In order to “ensure the safety on the Texas State University Campus,” Student Government passed a resolution Feb. 20 which could allow campus-wide concealed carry.
The resolution, drafted by Senator Alec Garza and Vice President-elect Colton Duncan, had sponsorships from as many as 11 senators and was passed by a roll call vote of 27:5.
The resolution cites studies from the National Academy of Sciences and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center that “unearthed the lack of evidence that suggests licensed concealed carry leads to an increase in either violent crime or gun deaths.”
This makes sense, if a person is knowledgeable and passes the extensive Concealed Handgun License (CHL) qualifications there would be no problem. However, many of the listed qualifications exclude a large chunk of college students. This piece of legislation while great for individuals who already have a CHL, does nothing for the traditional student who cannot even apply for a CHL until he or she turns 21.
Student government should not be planning to thwart a school shooting by relying on concealed handgun carriers, instead they should try to prevent it in the first place and work on educating the community through acts of proactivity not reactivity.
While CHL requirements and laws are different in each state, if the nation and state cannot come up with a consensus on where licensed concealed handgun owners can and cannot go, what makes us think that student government can decide?
Just because we can do something and have individuals who are confident, comfortable and qualified enough to have a firearm does not mean they should be allowed to carry it wherever they want.
My opposition will argue that we have a constitutional right to bear arms. Which we do, sort of. The right to bear arms applied to the states’ right to a militia, meaning if the government was cracking the whip on us, I could then go out and join my state militia and fight the good fight.
However, much has changed since 1791, mainly that state-based militias have largely been incorporated into the federal military structure. The second amendment is old as dirt and we need to be forward thinking, especially if we at all wish to separate ourselves from the rest of the universities and colleges in Texas.
Do we want to teach current and future Bobcats that the only way to feel safe on campus is with a gun? Or should we make leadership based decisions that affect the whole and not the few?
– Jakob R. Rodriguez is a journalism freshman