Campus carry may stife debates among college students


Annie Ricotta, Opinions Editor, Graphics Editor

Once havens for free expression, Texas universities have suddenly become less friendly places to the free flow of knowledge and ideas.

Texas lawmakers passed the “campus carry” law in 2015, which allows license holders to carry a concealed handgun throughout university campuses. Although the law allows universities to set up certain “exclusion zones”, the rules for the exclusion zones are inconsistent. Some areas are only excluded for a period of time and students can freely possess a handgun in most buildings including classrooms and residence halls.

This law has fundamentally changed the collegiate atmosphere of Texas universities, sting discussion of controversial ideas out of fear of o ending someone who is carrying a handgun in their class. Now that campus carry is in effect there will always be this new looming threat to student and faculty safety.

The UT website it states that faculty can’t ban guns from the classroom because it would violate state laws involving concealed carry. Because of this many members of the faculty have left or are going to leave and many who could join the faculty are turning down jobs. is is causing the students to miss out on better opportunities for learning.

I was seriously planning to go to UT, but this new law is making me rethink that decision because I wouldn’t feel safe there anymore. How am I, or anyone, supposed to learn anything with the knowledge that the person sitting next to me could have a gun and one wrong word could set them off. So much time would be spent worrying about not offending anyone, I wouldn’t be learning anything any professor was saying.

I would be so worried about being followed to my dorm or apartment I wouldn’t even go to class. And I am not alone in feeling like this. Many incoming students are rethinking their decision to go to any college that has campus carry. A misfire has already happened at Tarleton State University, and while no one was hurt that time, what can be said about the next time? Or what will happen when the gun is red on purpose?

The argument that everyone having guns will make the world safer holds no value. Thee people who say that a “good guy” with a gun will stop the “bad guys” with their guns are insane. That argument has been disproved by the FBI over the course of 13 years between 2000 to 2013.

The FBI conducted a study in 2006 analyzing 160 “active shootings” that showed that 56 percent the shooter took their own life, 26 percent they were stopped by law en- forcement, 13 percent were disarmed by unarmed citizens, and 3 percent were stopped by an armed citizen. But the thing is only one case out of that three percent was in fact a random “good guy” with a gun. e other four cases were on-duty security guards.

How long before the next story about someone who decided to open re in the courtyard, or a story about a professor being shot because a student didn’t like some- thing they did or a grade they gave? Or a story about a racist shooting a group just because they believed that they didn’t deserve to live?

No matter where you plan to go to college, everyone should be as worried as I am about the addition of this law. It is an insult to those 15 people who died on the UT campus 50 years ago because of the clock tower shooting. All this law has done is open the door for more people to die. Even if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s only a matter of time.