Last month, two bills were filed (one each for the Texas House and Senate) that would legalize self-defense by concealed handgun license holders on college campuses. In typical fashion, Texas law enforcement agencies aren’t supportive of the idea, especially the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators. According to WOAI.com, apparently the only people that can be trusted with guns on a campus are police officers:
Felipe Garza, President of the Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators, says there are ‘too many uncertainties’ of college life, from being away from school for the first time, to the stress of college, to the temptations of drugs and alcohol. Garza says he is also worried about the security of the guns which are taken into college dorms and campuses.
“That may cause, if they have a handgun present or nearby, they would steal it from someone they know, and that would cause potential problems,” he said.
University of Texas System Chancellor Admiral William McRaven last week wrote a strongly worded letter to college presidents telling them that campus carry is a real bad idea.
Garza is echoing those sentiments. He says having concealed guns in the close quarters where college students live and study would cause major problems.
“If they are potentially weapons carriers, they have no way of securing that, or keeping those weapons safe, or preventing somebody else from using those weapons in a moment of anger and distress,” he said.
It seems that Mr. Garza is projecting his own inadequacies in dealing with “anger and distress” onto others. After all, it was only about a year ago that a campus police officer shot 23-year old University of the Incarnate Word in Texas student, Cameron Redus, in the back after the student made a sarcastic remark to the officer. A quick search of the internet reveals many shootings and beatings of unarmed students by campus police officers, some justified and others not so much.
It’s a telling statement about how the police view the public they are sworn to protect as undesirables and criminals-in-waiting, claiming that students are basically LOOKING for a reason to commit crimes; they just don’t have their roommate’s gun to do it with. If the state allows a responsible adult who is capable of voting, serving in the military, and actually serving on that same police force to carry, that responsible adult suddenly becomes a violent criminal in search of a victim according to Garza. When you really think about it, it’s laughable. But, this isn’t the the worst of it.
On February 1 – two days ago, I officially became a civilian again. I’m now 1SG(R) CJ Grisham. Prior to retirement, I enrolled in college full time to complete courses needed in pursuit of a law degree. As I sit in my classes, I can’t help but notice that I’m not even the oldest guy in the class. In one class, there is a Vietnam Veteran with Stage 4 cancer. In another class, a retired Air Force NCO. In others, veterans from recent wars and veterans who never saw combat. I would venture to say that about 40% of students are seasoned and responsible adults.
These veterans who are arguably more trained on the use of firearms in self defense than cops are forbidden from protecting themselves and others around them because state law bans firearms on college campuses. Mr. Garza and Admiral McRaven have no problem disarming veterans while their cops operate freely, but sparsely, around college campuses. There is no guarantee one of these campus police officers will be in the classroom with me when someone decides they’ve had enough or need to exact revenge on another person. Us veterans will be forced to either confront the shooter unarmed or hide behind our book bags while we wait excruciatingly long minutes for campus police to arrive (people with lawfully carried guns).
If students who are legally qualified to own a firearm and possess a concealed handgun license are good enough everywhere else in Texas, they’re good enough on our college campuses. There is no reason that those living in college dorms can’t be required to secure their firearms in a gun safe in their rooms or an arms room provided by the university. There is no reason that students who have met CHL requirements can’t be trusted just because they cross an imaginary line called a college campus.
I’ve served in two combat combat tours and several non-combat tours in S. America. I retired as a 1SG, often in charge of training over 100 Soldiers at least twice a year on firearm safety and competency. Since retiring, I’ve returned to school to finish a degree that I placed on the backburner two decades ago to serve my country. And yet, even though I’m well trained and licensed to carry a concealed firearm, I can’t defend myself or my classmates while I’m in class. THIS MUST CHANGE!!
These police chiefs are afraid of losing their control, not the safety of their students. These are the same people that opposed the CHL law being passed in 1995. Gun free zones are crime spree zones. Texans must come together to pass SB11 and HB937. Call your state representatives and senators and demand they return our basic human right to self defense. When did the opinions of law enforcement begin trumping the rights of the citizenry they serve?