On February 21, the Houston Chronicle claimed the passage of Campus Carry in Texas could hurt education at colleges and universities and quoted M.D. Anderson’s Julie Penne saying it could hurt “cancer research” as well.
According to the Chronicle, legalizing the carry of handguns on campus “could cost tens of millions of dollars” and that money “could be…siphoned away from education and research programs at Texas universities.”
Using data from the Texas higher education systems, the Chronicle claims that many of the costs would be in increasing university police departments in response to law-abiding citizens carrying guns for self-defense. More “gun safes and lockers” would also have to be installed on campuses and “‘de-escalation’ and ‘judgment’ training for staff and on-campus security” would come at a high cost as well.
State senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) said: “We should be arming our children with a 21st century education, not arming them with handguns. As the cost of higher education continues to grow, it doesn’t make sense to push more unfunded mandates onto the backs of students and their families.”
Julie Penne, M.D. Anderson’s associate director for external communications, said “costs would be covered out of proceeds from patient revenue, which would normally go toward cancer research, education, and prevention efforts.”
State senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) rejected these arguments, saying:
It is patently absurd to suggest that additional security resources would be needed to accommodate faculty, staff or student [concealed handgun license] holders on Texas campuses. CHL-holders are statistically the most law-abiding citizens in our state, and I think it [is] bordering on offensive to suggest that they will conduct themselves any less thoughtfully or lawfully the moment they set foot inside a university building.
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