Campus carry rights protect students
Zoe Wales’ March 21 op-ed (“Guns on-campus don’t make any sense”) demonstrates a lack of knowledge of Texas law.
Wales suggests, “Who’s to say that student A would or would not pull out their [sic] gun as a joke and accidentally fire it off and hit someone across the yard.”
This completely ignores the fact that a license holder who even tells another person that he or she is carrying a concealed handgun can be sentenced to one year in jail for failure to conceal.
Wales continues, “Who’s to say student B receives a failing grade and pulls their [sic] gun on to their teacher to change their grade.”
What good is a passing grade if you’re spending 20 years in prison for aggravated assault?
Finally, Wales asks, “Who’s to say that student A and B leave The Den and get into a brawl and pulls [sic] their guns out, shooting each other.”
But under the revised law, carrying a firearm in The Den would be no more legal than it is now. It would still be a third-degree felony punishable by up to ten years in jail.
Wales concludes, “All of these scenarios could in fact happen.” What he fails to realize is that all of these scenarios could just as easily happen now. Brandishing a firearm, threatening a professor and carrying a gun in a bar would all be just as illegal under the revised law as they are under the current law. If someone is likely to commit one of these serious crimes, that person is just as likely to carry a gun illegally.
The scenarios posed by Zoe Wales are all hypothetical. The 71 college campuses outside of Texas that currently allow concealed carry have yet to see a single resulting incident of gun violence (including threats and suicides), a single resulting gun accident, or a single resulting gun theft. In Texas, a person is 20 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to be murdered or negligently killed by a concealed handgun license holder.
Laws should be based on facts, not make-believe. Why should license holders be allowed the means to protect themselves at a movie theater on Saturday and at a church on Sunday but not in a college classroom on Monday?
W. Scott Lewis
Texas Legislative Director, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus