Republicans look to arm students

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Guns can pose a threat to people, even when their use is well-intentioned in terms of defending the safety of others. Since the unfortunate event in Tuscon, Ariz., and the shooting a year earlier at the campus of The University of Texas, legislation concerning guns has been loaded into many agendas.

In Texas, the debate centers around House Bill 1893 and its companion bill SB 354. Both bills propose that students will be allowed to carry guns on the campuses of higher education institutions.

The argument over this bill is a simple one: allowing more guns on campus will result in many more opportunities for people to get hurt or even killed.

In January, a gun fell out of a man’s jacket and a woman was wounded by the gun as it discharged when it hit the floor inside of a Houston restaurant.

The same thing could easily happen at a university inside of a classroom.

More significantly, guns serve no constructive purpose on college campuses. Most supporters of the right to carry on campus claim that if those licensed to carry are allowed to do so, then they will be able to protect themselves and others in the case of another school shooting.

Police forces around the country have deemed the idea of students shooting back as a very dangerous one. Most people who decide to commit campus shooting sprees don’t distinguish themselves in order to stand out from normal students. This becomes very dangerous, as cops have no way of knowing who the shooter is and who is wielding a gun in order to help.

One has to wonder how other students could accomplish what police would try do to in the same situation. How is one gun-carrying student going to be able to determine a gunman from a student who is trying to protect themselves?

Since the year 2000, there have been six incidents on college campuses where a student has fired upon and killed others. Five out of those six times the student committing the shooting has ended up shooting himself.

The one exception was in January of 2002, when a graduate student of Virginia’s Appalachian school of law was tackled and subdued after killing three people. This proves that students don’t need guns to solve a serious situation.


  • I was a student at the Appalachian School of Law in 2002 when the shooting took place. I don't blame you for having your facts wrong, because the news reports at the time were misleading – possibly purposefully misleading. In any event, the students that 'tackled and subdued' the shooter did so *armed*. Several students went to their cars in the nearby parking lot, retrieved their guns, and returned to subdue the shooter. They weren't so foolhardy as to tackle him unarmed. They would have been too late to save the two professors who were killed, but if the had their firearms on them, they may have been able to act more quickly, and save one life, and three people from injury. Jeffrey M. Kessler,, Attorney at Law, ASL class of 2004.

    • i read two students (don't think that is 'several' except maybe in lawyer-talk) got guns, but according to half of the witnesses (there were two primary witnesses) an unarmed man is actually the one who subdued the shooter. the 'facts' seem pretty unclear, so i won't be too arrogant, but i don't think you should get arrogant either just because you were in that area at the time. two people watching the same thing happening can't even agree on what they saw.

      • Ted Besen and Tracy Bridges are the names of the two people. Less than a minute of google searching got the wiki page, the police report, and half a dozen news reports. You obviously didn't even bother looking it up in the hopes no one would fact check you. Peter Odighizuwa laid his firearm which still had bullets in it down and surrendered, that is when he was subdued after Besen and Bridges had him covered.

        I don't know what you are trying to pull, but anyone with a minutes time and the willingness to look can find out what happened.

  • The author needs to verify what is posted submitting. The current Texas House Bill 1893 is related "to the licensure of anesthesiologist assistants; providing penalties." The Texas House Bill 1893 in 2009 was the one related to concealed carry on campus, the current house bill is HB 750. The Senate Bill mentioned, however, is correct.

  • What would happen if the bill passes, a shooting happens, and a college student who has his licence try to take out the shooter, but because of the pressure of the situation, misses the killer and kills someone else? I know your going to say he has training to carry the weapon, but shooting a target and taking classes is different from someone shooting at you, people running and screaming, and the added pressure of shooting something that is alive, and human. Can anyone honestly say that they would shot their target in that chaotic setting?

    • I dont think i would pull my gun out in a chaotic setting because i have common sense. Its pretty basic gun safety to not fire in a crowded area and to always check your back target.

      oh and during shootings most people near the gunman are on the floor quietly crying, not running and screaming.

      but yes, the added pressure is quite a pain… I would assume after the proper training needed to gain the CHL that the student would have good enough judgement to realize if he/she is capable of taking such action.

    • What would happen is the exact same thing as if a police officer shot the wrong person by accident. There would be a tragedy and a lawsuit. And incidentally, statistics show the police hit the wrong person much more often than do private citizens. Are you sure you want to wait for the police when someone is shooting at you?

  • Your point about Tier 1 is moot. If the bill were passed it would affect all colleges in Texas including all Tier 1 schools. If one can't deal with that fact they don't have to go to a university in Texas, simple as that. Either suck it up and go or don't, don't get mad at the schools for not conforming to your personal moral hang-ups. If thats the case then a lot of UH students wouldn't be here at UH because they only serve Coca-cola products.

    • Pot, kettle, black?

      You may now resume your "me want guns!" cognitive-dissonance tantrum, presumably written from an out-of-state college where guns are legal.

  • GPackwood, this bill would have no impact on academic achievement for the college. If you believe it would lower UH in rankings against US colleges, it wont. Just look at University of Utah, its allows conceal carry on campus and is higher in rankings than UH is on ARWU World, ARWU National, Forbes, and WM National University lists. They have even been named a Top 200 University(world) by Times Higher Education, while UH has not. So while that shows it has nothing to do with ranking, it also shows it has no effect on the academic learning environment.

  • Armed assault
    Armed robbery
    Armed kidnapping
    Car break-ins (to get guns stored there because Licensees must store them there to run into a library on campus, but not a city library?)
    Keep people disarmed ….?
    Friday, February 25, 2011
    Aggravated abduction reported by student

    The UH Department of Public Safety reported the abduction of a student at gunpoint at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. According to the community alert released Thursday evening, the incident occurred on Cullen Boulevard between…

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Patrols increase after robbery;

    vehicle burglaries on the rise

    Campus police have stepped up patrols around Farish Hall in an effort to prevent any further incidents following an aggravated robbery last week. Last week, a student was approached from behind and robbed at knifepoint..


    Andrew, it isn't "Republicans issuing guns to students" (If it were. I'd pick one up)
    It's "not making responsible adults store their guns in cars and allowing them to not have to be in defenseless victim zones"
    Do your homework first please.

  • I always get a bit upset whenever i read about these gun issues in the daily cougar… the authors seem to be very biased in their writing and don't give the student body both sides of the story. Why don't you explain how you still have to obtain a concealed hand gun license (CHL) to be able to carry a weapon on campus? why not explain the eligibility and the process one must go through to acquire their CHL?

    In texas, 1.3% of the population has a CHL
    less than one percent of Texas CHL carriers are between the ages of 18-25.
    you must be 21+ (military personnel is excused from this rule)
    you cannot carry your gun into sporting events, bars, clubs, etc.
    you must have a clean criminal record
    you must be free of mental illness.

    Just by having the 21+ rule, that disqualifies a lot (maybe most) of the student population. How many people are going to go out and buy a gun if this bill is passed? not many, guns are expensive and you also have to pay for classes and a license… sometimes i can't even afford groceries. I think with that kind of money college students would me more interested in spending it on more classes, groceries… or lets face it, more beer for the upcoming party.

    Yes, the bill allows concealed weapons on campus but it also allows the universities to set their own restrictions and limitations. UH could do things like requiring that every CHL student/faculty who plans on carrying their weapon on campus to register their weapon through UHPD. That way, everyone is on a file and anyone caught not on file can have their privileges revoked.
    I mean if UH is really this upset im sure they can think up of little restrictions to make it more of a pain to carry your weapon on campus.

    • Do you think the CHL rules are reasonable? As you've posted them, they state that you cannot carry your gun into sporting events, bars, clubs, etc. Would it be inappropriate to include college campuses on this list?

      • Yes, it would be inappropriate to add anything to that list. The list is inappropriate to begin with. A private property owner should have the right to decide if he wants guns on his property. In most cases, they have that right under the Criminal Trespass laws, but these property owners are denied the right. How can that be appropriate?

          • No, and the state should not restrict lawful behaviour on public property. There seems to be a tremendous amount of concern about people lawfully carrying firearms; but almost none of people carrying illegal drugs (which have a much higher correlation with violence crime than guns do) – and yet the second happens every day.

      • Yes, but the term would be "unjustified".
        Sporting events: yelling, competition, drinking.
        Bars and clubs: Drinking.
        College campus buildings(only restricted area by law): reading, writing, sitting, perhaps eating.

        • Ah, so you don't have any particular issue with regulation, as long as you're the one who gets to decide. That's…about right, actually.

          • I reject your attempt to fallaciously link "supporting regulation" to "autocracy."

            I don't have any issue with regulation, as long as it is sensible and the minimum required to ensure public safety. Banning guns on college campuses does nothing to prevent criminals from carrying guns onto campuses, but it does restrict those who would like to follow the law from carrying on campus.

  • how many schools already allow guns on campus? how many incidents have their been?
    these seem like very important, but overlooked questions.
    if there was some kind of unfortunate accident, like the gun falling out of the guy's pocket and shooting a lady (because i'm guessing he didn't have the safety on like you learn to do in CHL) i would think the legislation would come under reconsideration. there are so many terrible laws in effect now that are based on ridiculous 'what if ' scenarios that don't have any scientific backing. this seems like another one, until someone shows me some independent studies.

    • There are, at present, 70 universities in the US that allow campus carry. To date there have been no incidents.

      In Texas, CHL holders are 15 times less likely to commit a crime than the general populace. The likelihood of there being an incident at a Texas university involving a CHL holder is remote. You have a much better chance of being raped, robbed or assaulted at your university than you do of encountering a gun in the hands of a CHL holder.

  • Practically speaking it won't solve anything. School shooters will just become, say, school bombers (and if history is any indication, such individuals are nothing if not methodical). And students will have yet another reason to use escalation w/weapons to solve their non-school-shooting related problems…

  • You are incorrect about criminal justice professionals. Some of us do recommend people, including college students, arm themselves and maintain the ability to defend themselves. This is a debate that has raged for years, and the criminal justice professionals are as split on it as any other group.

    But, there is an interesting point on this. Two universities in Texas, Sam Houston State and Texas State, have doctoral programs in criminal justice. Both these universities actively conduct research in the criminal justice field. I strongly suggest that we ask those schools to research this question and tell us a valid scholarly answer.

    The ones who I have talked to (as a CJ doctoral student) have said there is no valid scientific answer yet on either side of the question. The schools that allow armed licensed students (all in Utah and some in Colorado) have not had an incident at all yet. Here in Texas, Harrold School District allows licensed gun carriers on campus (obviously, no students in that bunch but faculty and parents) and has not had a problem.

  • If you want to know some real facts about campus firearms carry, rather than the FUD this hack of a blogger posing as a journalist is spewing, please read "Unarmed Students Make Easy Prey," at http://xr.com/7qpf. For further reading, you can also read, "A Cop Is Too Heavy" by the same author at

  • Your blind hate for guns is obvious from your article.

    " Five out of those six times the student committing the shooting has ended up shooting himself."

    You mean that if a shooter kills 10 people and them himself, everything is well ? None of the 10 killed students had a need to defend him/herself, because in the end, the shooter kill himself ? Seriously ?

  • Notice how the poll is going, despite the bias wording. Doesn't say "licensed concealed carry" and mentions dorms. Universities can establish dorm rules on storage, the bill allows for that. Besides, the CHL holder knows how to properly store their handgun since its tested within the course to obtain the license.

  • Main issues:
    1) You are attacked by armed man and you are in class room with no exit. What to do? Armed? you cam shoot back and eliminated the threat. Not Armed? say a prayer and wait until it is your turn to be shot and killed.
    2) CHLer Shooting innocent bystanders: Same scenario when Police respond, on campus, off campus or CHLer defend themselves. With training this would bot be a problem. Have you seen a CHLer compete in IDPA/IPSC or self-defense matches?
    3) Policing shooting the Good Guy instead of Bad Guy. Police outside campus has to deal with 420,000 Armed citizens when they do respond. Police do not shoot any one with gun unless he is a direct threat and non-compliant to their command. What is different from Campus Police?

    Consider your options and choose wisely!

  • Ahahah…you have a better chance of being hit by a meteorite than of dying in a school shooting…if school shootings were such a serious threat you wouldn't be running to daddy govt. to ask permission to carry guns, now would you?

    • If we had the government we're supposed to have we wouldn't have to ask permission to carry. You might want to read the Constitution some time.

      • If we don't have the government we're supposed to then why are you so obsessed with asking them for permission to do things?

        Suffice it to say that by the time you've managed to convince yourselves that guns are for defending yourself from your fellow man (and not from, say, a foreign occupation) you've already lost.

    • Do you even read the paper here?

      within just the last 2 weeks:

      Armed assault
      Armed robbery
      Armed kidnapping
      Car break-ins (to get guns stored there because Licensees must store them there to run into a library on campus, but not a city library?)

  • "Police forces around the country have deemed the idea of students shooting back as a very dangerous one. Most people who decide to commit campus shooting sprees don’t distinguish themselves in order to stand out from normal students. This becomes very dangerous, as cops have no way of knowing who the shooter is and who is wielding a gun in order to help."

    There is very little chance that the police will show up before the shooter is already dead. The only two instances I can think of are the Charles Whitman shooting, where police enlisted the aid of students armed with rifles to keep the shooter pinned down until they could get to him, and Columbine, where the police stood outside while the shooters killed the innocents inside.

    At Virginia Tech, the police arrived after Cho had already killed himself. But before he killed himself, he entered the French classroom FOUR TIMES and methodically walked around the room shooting each of the students.

    You are perfectly welcome to wait for your turn to die, if that's what you've chosen to do. As for me, I may die anyway, but at least I'll go down shooting and there's a better than even chance the bad guy will die from my bullets.

    • If you see arbitration taking place, why would you feel the need to intervene? Why the obsession with preventing people from solving their own problems?

  • "The argument over this bill is a simple one: allowing more guns on campus will result in many more opportunities for people to get hurt or even killed."

    This does not allow "more" guns on campus.

    It allows me to store the SAME gun in my pants secure and safe in my holster retained by my reinforced belt. like it is everywhere else, instead of leaving it in the car to be stolen and used in a crime..so, the PREMISE of your argument is baseless.

  • Andrew,

    Did you do any research? The problem with authors like you is that you write with your emotions, leaving fact and reason on the back burner. In fact, you don't even have them on the stove. This article is nonsense.

    For brevity I will address your thesis:

    "The argument over this bill is a simple one: allowing more guns on campus will result in many more opportunities for people to get hurt or even killed."

    One incident of proof is hardly the "many more" you claim. You haven't even looked at the track record of CHL holders for committing crimes either, which I have conveniently attached for you (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/ConvictionRatesReport2005.pdf). In that report convictions for CHL holders and the general population are compared between January and December of 2005. In total CHL holders committed a mere 0.2530% of the total crimes in Texas for that year. Do you have that kind of confidence in other individuals you encounter on a daily basis? Statistically speaking CHL holders are the most law abiding in Texas. And the data is there to prove it.

    UH '12

  • One thought.

    Yes, there is a lot of crime going on. But, how often do you read about someone successfully defending himself? How often do you read about someone actually using his or her gun to fight back? You can answer this question yourself – almost never.

    How do you know who the shooter will be, when there are thousands of students on the campus and everybody pulls his gun out? You do not. You think think you will be safer, but that is far, far from reality.

    • Sven, less than 1% of people have guns, only those in the military/police or over the age of 21 may have CHL's. So even if the crowd numbered 1,000 people only 10 of those would have guns.

      The target is easy, before drawing your gun you look around, can you see someone with a gun? Yes/No
      No: Don't draw my firearm
      Yes: Is that person shooting other people that are unarmed? Yes/No
      Yes: Bad guy, No: Not a bad guy

      Making statements such as, "everyone pulls out their guns." is simply silly.

  • Let me fix the title for you.

    "Republicans seek to protect colleges"

    That works a bit better. But now the article needs a small rewrite

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