Texas considering concealed handguns on campus
Before a vote on the measure, there will be a public meeting on carrying concealed guns on Texas college campuses.
February 22nd, 2011
03:21 PM ET

Texas considering concealed handguns on campus

Texas lawmakers are weighing a bill that would allow professors and students to carry concealed weapons on college campuses. Before the voting begins, a public meeting on the measure will be announced soon on the legislature's site, searchable by #sb354.

"This is about self-defense," said San Antonio Republican Sen. Jeff Wentworth, the legislation's sponsor. "It's about protecting lives of students who are totally vulnerable and defenseless and able to be picked off by a deranged shooter, as was the case in Virginia."

Wentworth is referring to the April 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech when student Seung-Hui Cho shot 32 people to death. All except two were killed in classrooms in a single on-campus building. Cho committed suicide as authorities approached. He had purchased the handguns used in the massacre legally. (See CNN.com's special coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy.)

Virginia Tech is the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. The second-deadliest happened in 1966 when Charles Whitman killed 16 people and wounded 31 at the University of Texas at Austin. A student and former U.S. Marine, Whitman picked off some of his victims from his perch in a campus tower. Most recently in Texas, a student fired an assault rifle in September at the University of Texas. He killed himself, but no one else was hurt.

"The Virginia shooter was mentally deranged. The people who would be able to carry weapons on campus, if this passes, would be licensed, and therefore fully trained," he said. "To get a license in Texas, you have to be 21, go through a 10-hour course and pass an exam, and go out on a shooting range with a handgun and pass a test.

One would have to undergo a criminal background check and pay a fee of more than $100, Wentworth said. "People do not lightly apply for licenses," he said. "We would have responsible, trained people there in the classroom."

Opponents of the bill are concerned that more guns would mean more violence. Critics include two Virginia Tech students who barely escaped Cho's rampage.

"I was there that day. It was the craziest day of my life with one person walking around with two guns," Colin Goddard told reporters last week when he spoke out against the bill at the Texas Capitol. "I can't even imagine what it would have been like with multiple students and multiple guns."

Goddard was shot four times and survived by playing dead. He wrote about his opposition to guns on campus for CNN.com in January.

Former Tech student John Woods, whose girlfriend was killed in the shooting, joined Goddard in Texas to say he, too, is against the bill.

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Filed under: Crime • Politics • Texas
soundoff (265 Responses)

    i dont think women should be able to carry concealed hand guns.. first most women are clumbsy and carry a bunch of stuff in there purse, a bad accident could happen..

    second, women when they get there period can get pms and are liable to shoot people if they have a rage attack..

    third, most women that want conceal and carry are women that were picked on as girls in school, they might have been flat chested and want to get some revenge and are looking for someone to mess with them so they can shoot someone..

    February 23, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • rhthomas333

      Wow I laughed so hard at this.
      It's completely wrong and every women in the military would disagree with but this made me laugh

      February 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |

      everyone knows all women in the military are gay and there ultimate goal is to legally kill a man..

      February 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Texan

    it's difficult to understand how allowing tens of thousands of young people to carry concealed handguns on campus is a solution to anything. it simply provides a legal mechanism to ensure young people never know if the person next to them is armed.
    everyone feel safer now?
    the failure was societal. guns can't fix that.
    peactically speaking i would hate to be the cops called to a campus shooting. instead of one identifiable shooter – now everyone is trying to play a real time video game.

    February 23, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Trebec

      A video game... And there are video racing games. I'm not saying it doesn't happen that kids drive cars like Grand Theft Auto, I'm saying the reasonable person does not do that. And it sounds like you don't surround yourself by reasonable people.

      February 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nick

    I honestly think that this is becoming news so that people like Cho are afraid to do acts like this (because someone else might be carrying a gun). They will probably raise the requirements to get the guns and they will probably be giving less guns out...

    This is a smart way of scaring off potential mass-murderers

    February 23, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. jimmy boy

    have the people of texas already ruled out armed security or hiring more police officers.I as much as everyone think the idea is awsome but i think a few things should be done before we have people going to school armed to the teeth

    February 23, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |

    I just farted. Shooooo : )

    February 23, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. Really?

    I was at UT last week, showing a college apartment to potential buyers. I walked past a beer pong table and two students passed out on the lawn. The smell,i think was the most impressive part, a mixture of sweat, beer, cheese and dishes that have been left out for weeks..at the very least.

    i think that the most useful thing we should allow on UT's campus is a mop.

    Please direct me to a serious study that proves adding guns to the classroom is safer than not bringing guns at all.

    February 23, 2011 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Captain Underpants

      Please direct me to a serious study where having a "gun free zone" has prevented a shooting. Last I checked guns were not allowed on campus at VT, that didn't stop Cho.

      February 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Colt 45

    When I was six years old I received two 'Stallion 45's' for my birthday and was so proud of those (cap) guns. They were perfect with the chaps and vest Mom made for me (a girl). But I grew up and put away childish things.
    The Texas legislature is easily manipulated by the gun lobby, but they need to consider the effect such legislation will have on recruitment of rational people to the many colleges and universities in Texas. I was considering coming back to pursue graduate studies, but I won't be coming back to Texas. And I am sure many others will go elsewhere, too.

    February 23, 2011 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Earnán

      You won't be missed.

      February 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mariaking77

    I've dealt with 123 mortgage refi on two refis now, and in each case it was about as painless as anything that involves paperwork by the acre can possibly be. I would heartily recommend his services without reservation for those thinking of refi.

    February 23, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Masteropuppet

    Naive? Id say if the school board cared theyd hire a reasonable amount of police who would arrest them students with guns on and within the college neighboring streets. A gun and gunpowder detector police dogs. That may not and will not stop idiots who instead of going to work for their degree, think unstead of voting in favor of having everyone in campus carry around a gun. People in the west are plain stupid

    February 23, 2011 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Masteropuppet

    I just want to apologize for I didnt mean to say all westerners are stupid. Im sure the people there are smart. Is just that government everywhere makes stupid decisions. Perfect example is going to war when what we all should just get along with each other here in the great U.S. Of A. Pass laws that would benefit all people living and working to improve americas economy. Instead of handing out weapons laws that only fall in hands of the idiots that are giving the U.S.A a bad rep. THiNk PEOPlE, THiNK. LORD, JESUS, Have mercy

    February 23, 2011 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. angela

    How come no one asks this question. How come no mental tests are being done??

    February 23, 2011 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. cary

    ecplayers c0mpany can supply:

    P A Y P A L ,Iph0ne 4: $260 , Ip@d: $250 , macb00ks: $280- 520 U S D

    February 23, 2011 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. Brah

    One of the main problems with carrying concealed is it can't act as a deterrent if no one can see the gun. If they are to pass this law it should be as a carry openly only policy, and offer free safety classes and defense seminars like they used to in high schools, my own high school even has a gun range in the basement which is now storage. This image that guns kill people starts at home and gets reinforced on the media and at school. With proper training and respect, the tool that a gun is is no more dangerous then a hammer or knife. 11,624 homicides (40% of all U.S gun deaths) 649 unintentional shootings, 311 from legal intervention and 235 from undetermined intent (4% of all U.S gun deaths combined). Th remaining were suicide deaths. vs 43,510 killed in cars accidents. (stats from 2004) A car is a machine, a gun is a machine. If you operate both safely and respectfully the chance of bodily injury to self or other greatly declines.

    February 23, 2011 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
    • SiriusVH

      You think like a genius! Would you care to state your current GPA?

      February 23, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brah


    February 23, 2011 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. outside thinker

    I totally support this legislation. I was in college during the VA tech and bowling green incidents. As a student, you dont know what you will face on campus and after those cases, you think it could happen to you. Scariest part is knowing you cant defend yourself. Luckily I knew 2 students who carried concealed eventhough it's against policy. In NY state we have to wait almost a year from start to finish for the application PLUS have a few extra references in an interview. You also cant say its for self defense because it will be immediately rejected. To the lame whad that said women shouldnt have handguns... Im a 24 year old female who has been trained on firearms since I was 4, starting with .22s. My 30 year old sister had the same training when she was 4. I plan to do the same with my daughter. A trained woman is an empowered woman (as well as alive). Heaven forbid you need my help.

    February 23, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
    • SiriusVH

      I guess, you have no idea what a college is supposed to be. You probably did not spend much time on one.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
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