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The Need for Campus Carry in Texas

Over the past several months there has been much controversy over the new Campus Carry law in the state of Texas. With this law, students with the appropriate age and licenses required by state law are allowed to carry concealed hand guns in classes and on college campus grounds. Many support this law and actively carry concealed firearms on campus, while others protest by voicing their concerns on the matter and the safety issues that may arise. The big question for this controversial topic is whether or not students should be allowed to responsibly carry concealed firearms on campus. They should be permitted to do so because it is the right of the people to keep and bear arms for the protection of their lives and property.

The public is in a heightened state of fear and paranoia following the commencement of legalized campus carry. Former University of Texas professor, Daniel Hamermesh, has recently resigned his position due to the new law taking effect. A recent CNN article reports what he wrote in his resignation letter, “With a huge group of students, my perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed-carry law” (Morris). Like many others, Professor Hamermesh now fears for his life because of this new law. However, a student could just as easily bring a gun onto campus illegally, like many have before. He is saying that responsible, legal carry is something to be feared, therefore demonizing law abiding citizens. This suggests that just by simply possessing a firearm, a person is capable of heinous crimes such as, murder, rape, or armed robbery. But by going on that logic, you can also say that a person owning a car is capable of running over a half a dozen people. However, there are no protests against vehicles on campus like there are for guns.

“Cocks Not Glocks” is an anti-gun campaign run by a group of students at the University of Texas to keep guns off campus grounds in order to create a “gun free zone”. Many, if not all, “gun free zones” are not safe in any way. As Steven Crowder states in his article about guns on campus, “Sadly, what many fail to realize, is that gun free zones are actually the least safe places in our country. Ninety-two percent of public shootings since 2009 have occurred inside gun free zones” (Crowder). Criminals do not abide by the law, and gun free zones mean nothing to them. Saying that an area is gun free is advertising its lack of defense against possible attackers who will bring guns anywhere to commit a crime regardless of laws or signs posted. It is less likely for a shooting to take place in a facility where the patrons are legally armed, such as a gun store or police station because the assailant knows that there will be a higher chance of receiving return fire.

Carrying a firearm is not only a citizen’s right in a free Republic, but an essential need for self-preservation. The need for guns is not obsolete simply because the police are only a phone call away. It is possible for law enforcement to arrive too late. Someone has to first, call 911, explain the situation to the operator followed by their location, and then the dispatch must look up the location and convey that information to available officers over the radio. The City of Austin statistics for police response times show that “The FY 2014-15 process time was 1 minute 17 seconds…dispatch time was 1 minute 1 second…dispatch-to-arrival time was 5 minutes 45 seconds...” (“Total”). This means it takes nearly eight minutes before arrival to a scene. So, if an armed assailant bursts into a classroom of unarmed students, essentially sitting ducks, and started firing, how many casualties could occur before the police get there? We the people are the first responders in any tragedy, police are the second responders. It cannot be expected for them to be there at the exact time when help is urgently needed. It is not humanly possible, but legally armed citizens can be found anywhere. With a firearm, it would only take seconds for a person to take down a shooter on campus. That response time is so fast, not a single police cruiser could possibly come anywhere close to it.

To keep students from legally possessing firearms on campus eliminates the right to personal safety. It creates a “gun free zone” which only targets people who obey the law and not the ones who intend on breaking it. Allowing legal carry to responsible gun owners gives them the chance to protect themselves from predators seeking defenseless prey

Full Source Citations

Crowder, Steven. “Actually, Carrying Guns on College Campuses CAN Make them Safer. Here’s How…” Louderwithcrowder.com, 29 Oct. 2015, http://louderwithcrowder.com/actually-carrying-guns-on-college-campuses-can-make-them-safer-heres-how/#.V-Goq5MrJE.

Morris, Jason. “Texas figuring out how to handle campus carry law.” CNN.com, 10 Oct. 2015, http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/09/us/texas-campus-carry-law/index.html.

“Total Police Response Time for Emergency and Urgent Calls.” Data.austintexas.gov, https://data.austintexas.gov/stories/s/Total-Police-Response-Time-for-Emergency-and-Urgen/y3zx-3xig. Accessed 20 Sept. 2016.

© 2016 Haskel John Causey

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