POINT COUNTERPOINT: CONSTITUTIONAL SHOOTOUT
Question: If the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution allows citizens to carry guns, should legally eligible students, staff and faculty be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus?
Concealed carry needed to safeguard students against school shooters
It defies common sense to believe that criminals will obey laws. It’s beyond credulity to think the insane will be rational. It’s utterly stupid to deny law-abiding citizens the constitutional right to carry their licensed firearm on campus. This only provides gunmen with defenseless students and faculty to pick off before they’re stopped.
The basic argument for concealed carry on campus is simple. The Constitution, by means of the Bill of Rights, clearly defines in the Second Amendment: "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." And yet it is. Many people against CCOC argue that the amendment specifically mentions the militia, and that it doesn’t intend for ordinary citizens to share in this right. That would almost be logical, if it weren’t for one tiny, yet powerful phrase -"the people."
In Texas it’s necessary for anyone wishing to lawfully carry a concealed weapon to go through an application process. They must submit an application request card to the Department of Public Safety, which performs a background check. This encompasses a long list of restrictions, including a lack of felony or misdemeanor charges including DUIs or any juvenile charges, any sentences resulting in probation or deferred adjudication, any defaults on loans, grants, child support or taxes and any mental health diagnoses or restraining orders placed against the applicant. Also, the applicant must attend a 10-15 hour DPS-certified handgun course and have a certificate of proficiency signed.
I cannot see why anyone wouldn’t want these trained, certified and law-abiding citizens to have their weapons on campus.
The University of Texas Tower Massacre occurred Aug. 1, 1966. A mentally unstable student named Charles Whitman climbed into the watchtower at UT and proceeded to kill 14 and wound 32. Officer Ramiro Martinez led the charge against Whitman and took with him armed civilian Allen Crum. Martinez later wrote that civilian shooters were to be credited in assisting officers, as they provided suppressing fire.
The people committing the act of murdering students and teachers are the ones with guns, while everyone else is defenseless. It’s terribly stupid to deny licensed carriers their right to have a powerful method of defense on what has proven time and again to be a virtual videogame for crazed gunmen.
If free speech were banned tomorrow by some state law and school rule which proclaimed it to be dangerous, there’d be an enormous (illegal) outcry and demonstration, which would probably be followed by a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on the grounds of unconstitutional suppression of rights. And yet, people are annoyed when someone wants to have their licensed handgun concealed on their person in what is an increasingly dangerous school.
We’re being denied our constitutional right to bear arms in what has been proven a hotspot of large-scale violence. Take back your rights. Look into the local chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Getting our right back to defend ourselves might save lives someday.
Grosse, a communication junior, can be reached via [email protected]
Gun protection should be left to the proper and established authorities
The theories advocated by my colleague make plenty of sense, with a few givens, but reality has a way of messing things up. All gun manufacturers are legal. They sell to wholesalers. As long as the wholesaler is licensed and legitimate there is no problem. Wholesalers sell to distributors. As long as they are legitimate there is no problem. Distributors sell guns to customers. As long as the customers are legitimate there is no problem. If these people retained their guns forever there is no problem, but if they relinquish the gun or have it stolen it becomes a problem.
To evaluate my colleague’s argument, the first example given is Charles Whitman. Whitman was a model citizen. He was the youngest person to become an Eagle Scout at his time. He was a trained Marine sniper. He trained well in excess of the 15 hours required by Texas. He had absolutely no criminal record when he committed his crimes. He was diagnosed as having an anxiety disorder, but in the legal code relating to concealed carry of today, he would not have been disqualified. By every issue that is taken into account by the Texas concealed carry requirements, he would have been approved.
The Second Amendment uses the word "regulate." This term is used nine times in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 15 and 16 say exactly what a militia is. The clauses specifically state the intended uses of a militia. Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 clearly states the president has control over militias. No private citizen qualifies as a militia. Also, Article 6, Clause 2 says that the Constitution "shall be the supreme Law of the Land"- if it is covered in the document, it is not reserved under the states’ rights clause.
Further, the second says, "being necessary to the security of a free State." The argument I have heard revolves around the idea that we as citizens have the right to keep guns because if the government gets out of hand, we can suppress them. This is flawed as well. Three times the government has denied habeas corpus, and later it was ruled unconstitutional. One thing I promise is that in the event that Americans rise against the government, it will be held constitutional.
"The people" works in the context of the people serving to protect the nation from foreign threats, not domestic threats. That is the duty of the police. During the recent Washington D.C. gun rights case, the lawyer for opponents of the existing gun law said that the term "militia" had evolved into a potential draft. He said people should have access to any gun the military had and in the event a draft was instituted, the people would be familiar with the weapons necessary to protect this free state. Sans a draft, he is arguing law in court with a hypothetical situation that most agree will never again happen.
I am not opposed to guns. However, the talking points of the pro-gun crowd are not logically based.
Our Founding Fathers called this nation an experiment. Based on the evidence, it is hard to conclude that we have regulated guns well at all. They still are involved in horrendous crimes, despite the fact that they legally get through the supply chain. It is "the People" who allow guns to get in the hands of criminals, not the government. Therefore, what can the government really do except outlaw them if our own citizens won’t follow the law?
Khan, a political science and history junior, can be reached via [email protected]