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)
  1. outside thinker

    @RUFFNUTT Let's also look at the genders of the perps. Arizona: Male. VA Tech: Male. Bowling Green: Male. Columbine: Males. Jonesboro: Male. Dallas: Male. Not one of these is a PMSing female. Hmmm. The conclusion then would seem to be that MALES are the ones who are unstable and therefore should not have firearms.

    February 23, 2011 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      are you serious.. it's cause there girlfriends were pms'ing and drove them nuts..

      February 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Roger27

    This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard!!! Only in Texas!! Bunch of inbred hillybillies!UNBELIEVABLE!

    February 23, 2011 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. Richp, Easton, Pa

    Up until two weeks for four weeks before the shooting there were no restrictions on concealed carry, The slime bucket waited till he was protected by law then started shooting. I carry on campus often, it's called concealed for a reason and it's nobodies business that I carry. One other interesting thing about VA's restrictions, it also prohibited LE taking classes from carrying, the ultimate stupidity but then thats liberals for you.

    February 23, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • SiriusVH

      If you are a student, please state your current GPA. Please don't lie.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Richp, Easton, Pa

      Not a student, instructor, retired army.

      February 23, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. JSKCKNIT

    This is just another attempt to collect fees from innocent people. Do you really think criminals are going to do any of this?

    February 23, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tank

    I am a liberal. However i think this bill is great. Its not saying arm all the students. Its saying let the ones that get the permit or already have it carry their weapons on campus w them. And just like now since it will b concealed u will never know someone has it. There wont b class rooms full of gun toting students because there will only b a select few people that will have their permit. If a psycho decides to start shootin people up students will b able to defen themselves. And when police arrive on scene the permit carrier will do what he is suppose to do before police enter. Drop the magazine. Clear the weapon. Lock the slide to the rear. Lay the weapon down and step away with his or hers hands up untill police can come in and sort thru the mess and find out what happend. Very simple.

    February 23, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • SiriusVH

      If you are a student, please state your GPA. Please don't lie.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Victor M. Robinson

    So they are trying to fix a gun problem with more guns.... what a bunch of raving morons....

    February 23, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  7. JSKCKNIT

    All fun & games til a student gets a failing grade and assaults their professor. Better yet, a student starts shooting, wannabe law enforcement students run to shoot back, police arrive & can't tell if this shooter is alone or working with others.

    Why the need to be concealed? The bill can achieve the same goal by not allowing concealed weapons.

    February 23, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. SiriusVH

    People who think of going to college with a firearm are clearly NOT college material. It is really as simple as that. I would recommend alternative career paths like the police or the military. I have yet to see ONE of those gun-lovers address in any meaningful way the questions and comments I made earlier. Education and guns are an oxymoron.

    February 23, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Aiken

      @SiriusVH
      okay that is simply wrong,
      education is supposed to make you smarter and control your emotions better, therefore it would help with firearms, not hurt
      secondly, i am a gun lover so i'm going to go ahead and take a shot at addressing you,
      though i haven't finished reading the rest of the page i think i get your basic point

      the idea of this is merely a deteriant, if you don't know who is carrying then you have to respect everyone you meet, and another point, most of the time if someone comes on campus and starts shooting up the place they aren't going to have a permit at all, in that instance how long would it take for the police to arrive after over a hundred people dialed 911

      ten minuets at most, but how many people would have been hurt in the meantime, five-ten-twenty,

      now let us examine the opposite senario
      he walks on a campus where he knows there is good chance of him getting killed before he is able to do any real damage, for that is what those people want to do: damage, and if they know that they won't be able to do any before they are cut down what is the likelyhood of them say, "wow, i don't know who has a firearm, maybe i should back off before I get shot."

      I support this bill, though i do not live in Texas, however, i will state that there is no real solution to this problem, and this just seems as one of the less bad ideas, esspecially considering that texas probably doesn't have the money to fund more campus police, or police in general

      by the way in case you were going to take a shot at me for not stating it i'll go ahead and say it, i have a 3.5 gpa and am going to college right now

      the differences here have to do with people who have been around guns thier whole life and those who have only seen them in movies, for those people who have seen them only in movies i challange you to go out to a range and fire off a few rounds, you will realize the power you hold in your hand, and it will make you respect firearms not fear them

      because that is only the people that would be carrying, those who respect firearms and know just what they can do when used, either in a good way or bad

      what you're dealing with here is human nature and human nature lends itself to staying out of harms way, just becomes someone has a gun doesn't mean they're going to go and find the nearest point to shoot from and start firing randomly, they will sit tight and hope to god that the gunman doesn't come near them, but if he does that person is now ready

      if i have left any holes in my arguement please point them out to me, i'll be glad to fill them in

      February 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Former LEO

    Allow me to ask parents... Would you send your child(ren) to such a school? Would you buy YOUR child (knowing him/her as you do) a handgun and kiss him/her goodye and say "See you at Christmas"? Do you think he/she can handle the added responsibility? Do you trust all the other parents to make wise and informed decisions on this matter? Or is Big John Redneck gonna make sure that before little Johnny Boy leaves in the fall he's armed to the teeth? Just some points to ponder.

    February 23, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Yes I would.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dean

    This is a common sense bill. States need to prohibit these localities from imposing draconian gun measures. These city councils are out of control. Read the bill you have to be 21 yrs old, only 20% of college students are. And you have to pass a test, and have a background check. What more reasonable measure can there be? These gun control nuts are just that. Va Tech idiots stay out of TX politics.

    February 23, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. SiriusVH

    I propose a very simple test: ask those who claim that guns, concealed or not, on campus are a good idea to state their current GPA (truthfully, of course). That should be interesting!

    February 23, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • KyleUT

      I am a government major at the University of Texas at Austin. I have a 3.5 GPA. This bill is a good idea. have you even read it? http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/billtext/html/HB01893I.htm
      By the way, Utah has a simliar law. Have you heard about any problems there? I would feel much safer at my school, and in my classrooms.

      February 23, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. SiriusVH

    What I find amazing about America is the ability of a minority (gun lovers) to make life more difficult and potentially dangerous for the vast majority, in the name of a specious argument that even a 5-year old would find ludicrous.

    February 23, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Eric

    Two men walk into two different malls; one in a state that allows for concealed carry and the other that does not allow it. They both open fire. In which mall will there be less victims? The one where maybe 10% have concealed firearms or the one that has to wait 5 to 10 minutes for the police to arrive and another 20-30 minutes for them to assemble a SWAT team to storm the mall?

    February 23, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • SiriusVH

      Well, a man hearing the shootout and carrrying a weapon in the same mall rushes to the scene, thinking that he is going to 'make a difference' and starts shooting and, by accident kills a bystander. Then, another guy, also thinking that HE is going to 'control the situation' also rushes to the scene and, not knowing who started the whole thing, shoots the first guy who was trying to 'make a difference'. Need I say more, you COMPLETE IDIOT? I guess your IQ can be easily confused with the number of rounds your gun can hold.

      February 23, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Attending a nationally-ranked university on a full-ride scholarship for academics sure makes me a complete idiot.

      February 23, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. SiriusVH

    Well, what do the PROFESSIONALS (i.e., the Police) think? The RAMBO-WANNABE can say all they want, let's just listen to what the professionals think about this 'idea'?

    February 23, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. TexSux

    And I thought Idaho was Redneck.

    February 23, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
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