Kris Hoffman" />
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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Guest column: Campus carry is a necessity

One of the most polarizing topics on any university campus is the debate over guns. People who are outwardly averse to such legislation tend to persuade others with cherry-picked data, studies sponsored by anti-gun groups and good old fashioned fear mongering.

The purpose of SB11, known as Campus Carry, is to prevent deadly personal attacks or mass shooting incidents on campus or other university-related property. How many campus crime alerts must we endure before people realize that this is a necessity?

Having a CHL myself, I can tell you that they do not simply let anyone who can sit through a 10 hour (at the time) course brandish a firearm on their hip in hopes of finding trouble and saving the day. The purpose of a concealed handgun license is to give a person the chance to defend themselves and/or others against a deadly attack should all other means of avoiding said attack fail.

Each potential CHL holder must pass background checks, submit fingerprints, pass a written state exam and display proficiency with their personal firearm in front of an instructor. When I carry, I most certainly do not flash my sidearm to intimidate or hope that a fire fight breaks out at the O.K. Corral; doing so comes with a class A misdemeanor, third degree felony, or worse, depending on the circumstances. I also never forget I have it on my person nor the responsibility that being a CHL holder demands.

Most of the fears that surround SB11, and guns in general, center around disinformation and a lack of education on firearms themselves. According to 2013 Texas DPS conviction report, concealed handgun owners are convicted in 0.3106 percent of all violent crimes in Texas. There is a direct inverse relationship to the murder rate versus the number of concealed carry permits.

This past July, the Washington Times reported, “Since 2007, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared from 4.6 million to over 12.8 million, and murder rates have fallen from 5.6 killings per 100,000 people to just 4.2, about a 25 percent drop.” There is ample statistical data proving that where there are CHL holders, there is less crime. Turns out, criminals don’t like being shot.

Who knew?

My CHL instructor warned the class that each bullet fired in a justified shooting situation will come with approximately $20,000 in legal defense fees. Clearly anecdotal, yet even though the shooting may be deemed “justified,” there is still a heavy price to pay in either proving the shooting was warranted or in civil courts; should the family of the person you shot sue you personally for their loss and other punitive damages. Acting upon an active shooter or other life threatening situation is not entered into lightly; it comes with great responsibility.

My hope is that the University keeps an open mind regarding “safe zones” and student discipline should a violent act occur on campus or at a school sponsored event. If the punishment is too severe to warrant using a firearm to stop an incident, the law is, in essence, useless, as seen at Umpqua Community College.

There is no denying that Campus Carry will make some uneasy, be it from a lack of education on the subject or cultural upbringing, but be assured fellow students, CHL holders are on your side, regardless of political beliefs or cultural differences.

Kris Hoffman is an engineering junior.

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