Legal gunowners not a threat
Concealed carry on campus is a hotly debated issue among college communities and lawmakers, but most of the proposal’s oposition stems from misguided views.
To obtain a Concealed Handgun License in Texas an applicant must pass a comprehensive background check, attend a state-approved training course, submit fingerprints to the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety and pass a shooting test.
The idea that a concealed carry licensee will ‘snap’ one day is highly improbable. A comparison of arrest rates reveals that the general public of Texas is five times more likely to commit a violent crime than a CHL holder.
Students for Concealed Carry on Campus was formed in 2007 as a response to the Virginia Tech massacre, in which a VT student gunned down 32 people. SCCC supports the legalization of concealed carry by licensed individuals on college campuses nationwide.
Since Utah’s 2006Supreme Court ruling in Utah v. Stuart, Utah’s state law has allowed licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of all nine state public colleges.
Colorado State University has allowed concealed carry on campus since 2003 and VA began allowing firearms on campus in 1995, according to SCCC’s Web site.
‘After allowing concealed carry on campus for a combined total of more than eighty semesters, none of these eleven schools have seen a single resulting incident of gun violence (including suicides), a single gun accident, or a single gun theft,’ it said on the site.
Eighty semesters combined without a single incident. Where are the ‘Wild West shootouts’ opponents claimed would happen?
In the 1981 case of Warren v. District of Columbia, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled ‘a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular citizen.’ That means the UH Police Department is not required to protect the community from a gunman on campus.
Combine that with a Texas ban on concealed firearms on college campuses and you have an equation that stacks the odds in favor of criminals.
A 1985 survey of convicted felons by the U.S. Department of Justice found 60 percent of respondents indicated they would not ‘mess around’ with a person they suspected might have a gun.
Disallowing concealed carry on college campuses does not make sense. CHL holders are allowed to carry virtually everywhere else – why should a campus be any different?
If you have ever been to a movie theater, grocery store or restaurant, then you have been in the presence of someone carrying a concealed firearm.
When I was 8 years old, two robbers put a .38 caliber handgun to my head. They had kicked down the door to a family friend’s house and demanded cash, or else they would ‘blow’ my brains out. I can only pray that nothing similar will ever happen to my peers, and I ask the UH community to send a strong message that crime will not be tolerated on this campus.
For more information on concealed carry issues, visit http://www.concealedcampus.org or join the Facebook group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.
Bradley Holubec is a pre-business freshman and may be reached at [email protected].