Last time there was a gun thought to be on campus…
…we were locked down for hours. Maybe the good people in the Texas state house debating whether to allow concealed guns on campus didn’t know that — or, maybe they think we’d all be less afraid if law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry guns. More than half of the state house have signed on as co-sponsors.
Here at A&M, there is a student group that is lobbying to allow concealed carry, and they have plans to take those efforts to Austin.
A few friends have asked me what I think. I’m still deciding what my opinion is, but in the meanwhile, I’ll say this: whenever we’re in a situation where we think more guns will make us safer, we’re in a pretty bad place. I’ve heard faculty say that if the bill passes, they’ll have a no-guns policy in class (akin to my no-noisy cell phone policy), and that’s usually followed by a few chuckles. But friends, guns are serious. Dead serious.
Here is an excerpt from a serious response from the Texas A&M faculty senate:
The possibility of allowing students faculty and staff to bring guns into the classrooms and other University buildings is a frightening prospect to most faculty who have voiced their opinions on this matter. We encourage all of our faculty colleagues to participate in this important debate by forwarding their comments and opinions to email@example.com.
And, forwarded by a senior colleague in my department, an email about student sentiment:
Yesterday 57.3% of students (7806 students) voted against concealed carry on campus, after a very strong campaign by the thousand-student group Texas A&M Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. In 2009 54% (5700 students) voted against concealed carry. The student body president candidate who was strongly identified with promoting concealed carry (and banning in-state tuition for illegal aliens) received by far the fewest votes (less than half that of the next lowest candidate). This data suggests that a clear majority of Texas A&M students are against concealed carry.
To me these votes indicate that the old Ags who are pushing concealed carry (Perry, Wentworth, Patterson et al) are out of step with today’s Aggies. Whether they pay attention or stay out of touch is a different story.
If the student vote doesn’t work, there is always the “make them wear spandex to class” solution.