The Texas Legislature is considering passing a bill that would allow carrying concealed handguns on college campuses. Allowing concealed handguns on college campuses would be putting students and faculty at a great risk. Not only would this be allowing normal people to carry dangerous weapons, but it could be putting those carrying the weapons in danger as well.
Senate Bill 354, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, would allow both college students and employees to carry concealed weapons on public college campuses in Texas. This would mean that anybody who has a license to carry a concealed weapon would be able to walk around campus with a dangerous gun on their person. This would be the opposite of keeping guns off campus and the reality that anyone could be carrying such a dangerous weapon can be extremely unsettling for students and faculty, as well as campus safety.
With instances like the Virginia Tech shooting and the recent incident at the University of Texas at Austin, having the complete freedom to carry concealed weapons on a college campus seems like anything but smart. The people that would be carrying these weapons aren’t law enforcement officers or anything special. They are normal citizens whose only difference is that they have a license to carry a concealed handgun and obtaining a license actually isn’t that hard to get. This shows the reality of how risky it would be. Many gun crimes are crimes of passion and if someone carrying a concealed weapon was to lose their head, then this puts everyone in danger. It would be just like the instances at Virginia Tech or the University of Texas, but if this bill passes then it would be like asking someone to walk on campus with a weapon and do what they please.
This bill passing could also give the people carrying the guns a hero-aspect, where they think that since they have the gun, it is their jobs to protect. It is possible that if there were a fight on campus, then a person carrying a concealed weapon couldn’t take justice into their own hands and possibly use their weapon to stop the fight. These people aren’t trained to protect and handle guns in high-adrenaline situations and most likely only tragedy would result from situations like that.
Those who are supporting the bill believe that it will actually make campuses safer because if someone is at school shooting students with a gun, then someone with a gun could protect themselves by shooting the attacker. The training with a concealed handgun license isn’t like police training and dealing with circumstances like a school shooting puts a lot more pressure on the person. Letting an untrained person shoot to protect others could actually result in more people getting harmed, whether it’s by stray bullets or misunderstandings. Allowing guns on campus, even for safety reasons, is just too risky.
Allowing concealed handguns on campus is much too dangerous for students and faculty, and Senate Bill 354 should not be passed.