When House Bill 1893 failed to come to a vote in the House before last week's deadline, opponents to allowing guns on campus rejoiced at what they thought was a major victory. Now, they know, only Senate Bill 1164 would have to be stopped.
Unfortunately, once HB 1893 died, SB 1164 started rolling. Last Thursday, on a 6-3 vote, the Senate Commitee on State Affairs reported the Guns on Campus bill favorably, bucking the desires of many student governments and university presidents across the state. Today, the Republican-heavy Senate moved swiftly on the bill, preparing it to go to the House.
Hopefully, the amount of Democrats in the House will stymie the chances of a bill that is fundamentally against those wanting sound policy with our higher education institutions. Such a favorable outcome is far from certain, though. Not only did a handfull of Democrats sign on as coauthors to HB 1893, but two Democrats in the Senate Joint Authored SB 1165: Eddie Lucio and Juan Hinojosa. Those who followed the Place 1 City Council race here in Austin know of Eddie Lucio's un-Democratic votes on social issues, but that was not Perla Cavazos's fault — his negative deeds are continuing here. As far as the second Senate Democrat, Juan Hinojosa; I have no idea why he signed on to such a negative bill.
The Democratic Party is supposed to be the party of education. We are supposed to listen, with great respect, to those who make policy at our schools (i.e. university presidents) and to those who always feel the effects of said policy (i.e. the students). One would think this issue is crystal clear, and I can only hope it becomes that way real soon for House Democrats.
Update: Thanks to commenter Fine Bottled Water. He pointed out that there were other Democrats who voted for this in the Senate, too. Senators Gallegos, Whitmire, and Uresti: Come on, guys.