-self-defense groups. Whether or not this landmark legislation succeeds, one thing remains clear. Students at our nation’s colleges are no longer willing to be stripped of their right to self-defense just to ease the irrational fears of an insecure academia.