Tag Archives: campus carry

Campus-carry takes effect … very soon!


Monday will be a big day in Texas.

Fifty years ago, a gunman climbed to the top of the Texas Tower at the University of Texas campus in Austin and opened fire with his high-powered rifle.

Sixteen people died that day before the cops got to the gunman and shot him dead .

Aug. 1, 1966 is one of the state’s most infamous days.

Texas is going to mark that date by allowing people to carry guns on college campuses.

Ironic, yes? Tragically so? Yes again.

It’s interesting to me — and to a lot of others — that educators oppose this notion. Only one private university is allowing guns on its campus; the rest of them have said “no thanks.” Public universities are required under the law to allow students to carry guns into classrooms.

UT Chancellor William McRaven — the former Navy SEAL and special forces commander — is one of those who opposes campus-carry. But, what the hey? What does he know?

I’ll stipulate that I have come to accept concealed-handgun-carry as a way of life in Texas. I don’t necessarily endorse it.

Allowing guns on campuses, though, does present a unique set of concerns. What if a professor hands out a failing grade to a student who, um, might have a short fuse that could be lit with a dose of bad news? Does that student then pose an extra threat to the prof if he’s packing heat under his jacket?

Well, Texas is about to enter another era on its college and university campuses.

I’m going to hope for the best.

If only the state could have picked another date to allow guns on our campuses.

Starr speaks sanely about campus-carry law

campus carry

There once was a time when I wasn’t much of a fan of Kenneth Starr.

That was when he served as a special counsel who was given the task of investigating a real estate matter involving Bill and Hillary Clinton. Then he came upon another matter, the relationship that President Clinton had with a young White House intern.

He’s gone on, though, to become president and chancellor of Baylor University. And this week he told the Texas Tribune that there’s almost no chance that Baylor is going to allow licensed gun owners to pack heat on the Waco campus. What’s more, Starr also opposes the campus carry law.

Who knew that Kenneth Starr had such a reasonable streak?

Baylor joins other private universities in Texas that likely will opt out of the concealed carry law. Starr’s take? He told the Tribune: “My own view is that it is a very unwise public policy, with all due respect to those who feel strongly (and) very, very rooted in constitutional values as they see them. We’re here as seats of learning, and I do not think this is helpful.”

The bill, enacted by the 2015 Legislature, seeks to bring more guns into places where they previously had been banned. I saw nothing wrong with banning firearms on college and university campuses.

I’m glad to be on the same page as Kenneth Starr. For the life of me I never thought I’d see it happen.


Guns soon will be going to college

It’s tough to write about this in the aftermath of that hideous shooting rampage in Charleston, S.C., but I’ll try anyway.

Campus carry legislation has become law in Texas, meaning that before long it’ll be all right for students to carry guns to public college and university classrooms.

I’m going to try my best to keep a wide open mind on this issue, even though I join University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven in harboring serious concerns about it.


The Charleston carnage will take time to sort out. Dylann Roof is in custody and it’s likely he’ll be charged with a hate crime, meaning the feds will try him. As hideous as that crime is and the pain it has brought to an entire nation, it shouldn’t reflect on what has transpired here in Texas.

Our sincerest hope is that nothing does happen in Texas’s public universities that can be traced directly to the campus-carry law that Gov. Greg Abbott signed.

Concealed-carry legislation brought many concerns to Texans. I was one of them. Our concern about concealed-carry did not materialize, meaning that it didn’t result in street-intersection shootouts caused by fender-bender accidents.

Only people with concealed-carry permits will be allowed to pack heat into the western civilization lecture halls, which means they’ll at least have some training on how to use a handgun.

The question remaining for McRaven and other university administrators is how they’re going to implement the law, allowing students and faculty members to bring guns onto campuses.

I wish them all well.

And yes, I truly am hoping for the best.


Texas GOP wins, but some Republicans remain angry

Some Texas Republicans can’t seem to win enough.

The Legislature approved two key bills near and dear to gun owners: open carry and campus carry. Gov. Greg Abbott just signed them both into law, which now means that Texans licensed to carry concealed weapons can do so openly; they’ll also be able now to pack heat on college campuses.


If you’re a gun owner rights advocate, you’d be happy. Correct?

I guess not entirely.

The state GOP was unable to approve a resolution that slapped around four Republican lawmakers for “standing in the way” of Texans’ gun ownership rights.

Good grief, folks. You won! You got what you wanted! But as the Texas Tribune reported, the notion of such a resolution made some GOP officials uneasy: “But the very prospect of it riled some party leaders, sparking heated debate about the committee’s role in the Capitol and seriously complicating party fundraising in at least one instance.”

The party lost a vendor who’d been a major fundraiser and who had been uneasy about the resolution rebuking some lawmakers.

However, some members of the State Republican Executive Committee wanted to single out House Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Dennis Bonnen, Rep. Larry Phillips and Sen. Joan Huffman for their opposition to a “Constitutional Carry” amendment, which translates into allowing unlicensed Texans to carry firearms.

Some members of the Texas GOP need to settle down. Take a breath. You won the contest over these two key gun-related issues.


Texas is about to add to its reputation

Ask a non-Texan to characterize the Lone Star State and the folks who live here in a sentence or two and you’re likely to hear the word “guns” mentioned.

“Texans love their guns.” “Texans would just as soon shoot someone as argue with ’em.” “Don’t mess with Texas, or someone with a gun will get ya.”

That kind of stuff.

Well, the Texas Legislature is likely to enhance or embellish that reputation if it approves two bills — over the expressed opposition of chiefs of police and at least one highly senior university administrator.

Open carry and campus carry bills are likely to become law in Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll sign them both.


Lock ‘n load, Texas.

Police chiefs oppose the open carry bill that will enable those with concealed carry permits to pack the heat openly, strapped to holsters on their hips.

University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven opposes the campus carry bill, which would allow concealed carry licensees to bring weapons onto college campuses.

The top cops and the chancellor have the same fear of both bills: They have the potential of creating tragedy, either through accidental shooting or self-inflicted gunshots wounds.

Both pieces of legislation give me the heebie-jeebies. Yes, the concealed carry law enacted in 1995 did the same thing, but it’s generally turned out all right in terms of its impact on Texas society. There haven’t been the spasms of violence in intersections over fender-benders that some of us feared when concealed carry became the law in Texas.

With open carry and now, with campus carry, I continue to get the nervous jerks over knowing that we’re (a) going to allow guns to be carried in the open and (b) allowing guns into university classrooms.

Retired Admiral McRaven, a former Navy SEAL who later headed the U.S. Special Forces command, has an interesting take on the campus carry bill’s potential impact. According to the Texas Tribune: “’If you’re in a heated debate with somebody in the middle of a classroom, and you don’t know whether or not that individual is carrying, how does that inhibit the interaction between students and faculty?’ McRaven asked at a Texas Tribune event in February. McRaven and others have suggested gun-wielding students might intimidate classmates and professors to the point of curbing freedom of speech.”

Maybe all this concern is overblown. Then again, maybe it’s justified.

I fear the worst if the cause for justification presents itself.