AUSTIN, TX – -(Ammoland.com)- In a recent interview with USA Today, Ramiro Martinez, one of the two police officers credited with shooting and killing the perpetrator of the August 1, 1966, tower shooting at the University of Texas at Austin, offered an unfounded criticism of campus carry.
Journalist Rick Jervis quotes Ramirez as saying, “[Campus carry is] going to open up a Pandora’s box of problems in the future…We now have well-trained police departments to cope with these problems. Someone running around trying to be a hero will only complicate things.”
It's worth noting that, during his 31 years as a Texas police officer, Martinez never dealt with licensed concealed carry or concealed handgun license holders. He retired in 1991, five years before Texas' concealed handgun licensing law took effect. When the Texas Legislature debated the law in 1995, it was widely opposed by law enforcement; however, those attitudes soon changed, both in Texas and across the nation.
A 2013 poll of almost 13,000 current and retired U.S. police officers found more than 91% in favor of concealed carry. Those officers understand that license holders are significantly less likely to commit a violent crime (or a crime of any kind) and pose much less threat to the safety of police than do unlicensed citizens.
Two years after Texas' concealed handgun licensing law took effect, Glenn White, then president of the Dallas Police Association, told The Dallas Morning News;
“I lobbied against the law in 1993 and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict. That hasn't happened. All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn't happen. No bogeyman. I think it's worked out well, and that says good things about the citizens who have permits. I'm a convert.”
Unfortunately, Ramiro Martinez, who heaped praise on the armed citizens who pinned down the UT tower shooter, never had a chance to become a convert, because he never had the pleasure of interacting—in a law enforcement capacity—with Texas concealed handgun license (CHL)/license to carry (LTC) holders.
If he had, he'd understand that license holders are preempted—by their training, by an innate sense of self-preservation, and by laws requiring license holders on college campuses to keep their handguns concealed unless and until they encounter an immediate threat—from “running around trying to be a hero.”
Antonia Okafor, Southwest regional director for Students for Concealed Carry, commented, “The people of Texas and the University of Texas will always owe Mr. Martinez a debt of gratitude for his heroic actions on August 1, 1966, but his views on campus carry are rooted in ideas that are a quarter-century out of date.”
ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus. For more information on the debate over campus carry in Texas, visit WhyCampusCarry.com.