Why should you lose the right to keep and bear arms simply because you are on a college campus? The state of Texas is about to make sure students on its state campuses don’t.
Over the weekend, legislators in Texas advanced a bill that would allow the concealed carry of handguns in state university buildings.
The Texas Senate voted on Saturday in favor of the bill and the Legislature voted on Sunday to do the same. The bill is now headed to the desk of Governor Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it.
The bill will be a victory for gun rights advocates who were opposed by the universities. One concession the anti-gun crowd did get was that college presidents will be allowed to designate “gun-free zones” throughout their campuses if they choose. They will not, however be able to make their entire campus a gun-free zone.
The bill has faced fierce opposition from gun control advocates and influential law enforcement and higher education officials, most notably the University of Texas System and Chancellor William McRaven, the former Navy SEAL who spearheaded the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
CBS News writes, “McRaven has told lawmakers that allowing concealed weapons could make campuses ‘less safe,’ intimidate students and teachers and stifle free speech.”
I reject McRaven’s premise here. Guns don’t miraculously change people into bloodthirsty maniacs. The only folks who are intimidated by people with a concealed firearm are those who have bad intentions.
In an earlier letter to lawmakers, McRaven said mental health professionals worry the mixture of guns and the emotional and psychological stresses on students, many of whom are away from home for the first time, could lead to more suicides and accidental shootings.
The age for getting a concealed carry permit in Texas is 21 which means many students swill not be able to legally carry a concealed firearm on campus anyway.