Every time a law is proposed, or passed, that would deregulate some restriction that should have never been placed on gun ownership or legal carry of firearms in the first place, anti-gun activists scream that the sky is falling.
Recall that in just about every state where a shall-issue concealed-carry law has been considered, gun-banners fretted over “blood running in the streets” and bringing back the “Wild West.” Never mind that holders of concealed-carry permits have proven to be the most law-abiding of citizens.
The campus carry movement is no different. And with the new Texas campus carry law set to take effect on Aug. 1, administrators at the University of Houston have already pulled out their “Chicken Little” playbook to let everyone know that “the sky is falling.”Criminals have always been able to carry guns on campus any time they wanted.
Before we explore that, though, let’s take a look at the campus carry law. Texas’ new law does not permit 18-year-old partiers to come to school with a gun in one hand and a beer in the other, blazing away at administrators, professors and other students. The law, just like similar laws in several other states, simply puts a halt to restricting the rights of lawful concealed-carry permit holders just because they cross a nebulous boundary where the real world ends and campus starts.
Further, the law does not recognize anybody’s right to carry a firearm on campus who wasn’t already permitted to carry while off campus. In other words, no “kids” are suddenly going to be legally “packing” due to the passage of this law, even though opponents would like for you to believe that.
Further, criminals have always been able to carry guns on campus any time they wanted. After all, they are criminals—they don’t obey the law. The same holds true now: Criminals can still carry guns on campus illegally.
What changes in August is that law-abiding citizens—who, by definition, do follow gun laws—will have the ability to protect themselves if an armed criminal decides to attack them while on campus property. That wasn’t possible beforehand, when law-abiding citizens were left helpless because anti-gun administers simply don’t like the thought of armed self-defense.
Unfortunately, administers at the University of Houston don’t seem to understand this concept. To them, the law is just inviting mass chaos—even though nobody can carry on campus who was not already permitted to do so while off campus.
To address this perceived “threat” of lawful, licensed Americans carrying firearms on campus—which, remember, they were already doing off campus—the University of Houston administration is working on some “guidelines.” And boy are they doozies. Just reading them tells you everything you need to know about the people who formulated these “guidelines.”
A slide shown at a recent faculty discussion of the new campus carry law suggested professors and other instructors “may want to”:
- Be careful discussing sensitive topics.
- Drop certain topics from your curriculum.
- Not “go there” if you sense anger.
- Limit student access off hours.
It’s hard to know where to even start with such a ridiculous list. Obviously, whoever formulated it doesn’t understand that the law applies to individuals who have already been vetted to have a carry permit, and who were already carrying a firearm off campus before the law was passed.
These “guidelines,” instead, are written with the underlying false assumption that simply somehow offending a licensed carry permit holder would end in a blaze of gunfire. If that were true, however, everybody in Texas, even when not on a college campus, would need to follow those same guidelines to avoid bloodshed.
The simple truth is, faculty don’t need to follow those guidelines because, as I mentioned earlier, carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding segments of American society—period.
As a carry permit holder myself, I’m offended that the University of Houston would even discuss such proposed “guidelines.” Law-abiding citizens who carry a firearm on a daily basis don’t go to all the expense and inconvenience because we want to shoot someone who discusses a sensitive topic or makes us angry in class or anywhere else. We do it to protect ourselves and our families.
What administrators in Houston should fear isn’t law-abiding permit holders carrying guns on campus, but rather armed criminals coming onto campus and preying on unprotected students and staff. If that should happen in Texas after August, it’s quite possible that faculty members could find their own lives saved by one of these licensed gun carriers they look at with such disdain.