Tag Archives: petition comments

Graduate Student opposition to Campus Carry

I am a UT graduate student and assistant instructor. I’m signing not only in opposition to SB 11 but also in opposition to Representative Allen Fletcher, who was quoted by KXAN yesterday as saying “They can have their petition. I have mine. It’s the Texas State Legislature.”

One who so blithely dismisses those who his legislation directly affects is failing to fulfill his responsibility as a legislator. Meanwhile, Representative Donna Campbell’s tired rhetoric (“These petitions have the opposite effect of their intention and would actually make our classrooms less safe by preventing the most responsible, law-abiding citizens from carrying on campus for personal protection. Meanwhile, criminals who ignore the law will carry weapons wherever they choose.”) rings hollow to those of us who bother to search for evidence for claims of this sort. That concealed carry permit holders are somehow immune from criminal behavior is laughable. And the fact that the National Research Council report on the topic found “no credible evidence that the passage of right-to-carry laws decreases or increases violent crime” is conveniently ignored.  More recent studies reach the same lack-of-conclusions.

Without empirical support for the claim that concealed handguns decrease violence and without a clear mandate from the public, which is divided on the issue of campus carry — though the actual stakeholders, state university faculty, staff and students, are not nearly so divided — there is very little left to conclude but that the Texas officials who passed this law are beholden not to rational policy, nor to the citizens of their state, but only to the firearms industry, whose lobbying efforts are finally succeeding in legislating guns into classrooms, to the detriment of free inquiry and expression.

Justin Cope
from Change.org petition