Focus Friday: campus carry


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For this week’s Focus Friday, we discuss how campus carry laws will affect students at UH.

Would the school be safer with guns on campus?

Opinion columnist Cory Simpson: We have the right to bear arms, period. Forget (President Barack) Obama. This isn’t for sport or big game hunting on some secluded ranch in East Texas. This is the distinguished right to defend yourself against any external threat from another individual or group, including government. By no means should this right be limited to exclude certain locations such as college universities. God forbid that some reject…psychopath decides he’s going to steal grandpa’s old rifle and start popping off people on campus. If the unthinkable ever happened here at the University of Houston, I’m sure my biggest regret would be that I was not fully prepared and fully capable of protecting myself and the lives of fellow students, faculty and staff.

Opinion columnist Austin Turman:  Allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campus won’t necessarily make the campus safer nor more dangerous. The principle comes down to this question: do you think a person with the full intention to cause as much harm as possible is going to be deterred by the fact that a few individuals may have firearms? While I seriously doubt students who have legally obtained a license to carry a  firearm on campus will pose any serious risk to the student body, I doubt it’ll act as a preventative measure and make the campus safer.

Opinion editor Anthony Torres: It’s not that I don’t like guns, I just don’t like having in the back of my mind that someone in the room might have a gun on them. I would prefer to have more security guards — who have training — be the ones to handle any situation involving a shooter. Situations where a shooter is on campus and a random student pulls out a gun to defend everyone can create confusion, and I don’t think that the general public is at a point where we can be as comfortable with guns as gun owners are.

Do you think CHL holders are responsible enough to maintain safety?

CS: A CHL is nothing more than basic knowledge of how to safely transport, store and fire a weapon. This by no means equates to responsible use of a weapon. It’s an unfortunate fact that armed civilians are no different than armed military personnel. Both can receive basic training and both can be highly irresponsible after receiving the training. I believe that a CHL is important and should be mandatory to ensure that the individual is at least trained in the basics of safely operating a firearm.

AT: Absolutely not. CHL’s are extremely easy to get and have a laughable excuse for teaching firearm safety, but also to respect the deadly nature of a firearm. I should know, I have one. My brother, an Harris County Sheriff’s Office sheriff’s deputy, was the only real reason I know how to respect a weapon. Certain states even allow CHL certifications to be taken online with no time-on-range requirements. Look at it this way, how many times have you seen someone driving a car in a manner that put other people in danger? It’s okay though, because they got their license.

A. Torres: Many gun owners are responsible, but there are those who take gun ownership a little too seriously. Yes, having someone with a gun in the room when an individual decides to kill people would be an advantage, but there’s too many factors to consider in certain situations to conclude that a CHL holder will necessarily be in a position to use his gun properly. We don’t always know how situations will happen, and guns may stop a lot of incidents, but there isn’t just one simple solution to ending mass shootings.

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  • CHL holders do not have the responsibility to uphold campus safety or maintain safety. The police are here to keep the campus safe, not CHL holders. CHL holders will not act as a supplement to the police. CHL holders, as demonstrated in the Oregon school shooting, will hunker down and protect themselves in the event of a school shooting. They will not go seek out the threat, though if the threat comes to them, they will have much better tools to deal with that imminent threat to their lives. The police will be the ones to seek out and engage the threat, not the concealed carriers.

    Anthony Torres, the campus security guards do not have any special training to deal with an armed threat other than to radio it to the police (which we have less than 15 of them on campus at any point in time, leading to 2-3 minute response times). The campus security do not have any way to engage the armed threat. They don’t carry tasers or even pepper spray, so how are they going to engage an armed threat other than trying to bash the threat with their flashlight? Do not mistake our security officers for police officers, those security officers will be one of the first ones out of the building if there ever is a problem.

    CHL holders are 11.5 times more law-abiding than the average citizen of the state of Texas. Out of nearly 900,000 concealed carriers in Texas, 158 were convicted of something last year. That’s 1 out of ever 5700 licensed people where as the statistic for the rest of the public is 1 out of every 490 people are convicted.


    • Good points. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that presenting facts on this issue to counter emotional based opinions and ideology will only result in other commentators ultimately shutting down.
      I’m starting to believe critical thinking isn’t taught at UH any longer.

      • yup, guess his only defense is to accuse us of being NRA plants.

        He also replied to this post and deleted it, claiming that not a single concealed carrier has stopped a mass shooting (which is false). Then makes the case that the Oregon shooting proved that CHL holders can do nothing, then accuses the NRA of putting guns on campus to increase body count.

        Doesn’t even mention that the main use of CHL’s is against muggers, carjackers, and the sort.

        Hey, check this video out! I think sharing a little competition shooting is always fun.

      • Oh damn, how dare I garner an emotional response to people dying needlessly due to gun violence and fear the very strong chance it could happen any day at UH…

        Look, I tend to be a very logical person, but despite the stat you’ve posted on nearly every article on this site, I simply fail to see how putting more guns on campus will reduce on campus gun violence.

        I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the least bit conflicted on the issue. I see myself as a constitutionalist, and the 2nd amendment falls under that. So until recently I erred on the side of gun ownership (even owning two firearms myself), but the ratio of positive good to negative bad actions committed where guns were involved has become so overwhelming I can’t even pretend to support the ideal that more people with guns will create a better world.

        A gun means only one thing: death.

        To me, there is no dignity nor honor in being able to stand behind a piece of iron, pull a trigger, and create death.
        Yes, that’s pure emotion, and I don’t care.

        • A gun more often means: life.

          A chance for someone to maybe survive one of these horrific events, or survive other violent illegal acts against innocents.

          Exponentially more people are protected, rather than killed, by guns.

          Regardless, as a true constitutionalist then you should also know what the real purpose of the 2nd amendment is.

          • Sorry, but that is false.
            The only way people are protected by guns is by the death or threat of death of another party. At that point it’s merely a matter of perspective. To the guy in the sights of a barrel it will always mean death, and in this context it could be after he himself has caused death with a gun.

            And I understand fully what the purpose of the 2nd amendment was. It was implemented so that the people could prevent themselves from being forcibly oppressed by a government again (the small militia, if you will). But that ideal has become toxic in this country and turned its own people against each other; not outside oppressors. Do you think our government wants your guns or your rights? If they did they could squash you like a bug and barely lift a finger doing it. You’re lying to yourself if you think having firearms is about preserving your rights from oppression anymore. Having a gun in this country, legally or illegally, is about having the capability to wage decisive war with a fellow American.

            • No, as a whole, I don’t believe our current govt want’s to take away citizens right to bear arms. However, one can’t ignore the agencies and persons within the govt. who support such an idea. Just listen to the politicians after one of these mass-shootings. What’s stopping them today is the current support among the people for the 2nd amendment. And possibly, the 2nd amendment itself!!!

              Could the govt. someday become tyrannical? I like to think not, but I can’t ignore world history.

              I disagree that the govt. could squash the militia as you describe. The other day I heard a good point someone made on the radio. They said there were ~22 million hunting licenses issued last year. That group by itself could be considered the largest armed force in the world. That’s only the armed citizens that hunt. Most today do not.

              It would be a horrific civil, no, scratch that, revolutionary war.

              • I don’t underestimate the zeal of oppressed people, but guns mean nothing in a world of drones and cruise missiles.

                I think (or at least hope) the government wouldn’t turn to tyranny again either, but if a revolutionary war were fought again in this country then the citizens with their guns would have brought a proverbial knife to a gun fight.

                • I see what you mean: because the Government has better arms, we should just throw away what we have and just surrender our rights away.

                  This goes under the false assumption that all of the military will act against us: they swore an oath the constitution not the Government and they take pride in that. And there are situations where the people, because we are numerous and the government has no prior information about what arms we have and where, are formidable.
                  And I’d much rather die as freeman than live as a subject to the Government, and that’s how most Americans I hope think.

                  • I’ll be the cynic here and tell you that if the people of this country tried to overthrow the government you wouldn’t need a military force. All it would take is the gall of one person and a button to silence everyone permanently.

    • And yet not a single one has ever stopped a single mass shooting. So what is the point of having one other than to have one? What’s the point of being law-abiding, if all you have to show for it is a weapon that can prevent deaths? But wait! There’s the issue of skill. Any tactical expert can tell you that the idea of some CHL trained Dirty Harry wannabe is no match for an armed assailant loaded down with fire power using the element of surprise against unarmed students in a classroom. The Umpqua school case makes this crystal clear. Because the CHL carrier has not received the intense, specialized ongoing “real world” training to deal with the stress, the focus, etc. to confront a live shooter. In all likelihood, the CHL carrier with just a few hours firing at a stable paper target will either fire blindly at a human moving target, and miss possibly hitting an unintended target — maybe another student — ,or cower or flee. A CHL carrier on campus is no more a guarantee of safety for anyone — not even himself, — in the event of a shooting event. To think otherwise is dangerously suicidal. Allowing guns on campus is nothing more than the NRA ongoing campaign of institutionalizing gun violence as “normal”. It’s is not normal. It’s is a scourge which reaps only a huge body count.

  • At the University of Texas, more than 300 faculty as well as hundreds more students have begun to protest this outrageous law. Meanwhile, UH adjuncts have begun to leave while prospective and enrolled students are considering alternative schools. Campus Carry is simply a law designed not to aid student safety, but to institutionalize violence. It has nothing to do with NRA’s propagandizing version of 2nd Amendment liberties. If you bothered to look at they way they frame those liberties in their ads and rhetoric, they are clearly anti-authoritarian, anti-government, and insurrectionist — which has everything to do will instilling a environment of fear and paranoia needed to sell guns. The Daily Cougar needs to understand how academic freedom will be stifled — as it already is at UT — once this law will take effect. Their own institutional peer understand this completely. Why is the DC being so willing to throw students under the bus in support of this insanity? It boggles the mind. Tactical experts have made it clear that in a shooter scenario, the very last person one should trust is the ill-equipped and poorly trained guy with only a CHL permit to his name and a few hours shooting at a paper target. And clearly, none of the mass shootings thus far since Sandy Hook have been stopped by a “good guy” with a gun. So we want more guns on campus? Insane.

  • “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free
    State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be

    Where does it say that the state cannot decide WHO is qualified to keep and bear arms? The third word is “Regulated”. The first amendment states “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, . . .” yet you can’t yell fire in a theater or use speech to incite riot.

    When the founders wrote the constitution the states were each responsible for maintaining a militia to protect their citizens from domestic threats and, should the need arise, provide troops in case of a national war. The Federal Army was to supposed to be only a small force maintained by the federal government.

    Times have changed and the constitution can change with it. Article 4 of the constitution bolstered slavery (fugitive slave law) and yet we changed that with the 13th and 14th amendment. We can amended the second amendment with honest and intellectual dialogue and sane moderation and stop treating the Constitution as if it was infallible. It was created so that it could be changed as needed. It is needed now.

    • Without going into too much detail (hopefully). At the time, the term “regulated” in the 2nd amendment did not mean controlled by legislation (laws) as the word is used today. It meant trained. If you don’t believe me, find reputable legal sources (not someones opinion) or historical documents.

      Same goes for the often misunderstood definition of “militia.” At the time (and today), standing armies were not to be trusted. Historically a nations armed forces have been used more often against their own people than against a foreign foe. The right to keep and bear arms insures the militia shall exist and remain to provide a counter balance towards tyranny.

      With that said, what would you do to change the 2nd amendment?

      • History aside, the “meaning” of any amendment is ultimately up to the interpretation of the Supreme Court.

      • Your interpretation of both “militia” and “regulated” are wrong. I’ve been privileged to study for an entire year under one of the best colonial American scholars in the country, who specialized in American Revolutionary military. Guns were highly regulated in the 18th century. Infact, the reason the British were marching to Lexington on that fateful day in 1775 was to destroy the community arsonal because they thought doing so would weaken the rebels. Why would they think that — which would have been correct, had they succeeded?

        • “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
          George Mason, Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution.

          “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is the they be properly armed.”
          Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers

          You may want to ask for a refund from the College of Liberal Arts at UH.

          No matter how hard people try, you can’t re-write history.


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