Reading, Writing and Guns
David A. Lombardo
Go Aggies! The anti-personal protection cabal must be having a collective paroxysm over Texas A&M giving the green light for students to carry concealed on campus. The bill, which was introduced in 2015, does have some restrictions including child-care facilities, places for student disciplinary actions and sporting events. All things considered, it’s a good win. The relaxed policy comes as state legislators passed a law giving campuses more leeway in determining carry rights for gun owners.
In a Fort Worth Star-Telegram interview, Chancellor John Sharp said, “Do I trust my students, faculty and staff to work and live responsibly under the same laws at the university as they do at home? Of course I do.”
Texas’ new campus carry law goes into effect statewide August 1st, in time for the new academic year. It doesn’t mandate all institutes must allow concealed carry but rather it allows them individually to make the decision locally whether or not to allow concealed carry and set whatever limitations they wish on where students may carry concealed. Lest you think this an anomaly, it is slowly gaining momentum across the country.
The 2015 victory in Texas wasn’t an isolated incident by a long shot. In 2014 at least 14 states introduced similar legislation, and in 2013 at least 19 states introduced legislation to allow concealed carry on campus. Two bills survived: one in Kansas that allows concealed carry generally and one in Arkansas that allows faculty to carry. The Kansas legislation creates a provision that colleges and universities cannot prohibit concealed carry unless a building has “adequate security measures.” The Arkansas bill allows faculty to carry, unless the governing board adopts a policy that expressly disallows faculty to carry.
Currently there are 19 states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus which-surprise surprise-includes Illinois. Nine states have some provision for campus concealed carry. They include: Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, Texas and Wisconsin. All the remaining states but one leave the decision to ban or allow concealed carry weapons on campus up to the institution itself; Utah remains the only state to have a statute specifically naming public colleges and universities as public entities that do not have the authority to ban concealed carry, and thus, all 10 public institutions in Utah allow concealed weapons on their property.
Of course the anti-personal protection cabal forecasts dire results, as always. They’re marching out the same old, tired nonsense they always say. For the record, I’m still looking for the following predictions by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the recently-departed Superintendent of Police Garry McCarthy:
Where in Chicago is blood running in the streets because we got concealed carry?
Can you tell me where someone shot another person over a parking space or, perhaps more importantly, over a piece of lawn furniture holding a parking space?
Can you think of a single instance where a concealed carry holder got into a shootout in a store and killed a bunch of people accidentally?
And has there been even one case in Chicago in which a cop killed a concealed carry holder by accident?
Of course not, because when you give law-abiding John Q. Public the right to carry a concealed firearm, John Q. rises to the occasion, and the proof is in the pudding. The 500-pound gorilla in the concealed carry permit game is Florida. Since 1987 the state of Florida has issued 2.5 million concealed-carry permits. Of those, only 168 persons out of 2.5 million have committed firearms-related crimes, or .00672 percent. Compare that to a three-year study showing .02 percent of slightly more than 683,000 full-time law enforcement officers have committed a firearm-related violation. The simple fact is this: guns save lives, and gun owners take the responsibility very seriously no matter where they are or what they’re doing.