Scholarship News

Armed and Studious - Guns to be Allowed in Texas University Classrooms


December 15, 2015
by Jess Hanch
Texas is set to become the eighth state to allow concealed carry on public campuses. Texas Senate Bill 11 also known as the “campus carry” law, allows licensed gun owners to bring firearms into classrooms, dorms, and other campus buildings. Campus carry will take effect on the anniversary of the first mass campus shooting in America, which took place at The University of Texas on August 1st, 1966. The University of Texas has not seen another massacre since. The law will not affect community colleges until 2017, and private universities have the option to opt out of the legislation.

Texas is set to become the eighth state to allow concealed carry on public campuses. Texas Senate Bill 11 also known as the “campus carry” law, allows licensed gun owners to bring firearms into classrooms, dorms, and other campus buildings. Campus carry will take effect on the anniversary of the first mass campus shooting in America, which took place at The University of Texas on August 1st, 1966. The University of Texas has not seen another massacre since. The law will not affect community colleges until 2017, and private universities have the option to opt out of the legislation.

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According to the New York Times, University of Texas Chancellor and Navy SEAL vet Admiral William McRaven stated "…I have all sorts of guns. I just don’t think bringing guns on campus is going to make us any safer. If you’ve ever been shot at, which I have, then you have an appreciation for what a gun can do." McRaven addressed the decision respectfully, stating although "it was not what we hoped for…I appreciate legislators for recognizing the very specific safety considerations that are unique to campus environments." The University of Texas working group, including licensed gun holders, also believes "it would be best if guns were not allowed in classrooms, however does not recommend classrooms should be designated as gun free zones".

In an attempt to keep campus safe, the law allows universities to designate gun-free zones. The University working system also has gun safety rules, including a ban on open carry, and a license requirement. To have a license in Texas, carriers must be 21. Only 1% of the University population meets that criteria. Texas has a large population of gun-rights activists, some even using mobile apps to avoid gun-free zones out of fear (statistics show that most modern mass shootings take place in gun-free zones). The Texas Tribune sites a woman who uses the app because she feels a gun-free sign is like a “come and rob us” invitation to criminals. The Tribune also reported that anti-gun activists on a Texas community college campus are protesting the law by carrying around sex toys to "protest idiocy with idiocy". It was also reported that many students, regardless of what side they are on, only see protesters as a distraction.

Law makers from both sides of the argument want to create a better society, but cannot agree on how, or who, will protect law-abiding citizens. Despite either side, criminal attacks are part of modern society. Do you think laws discourage criminal activity, or simply prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves? Would you feel more or less safe on a campus that allows concealed carry? Comment, and start a discussion below.

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Collin M  on  12/18/2015 9:07:28 AM commented:

I for one think that that is not a very good idea. Although there are more shootings on campuses than there were a couple of years ago, that doesn't mean that having students carrying guns will solve the problem. Although the guns will be handled by people who have gun licenses, that doesn't ,mean that there wont't be accidents. With allowing the people to have have a fire arm on their person, I believe, will cause more harm than good.

Monica H  on  12/18/2015 8:21:51 AM commented:

I believe that it can be considered both ways. I think the safety helps but the guns shouldn't be allowed in a classroom setting

Keith H.  on  12/18/2015 6:43:48 AM commented:

Darius B, the martial arts are highly ineffective against a criminal wielding a firearm with a projectile that can travel at over 3000 fps.

Amanda W  on  12/17/2015 5:33:20 PM commented:

I for one support the law because unlike many I have been on campus when there was an active shooter. We were locked down and helpless. I have my concealed carry permit but like a law abiding citizen it was at my house and not on campus. If he had entered our room we would of been helpless whereas if I had had my gun on me I would of been able to at least attempt to save my life along with the lives of the people around me. Just a thought.

Right C3  on  12/17/2015 11:51:29 AM commented:

Creating a better society needs and lot of effort and discipline. Modern society where most of us are well educated and fearless must also understand and learn behavioral science. That will definitely bring some awareness and minimize criminal acts.

Cassie M  on  12/17/2015 9:31:11 AM commented:

Shootings happen anywhere and are unpredictable. The Sandy Hook shooting, the San Berdinido shooting, the Paris shooting, the AME church shooting, etc. They are unpredictable and unexpected. If more than 1% of people carry guns legally, the death rate at random shootings can be decreased imensely. Laws do not discourage all crimes. Yes prison is a consequence, but if a person has something mentally wrong with them, prison would not discourage them from doing a crime. The laws actually prevent law abiding citizens from protecting themselves. I would feel more safe on a school campus knowing I could protect myself with a firearm. It is a priority that is ignored and due to the situation with the Middle East, we should no longer be ignoring campus safety. Students should be able to take firearm safety classes on and should be able to carry for their personal safety. It could save innocent citizen lives.

Bryce L  on  12/16/2015 7:13:39 PM commented:

I support the law. Allowing teachers and students to carry concealed weapons would reduce the threat of a killer coming. 1. Most people are safe with guns, especially if they went through the effort to get a concealed carry permit. 2. Even if I didn't have a gun, I would have comfort knowing that my teacher would be able to protect me in an emergency. 3. Not knowing who else has a gun would scare shooters, because they would have no way of knowing who is or isn't a defenseless target. That would leave only murder-suicide killers that would risk the attempt. 4. Even if a person came with the intent to commit a murder-suicide, if faculty and students also had weapons, the killer would be able to be stopped much faster, resulting in less injuries and casualties. 5. On a bit of a personal note, if we start drawing lines like these, there's no telling what other lines could be drawn until our second amendment rights are extremely restricted or taken away entirely.

Keili M.  on  12/16/2015 12:08:28 PM commented:

Feeling safe, especially on campus, is a priority that can not be ignored. If this means that one must being a gun on campus, so be it. However, it seems only fit that they carry their license, a note for explination, and a proper hold for the gun at all times. Also, they should be given a mental evaluation at random to ensure the saftey of others.

Marian P  on  12/16/2015 11:50:58 AM commented:

To the people who say only 1% of the students would be able to carry weapon on campus and who claim they should just be given what they want, this actually doesn't make sense. Looking at the argument that "Guns on campus would increase safety, should there be a shooter," if only 1% of the student body can carry weapons, what good will it do for such a small amount of people to have weapons on campus? The chances of a mass shooting on a given day, time, and place are very slim. I feel like adding more weapons on a campus would increase those chances because there are no consequences for someone having a weapon on them

khirstyn v  on  12/16/2015 10:38:36 AM commented:

As a prospective university of Austin student. I believe that allowing students to carry guns on campus would pose a threat. As we all know, college kids love to party and this university in particular is well known for this fact. Carrying guns could result in accidents when people are in a drunken state. For this reason I believe the easy access to a gun should be more heavily regulated in the best interest of our campus

Marc L  on  12/16/2015 6:47:15 AM commented:

What biased article. Why not just report the facts instead of taking an oblivious stance on the issue.

Kristopher G  on  12/15/2015 10:27:12 PM commented:

I believe that guns are not the problems, but the people that are wielding them. Making it possible to have guns in school won't stop any misconduct in the school . if anything It will make it more dangerous .

Darius B.  on  12/15/2015 9:30:56 PM commented:

What good is a gun if you don't know how to protect yourself without one? There are various alternative methods for self defense including but not limited to martial arts, kick boxing, and Brazilian jiu jitsu. People cause more harm than good with guns. This law gives people who are insane and undiagnosed the right to carry a concealed weapon. I don't feel comfortable with that. If campus police officers aren't enough, then I don't know if a "safe" learning environment really exists.

Coylinda p  on  12/15/2015 9:07:02 PM commented:

I wouldn't feel safe if students got to carry weapons around campus or anywhere. Young adults my age are not mentality stable or smart enough to do such a thing. They could be drinking that day or partying and get mad and shoot someone . In my opinion this is not a good idea.

Brady McCloud  on  12/15/2015 8:25:42 PM commented:

Considering only 1% of the campus population qualify for concealed carry permits, I don't see why it's a big deal to pass the law and give them what they want. It isn't like you'll have a bunch of college freshman running around with handguns. I support the law.

Jordin M  on  12/15/2015 7:41:04 PM commented:

Carrying guns on campus would be the last thing that would make me feel safe. The constant threat of the shooter possibly gunning you down is not something to be toyed with. I feel that if guns were allowed on campus, people would abuse their power and that is not something to do given the large amount of shootings going on on a weekly basis in this country.

Mya M  on  12/15/2015 6:50:45 PM commented:

I don't think registered gun owners should have a gun on campus. Even though they are licensed gun owners that's not going to deflate the gun violence that we are already having. People could probably just be giving licensed gun papers to anyone. Might have not been a insident with shooting there for a while, but no one wants to see someone carry a gun, because it's allowed. Gun violence is suppose to be controlled not uncontrolled.

Aubrey W  on  12/15/2015 6:08:54 PM commented:

Having guns in the class room isn't going to make people want to do harm. If they want to shoot a bunch of people they wouldn't wait until its legal to have the weapon and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't worry about concealing it either. If they want to hurt people they're going to get their hands on a weapon regardless how old they are and what the law is. The guns on campus would be concealed by people with licences (which have had training and passed a test) so you wouldn't know they had one on them and they would most likley carried by teachers and graduate students because everyone else would be too young to purchase a hand gun and get a conceal carry licence. The only thing that could happen with this law is if there happened to be some crazy decide to shoot the place up and someone happened to have a concealed handgun on them, they could potentially eliminate the threat. Overly stressed college students wouldn't bother with going to get a gun and a CHL because they are too busy stressing and aren't going to waste their time doing the legal thing. The law wouldn't make anything more dangerous

Annelise S.  on  12/15/2015 6:04:59 PM commented:

If young individuals are allowed to wield a weapon before they are permitted to legally drink or rent a car, there's something wrong with the system. There has been a school shooting almost every year since Columbine and by allowing anyone to carry a weapon on campus, in classrooms, and in dorms, we are only encouraging violence rather than rebuking the very deed.

Jeremy L  on  12/15/2015 4:29:50 PM commented:

I believe that those that want to go to that school should be able to have concealed carry. Not many schools have it so those who want it on campus would go there, making the university a profit.

Justice D  on  12/15/2015 3:42:36 PM commented:

This is something that can't be fixed, entirely. It is bad to wield a weapon (gun) anyway. But everyday something bad happens. I agreed with the elimination guns. However, I believe we still need something to defend ourselfs with. The second amendment says this. I don't think it should be guns that we possess. Guns bring death...always..so we don't need them. Disturbs peace.

Dd  on  12/15/2015 3:37:27 PM commented:

I definitely feel less safe knowing that people are allowed to carry guns where I regularly carry out my daily activities. Police are allowed to carry guns and there has been an extreme amount of gun violence with shootings this year. I'm sure people like the Columbine shooters would take advantage of this opportunity to unleash their insanity. And I agree with Dymone S.

Jasmine S  on  12/15/2015 3:36:57 PM commented:

I think law discorage law abiding citzens from protecting themselves, I feel concealed carry on school campuses is a fantastic idea. As of now the vast majority of mass shooting are done in gun free zones. People need to be able to defend themselves.

Taylor Q  on  12/15/2015 3:22:17 PM commented:

There shouldn't be any restrictions for campus carry. It always goes back to criminals don't care what the law says, they'll still bring them. People commit certain crimes because they feel as though they can't be stopped. With a campus full of guns, that's not the case. It may be that condition that makes a criminal second guess their plan.

Sara O  on  12/15/2015 3:20:22 PM commented:

I, personally, would feel wholly unsafe being in class, knowing the person sitting next to you has a handgun tucked away.

Nicole M  on  12/15/2015 2:56:59 PM commented:

To carry or not to carry? People are going to and have been before the law came into existence. I believe that there should be harsher accountability for those who carry. There needs to be some type of mental health evaluation and time limit regulations. I am not sure what we need but something needs to be done to ensure the safety of the innocent that seem to always be getting hurt or murdered

JH  on  12/15/2015 2:52:24 PM commented:

The phrase "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is pretty well known. And even though I totally agree with that, why would we put such artefacts in the "hands" of individuals who commit such horrendous attacks, guns should be left in a safer place. Where people who are mentally and physically capable of dealing with such unsafe artefacts. Havings guns placed within reach would only decrease the safety of the students and put them at a higher risk.

Alyssa V  on  12/15/2015 2:14:12 PM commented:

I think it not only allows for easier access when the frustration of school be hooves you but it lets anyone capable of getting into your stuff to take actions into their own hands. The safety of the students is at a higher risk in my opinion.

Dymone S.  on  12/15/2015 2:05:48 PM commented:

If we claim that everyone who shoots something up or unleashes onto a group is mentally unstable , how do you expect beyond stressed college students to handle concealed weapons . What expectations do you hold them to? That aren't held to "everyday citizens" that reach their breaking point.

Jm  on  12/15/2015 2:04:20 PM commented:

I believe that we should have a gun law. Reason being is because of a guy or women comes shooting yo the school we can defend our selfs with a Weapon. But only certain people on campus can have the right to own this gun that the school trust.

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