This series was originally published in Huffington Post as an article titled How To Get Guns Off Campuses: A Call To Action!
We will be publishing this series over the next few days. This is Part 5 and the final part.
Sample Talking Points Against Campus Carry, Against Pro-Campus-Carry-Related Legislation, and in Favor of Opt Out.
(Originally published by Aron Weinberg as an Appendix to Huffington Post Article How to Get Guns Off Campuses: A Call to Action)
- History. The framers of The Bill of Rights never intended for the 2nd Amendment to be practiced on campuses. When James Madison and Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia, they forbid firearms on campus.
- Lack of necessity. Guns are furthermore unnecessary on campuses, which overall are historically safe environments. Even if they weren’t, guns do not provide a clear advantage in self-defense situations or serve as an an effective defense against sexual assault.
- Safety risk. Campus Carry may, however, makes campuses less safe.The leading cause of gun homicides in the United States results from arguments, which in academic environments are frequent occurrences. There’s also the issue of negligent discharges. Recently, a License-to-Carry holder at Tarleton State University negligently discharged his firearm in a dormitory and a UT-Austin police officer sustained serious injuries after accidently shooting himself.
- Risk of LTCs. Although the vast majority of individuals with a License-to-Carry (LTC) are law-abiding, as a sub-demographic, LTCs may not be quite as law-abiding as a widely-discredited academic has claimed. Background checks for prospective LTCs in Texas,as the Department of Public Safety (DPS) admits, are not always comprehensive. Furthermore, before the Texas State Legislature (2001) authorized DPS to only report convictions of actual LTCs for “certain serious offenses” — a privilege non-licensed Texans have never been granted — a 2002 study of DPS records found arrests for weapons-related offenses were 81% higher for LTCs (1996–2001) compared to the general public. Several other current issues exist in the reporting of DPS statistics on LTCs.
- Poor training of LTCs. Students with 4 hours of state-mandated License-to-Carry training, who are unlikely to have ever used a gun in a real life self-defense situation, are entirely unprepared to use their firearms on campus when New York City police have an on-the-street accuracy rate of 34% overall, and 43% from a distance of 6 or less feet from their target. The course furthermore is a rubber-stamp: 99.7% of applicants passed in 2014. Introducing Permitless Carry or eliminating “all Gun-Free-Zones” on campuses, as the 2017 Republican Platform proposes, will simply compound these safety and training issues.
- Opposition by campus police. It’s not only students, faculty, and UT-System Chancellor, Admiral McRaven who think campus carry is a bad idea, but people in charge of campus safety. The Texas Association of University Administrators is against concealed handguns on campuses and believe it makes their job far more difficult.
- Argument for opt-out. Given the unnecessary risks posed by campus carry, the broad opposition against it in Texas, the prohibition against firearms on campus imposed by the primary author of the 2nd Amendment, and federal recognition by the U.S Supreme Court that the statutory minimum of the individual right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment does notinclude schools (DC vs. Heller, 2008), we propose an amendment to SB11 that allows public universities the choiceto opt-out of campus carry, which all but three of 41 private colleges and universities in Texas have already done.