Tuesday, August 16, 2016

SB-11 Brought to you by the Looney Star State

On August 1, 2016, SB-11, the law passed last year by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature, and signed by Governor Greg Abbot (Republican), went into effect. Known as the Campus Carry law, this piece of legislation allows those with concealed carry permits to have them on the campuses of public universities throughout the state, including classrooms, dorms, and professors’ offices. In fact, university officials must have legislative approval of any guns-free zones they designate on their campuses.
As a native of Texas, and someone who grew up around guns, I have no quarrel with the right of rational people to own guns, but this bit of legislative legerdemain strikes me as about the most stupid thing imaginable. Like former Navy SEAL admiral William McRaven, University of Texas System Chancellor, I grew up hunting and target shooting, but a college campus is not the place to have people packing concealed weapons.

There are a number of reasons I think the honorable members of the Lege, as the legislature is fondly called in Texas, are out of their collective minds.

For starters, having it go into effect on the 50th anniversary of the date that Charles Whitman, an engineering student at UT Austin, took several weapons into the tower on the school campus and began a shooting rampage that left 14 dead and 32 wounded. Talk about rubbing salt into old wounds.
On a more contemporary note, can anyone whose head’s not in rectal defilade think it a good idea to allow concealed weapons in a classroom. What happens if a student takes issue with what the professor is saying, or gets into a beef with a fellow student? Oh, and we all know how sedate dorms are. I can just see office hours for some professors now – what was my grad again, prof? Sure you don’t want to rethink that?
The argument put forth for this law is the same old load of crap that’s always used by the gun nuts—it’s to make people safer. Like having more loaded guns in more hands has ever made anyone really safe. Oh, and don’t start with that’s the way it was in the old west. In the real old west, most towns required people to check their guns when they came to town, despite the crap you see in the phony western movies. That’s what the gunfight at the OK Corral was all about, some nuts not wanting to surrender their shootin’ arns, and the law telling them otherwise.

I can only hope that this won’t end in tragedy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but not holding my breath, though. And, I don’t think I’ll be visiting my relatives in Texas any time soon.