EDITOR’S NOTE: Texas State University’s Associated Student Government passed a non-binding resolution last week in favor of allowing residents licensed to carry concealed handguns to do so on campus. The measure was swiftly vetoed by ASG President Melanie Ferrari who said the vote did not reflect the majority view of the student body.
GUEST COMMENTARY by MIKE GUZMAN
The Texas legislature convenes every two years with their next session starting this coming January. It is my prediction that they will amend current firearms laws and allow those in possession of a concealed handgun license (CHL) the right to carry on campus.
A national student group called Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, advocates allowing law-abiding citizens the same right to defend themselves on campus as they are already allowed to do in such places as grocery stores, shopping malls, movie theaters, banks, restaurants, hospitals and churches. With the exclusion of schools, jails and courtrooms, CHL holders can even carry in all state and local government buildings including city halls and the state capitol building.
There is always so much focus on multiple victim shootings on college campuses but when you take into account just how many college and universities there are, this is thankfully a pretty rare occurrence. However assault, rape, kidnapping, robbery and other violent crimes are not rare occurrences. These types of crimes happen daily on campuses across the country. Even still, crimes committed against students, faculty and staff as they are walking to or from campus do not get included in campus crime statistics as the crime technically occurred off campus.
Those against concealed carry on campus believe that CHL holders cannot be trusted and will act irrationally if allowed to bring a firearm on campus. It takes a profound leap in logic to assume that one can act rationally in the multitude of places where it is currently legal to carry but when one crosses an imaginary line he or she cannot be expected to act rationally.
Of all states, Texas keeps the most extensive database of all crimes committed by CHL holders and the statistics show that CHL holders are the most law-abiding demographic in the entire state. This is pretty remarkable considering that at least one out of every 60 Texans has a CHL.
Firearms have been called the great equalizer for a reason. When a firearm is involved, it puts everyone on the same playing field to where strength and size have no bearing on the outcome. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 110 pound woman versus a 220 pound assailant, the elderly versus the young, a homosexual versus a group of gay-bashers or physically disabled versus able-bodied.
There are a million different ‘what-if’ scenarios that someone can use to be against concealed carry but it is currently allowed on more than 70 campuses without a single ‘what-if’ scenario transpiring. Spontaneous gun-fights haven’t broken out, students aren’t distracted in class from a concealed firearm and professors aren’t any more afraid of their students then when they run into them somewhere off-campus.
Two schools in the Western Athletic Conference, the new conference Texas State will be moving to in 2012, already have concealed carry on campus. Texas State will almost surely be the third.
MIKE GUZMAN is a Texas State economics senior. He served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and is the former national president of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC). As the group’s president, he has discussed gun policy on CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC and numerous radio outlets across the country.Email | Print