Understanding campus carry

Two bills (SB 11 and HB 937) currently pending before the Texas Legislature would legalize the licensed concealed carry of handguns on Texas college campuses. These twelve questions undergird the logic behind “campus carry” legislation:

1. Why should a trained, licensed, carefully screened adult (age 21 or above) be allowed to carry a concealed handgun at a movie theater on Friday, at a shopping mall on Saturday, and in a church on Sunday but be prohibited from doing so in a college classroom on Monday?

2. Why should that same license holder be allowed to carry a concealed handgun at a municipal library but not a college library, at a health club but not a campus recreation center, and at a restaurant but not a university dining hall?

3. Does licensed concealed carry inhibit free expression in Texas churches or prevent heated debates in the Texas Capitol—two places where concealed carry is currently allowed?

4. Given that college campuses are open environments with uncontrolled points of entry (no metal detectors or bag checks) and that a person could just as easily walk into a classroom carrying a backpack full of guns as carrying a backpack full of books, why should a professor be more concerned about issuing a bad grade to someone who might secretly be a trained, tested, carefully vetted license holder carrying a gun LEGALLY than to someone who might secretly be an untrained, untested, unvetted criminal carrying a gun ILLEGALLY?

5. Given that the debate is about changing WHERE concealed handgun license (CHL) holders can carry guns and would not change WHO can carry a gun, why do opponents spend so much time talking about the relative immaturity of college students?

6. Given that 90% of suicides occur in the victim’s home, that most students over the age of 21 live off-campus, that the pending legislation would allow universities to regulate the storage of firearms in on-campus housing, and that CHL holders are already allowed to keep handguns in locked vehicles parked on campus, what is the factual basis for claiming that campus carry would lead to an increase in student suicides?

7. Given that the legalization of campus carry would not change the laws at fraternity houses, off-campus parties, tailgating events, or bars—the places where students (particularly those old enough to obtain a CHL) are most likely to drink—why do opponents spend so much time talking about the dangers of mixing guns and alcohol?

8. How could three to ten SECONDS of exchanged gunfire (the average length of a gunfight, according to most experts) possibly result in greater loss of life than a three- to ten-MINUTE uncontested, execution-style massacre? Put another way, how could a few seconds of an assailant and a CHL holder shooting at each other possibly be worse than several minutes of the assailant walking up and down classroom aisles, shooting people in the head (sometimes multiple times) at pointblank range?

9. If most shootouts are over in three to ten seconds, what are the odds of police encountering an ongoing shootout and being unable to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys?

10. Given that CHL holders would be required to keep their guns concealed unless facing an IMMEDIATE threat, how significant is the risk of police mistaking a good guy for a bad guy?

11. Given that more than 150 U.S. college campuses currently allow licensed concealed carry and have done so for a combined total of almost 1,500 fall/spring semesters, without a single resulting assault or suicide, what makes opponents think the same vetted, licensed adults who aren’t causing trouble elsewhere in Texas will cause trouble on Texas college campuses?

12. What is the benefit of a state law or school policy that stacks the odds in favor of any criminal or psychopath willing to ignore state law and school policy?

Madison D. Welch, a recent graduate of Texas A&M University, serves as the Southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry.


There are 14 comments

      1. Barry Hirsh

        You pipe the leftist tune, hoping the rats will follow you into the drink.

        We ain't rats, and only liberal rats are gonna follow you anywhere.

  1. getoffmylawn

    A very objective argument (not), from the "Southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry." Welch's entire premise is wrong, therefore, his conclusions are obviously wrong. Welch assumes that it's OK (or even smart) to carry a firearm to movie theaters, churches, malls, and government buildings. This is the entire premise of the gun culture...insert guns into EVERY aspect of society (not based on any factual data that doing so protects anyone), then argue that, since it's OK to have guns EVERYWHERE, why not campuses? Open Carry Texas, which promotes this radical ideology, has been trying to "condition" people to the continuous presence of guns, trying to remake Texas and the rest of the country into some radical libertarian society resembling Somalia more than the Land of the Free.

    1. Zabilde

      The points are valid. If CHL holders can and are already safely and responsibly carrying in those other locations, why would allowing them to continue to carry when they cross the magic border onto a college campus be suddenly so less safe.

      You cower in fear of our "uncommon sense" and the impending blood baths, yet such events and mistakes as you fear are not happening.

      Perhaps you are in fact the one lacking common sense. The fact is CHL holders are the safest, most law abiding segment of society, we are 8 times less likely than police officers to commit criminal acts and 12 times less likely than the general populace. So why do you fear us? We are not a threat. The criminal who will carry regardless of the law is the threat and they are already carrying.

      1. getoffmylawn

        I, too, am licensed to carry concealed. I'm not talking some irrational fear as you assert. I'm simply using common sense as a responsible gun owner. Guns have no place in schools, campuses, government buildings, or any place where owners don't want them. The US is neck deep in guns. According to the NRA we should be the safest nation in the world, but the opposite is true. Over 30,000 Americans die by the gun every year. Thousands more are wounded. Our homicide rate is multiples higher than the rest of the civilized world.

  2. Barry Hirsh

    The thing that gives the lie to the opposition's argument is that all seven of the states that allow campus carry without a college administrative veto have had no problems at all. In contrast, all of the rapes and other violent crimes committed on or around college campuses occur wherever campus carry is prohibited.

    Facts don't lie, and those are the facts.

    The American people must awaken to the fact that opponents of liberal exercise of the fundamental right to arms base their objections on emotions, corrupted studies and cooked numbers, all arrows in the Saul Alinsky quiver of destroying our constitutional republic.

    Wake up, America. Wakey-WAKEY!

    1. getoffmylawn

      There is NO evidence that campus carry reduces crime. NONE. In addition, crime is very low on college campuses to begin with. We do know, however, that suicide is a leading cause of death among young people, and that the presence of guns increases the chances of successful suicides. There is no reason for you to force your gun culture on college students who are in one of the most important phases in their lives just to assuage your love for cold steel on your hip. Barry, YOU are the one using emotion, making a non-existent case for increasing danger on everyone. Wakey, Wakey!

  3. 2014shsuretiree

    A couple of questions...
    1. What are the state of Texas sanctions, if any, for a CHL holder making threats of shooting people?*
    2. What are the SHSU UPD and HR procedures regarding reported threats of shooting SHSU employees by an SHSU employee with a CHL?*
    3. If proper protections for non-CHL holders from CHL holders have not been upheld by a Texas law enforcement agency in a non-authorized CHL-carry area under their jurisdiction in the past, what makes anyone assume that expanding the spread of authorized CHL-carry to that area under their jurisdiction will make those areas safer?
    Note: *Questions not based on theoretical event.

  4. getoffmylawn

    Were you aware that the Founders were opposed to campus carry? Did you know that the University of Virginia banned firearms from its campus in 1824? The Rector of the board at the time was none other than Thomas Jefferson, and on the board was James Madison (you know, the guy who drafted the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment). Perhaps you should go back to history class.


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