Republicans in the Texas Legislature and legislative bodies throughout the country are aggressively pursuing so-called “campus carry”. Even vaunted institutions of reasonable gun policy like “Ammoland” are calling for campus carry to be added to the call for special session of the Texas Legislature.
Some backers of campus carry see it from an egocentric perspective: “If there was a shooter I would get my Jason Bourne on, whip out my 9 with laser sights and hollow points, and save the day”. (Yeah, right.) Some see it as some homage to the 2nd Amendment (which has absolutely zero to do with this issue). And, others seem to think it makes them more of a man or more of a patriot to back all things that equal more guns, also known as 'Merica.
The arguments against campus carry center on the alcohol-fueled culture of college, the volatility of relationships and emotions among young people, the general irresponsibility of college kids, and what it says about our values if we think the best way to secure college campuses is a bunch of 20 year-old kids with zero law enforcement training.
Read more below the jump.But, the only perspective that should matter in this debate is that of law enforcement who would be the first on the scene in what they refer to as an “active shooter” situation. Regardless of your perceptions on guns, background checks, assault weapons, or the 2nd amendment, consider yourself as a first responder arriving on a campus where there is a report of a person with a gun.
You arrive on the scene…adrenaline pumping. You draw your weapon…scanning your field of vision for a person with a gun. Without campus carry, your job is fairly direct: find guy with gun, shoot guy with gun.
Under campus carry your job is made extraordinarily more difficult. Rather than finding the guy with the gun, you must now find the bad guy with the gun. Everyone you see with a gun is potentially a bad guy. You will not be able to take immediate action because you will be forced to stop, disarm, detain, and evaluate every person you see with a gun to determine if they, in fact, are the bad guy.
While precious moments tick past as you cuff and frisk Clint the custodian and Gloria grad assistant, how many shots can the bad guy get off? Adam Lanza killed 20 six and seven year-old babies by firing 1 bullet every 2 seconds in Sandy Hook. So while you disarm World Lit teachers and frat rats, a mad man and his high capacity magazine are free to unleash carnage and death on coeds at the terrorizing rate of 1 bullet every 2 seconds.
Say you actually see one person shoot another, is the apparent assailant actually the vigilante saving the day? You cannot know. In a moment where a first responder needs to have a degree of certainty about the scene he or she is witnessing, there is none.
Campus carry is a misguided policy, a solution in search of a problem and a political gimmick for the 'Merica crowd. It multiplies the chaos of an active shooter crisis by many times, it takes away the ability of first responders to take quick and decisive action, and it is a poor substitute for Texas being unwilling to have sensible gun laws and adequate campus security.
As a general rule, guns on college campuses in Texas is not an issue. This proposal is a cheap, unnecessary political stunt. Of all the bad policy enacted by Perry & Friends, this might well be the worst (should it be added to the call)…and that is saying something.
For nearly 20 years Colin Strother has worked in Texas politics, served as the lead consultant on over 80 campaigns, provided on-the-record comments for more than 100 media outlets nationwide, and directed crisis communication, public advocacy, and business development campaigns for corporations.
A family man, yellow dog Democrat, and diehard fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans, Colin has a solid reputation for speaking his mind.