AUSTIN, TEXAS –-(Ammoland.com)- Before the smoke had cleared on Monday's tragic shooting death of a campus police officer at Texas Tech University, opponents of campus carry flooded the Internet with social media posts and press releases blaming Texas' fourteen-month-old law allowing license to carry (LTC) holders to carry concealed handguns on Texas college campuses.
All available evidence suggests that Hollis Daniels, the nineteen-year-old shooting suspect with a history of run-ins with the law, was ineligible to hold a Texas-recognized LTC and was committing a felony by possessing a handgun on the Texas Tech campus. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Texas' campus carry law impeded first responders or otherwise exacerbated this tragedy.
However, despite these facts, groups ranging from the Texas Association of College Teachers (TACT) to the Democratic Party of Texas made statements blaming Texas' campus carry law, and individuals ranging from Texas Representative Joe Moody (D-El Paso) to Salon editor Sophia Tesfaye pointed to the shooting as a failure of campus carry.
As the facts came to light, the statements of blame faded, and Texas Democrats apologized for jumping to conclusions; however, campus carry opponents (most notably TACT) continue to assert that campus carry failed at Texas Tech.
It's sad to see these types of misinformed, simple-minded statements coming from elected officials and teachers' associations. Anybody who thinks the point of Texas’ campus carry law is to create a “civilian militia” to help law enforcement “contain the bad guys” has spent too much time listening to opponents of campus carry and not enough time listening to supporters. Anybody who thinks a level playing field means the good guys will always win doesn’t grasp the concept of a level playing field.
Even a cursory review of Texas' decade-long fight over the legalization of campus carry reveals that supporters didn't promote the policy as some sort of panacea for on-campus violence. Students for Concealed Carry (SCC), the organization that started the campus carry movement and led the fight in Texas, has been crystal clear in asserting that campus carry is about personal protection, not campus protection.
Texas Senate Bill 11 (84th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature) was intended to create consistency in state law by ensuring that the same vetted adults (age 21 and above) who are allowed the means to protect themselves at a movie theater on Friday, at a shopping mall on Saturday, and at a church on Sunday are not denied that right in a college classroom on Monday. It ensures that LTC holders have the same rights in a campus library that they already had in a municipal library. SB 11 ensures that neither state law nor school policy places LTC holders at Texas public colleges at the mercy of any criminal or lunatic willing to disregard state law and school policy.
That's all campus carry was ever intended to do. It wasn't intended to inoculate campuses against violent crime.
SCC Southwest Regional Director Quinn Cox commented, “This shooter's unlawful possession of a gun at Texas Tech demonstrates once again how difficult it is to keep illegally carried guns off college campuses. I'm not sure how any rational person views this crime as an argument against allowing law-abiding citizens the means to protect themselves on campus.”
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 or tweet @CampusCarry.