Texas is poised to give college students and professors the right to carry concealed handguns on campus. Supporters of the bill, including Gov. Rick Perry (R) and more than half the state House, say letting students carry guns would help them defend themselves in the event of deadly school shootings like the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech. Opponents say it will only make college campuses more dangerous. Would such a move abet or prevent school shootings? (Watch a Fox News report about the bill)
What a misguided idea: Maybe another student with a gun "could have stopped Seung-hui Cho's rampage" at Virginia Tech, says the Los Angeles Times in an editorial. But guns aren't just "tools of self-defense;" they are "also tools of suicide, accidental shootings, intimidation, and murder." Colleges are rife with drug abuse, "romantic entanglements," and academic pressure. "Adding firearms to this volatile mix is a spectacularly bad idea."
"Gun safety, Texas-style"
These guns will keep campuses safe: Gun bans disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals, says the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus in an editorial in The Telegraph. And legally-armed Texans have demonstrated for years that they can responsibly carry concealed weapons into restaurants, banks, and shopping malls. Why should classrooms be different? Twenty-six colleges — including all public universities in Utah and many in Colorado — already allow concealed weapons. If anything, the policy has resulted in reduced crime rates, not "shoot-outs."
"The U.S. campus gun debate: For and against"
At best, this is more trouble than it is worth: No one wants to see another Virginia Tech, says Jeff Neumann at Gawker. But the answer isn't letting 21-year-olds with raging hormones carry weapons. "Who makes the decision which college kid is 'stable' enough to carry a weapon?" This law may be well-intentioned, but "very bad things" could come of it.
"Texas lawmakers want college kids to pack heat"