On November 10 the Los Angeles Times reported that some universities in Texas are assessing how and where they can create gun free zones to keep law-abiding students with concealed handgun licenses (CHLs) from carrying guns for self-defense.
Campus carry becomes law of the land in Texas in August 2016.
According to the LA Times, the University of Texas (UT) is leading the charge to find ways to circumvent the law. “More than 800 UT professors have added their names to a list opposing guns in classrooms, and more than 8,000 people have signed a separate petition [opposing campus carry].”
UT neuroscience professor Max Snodderly believes allowing CHLs to carry guns on campus for self-defense “is a very bad idea.” He suggests the possession of guns on campus by CHLs “[is] an encroachment on academic freedom.” He also suggested allowing such law-abiding students to carry guns for self-defense increases “danger to students at risk of suicide.”
Snodderly is urging the university president to designate all “classrooms, dormitories, and offices” as gun free zones, just the like the offices and classrooms at University of California Merced and Sandy Hook Elementary. Ironically, Snodderly pointed to the shootings at Umpqua Community College as an example of “the dangers of the gun culture,” but he did not mention that UCC shootings took place in the very kind of gun free classrooms he is seeking at UT.
Snodderly added, “We don’t feel more guns is the answer.”
Texas Students for Concealed Carry’s Chase Jennings begs to differ. Jennings points out that the possession of guns by law-abiding students poses a “deterrent” to people like the UC Merced mass stabber and the gunmen at UCC and Sandy Hook Elementary, all three of which picked gun free campuses as their targets. Jennings described Snodderly and other UT opponents to campus carry as “alarmists” who try “to get people riled up.”
And Jennings has a point. After all, campus carry is already the law in seven states and allowable on a campus-by-campus basis in approximately 20 more, and Michigan and Florida are currently considering legislation similar to that passed in Texas. Colorado has had campus carry since 2003 and where are all the stories about concealed carry permit holders bringing guns on campus and committing crimes?
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.