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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Guest column: Student group calls for concealed carry on campus

 
 

Texas A&M Students for Concealed Carry on Campus has students, faculty, staff and alumni who demand that those with a concealed handgun license be allowed to carry on campus, as they are almost everywhere else. As proved through the tragic UT shooting this week, “gun free zones” do not inhibit criminals in the least bit. These zones only disarm law-abiding citizens who wish to defend themselves. CHL holders are not “vigilantes” as was erroneously alluded to in the recent article. Individuals with CHL’s are taught specifically to take a defensive situation and to only use their concealed firearm if their life is in immediate danger. This same argument of “vigilantism” was used when concealed carry was first implemented in Texas about 15 years ago, but these fears proved to baseless and the streets did not “run with blood” as opponents predicted. Fights did not escalate into shootings, in fact violent crimes fell and have continued to fall after the implementation of concealed carry in Texas.
Currently, there are 71 campuses in the U.S. that allow concealed carry on campus and have done so for a combined total of over 124 semesters. There has not been a single resulting incident of gun violence (including threats and suicides), gun theft or gun accident on any of these campuses. Crimes have actually fallen by an average of 4 percent on these campuses every year. This makes sense as concealed carry acts as an excellent deterrent against would-be criminals who would rather commit crimes in “gun free zones” than in places where they risk being injured or killed by their would-be victims. College campuses have the same violent and non-violent crimes of the surrounding area. CHL holders are just as responsible on campus as they are off campus where they already carry, such as in shopping malls, movie theaters, restaurants, etc. Obviously, most people never think about this since the firearms have to be concealed to be legal with the license. They are out of sight and out of mind; hence they are not a distraction and criminals are more wary as they don’t know if their potential victim is armed or not.
In the rare event of a mass shooting, CHL holders could stop a mass murder and save countless lives instead of being helpless and executed by the psychopath. Concealed carry has been proven not to increase the crime rate, but can save lives — the benefits definitely outweigh the risks. To those who think they would pose a difficulty to law enforcement, the fact is those with aCHL will comply with law enforcement and be easy to identify, they won’t be the one randomly shooting at innocent people. To those who think there would not be enough time to stop a mass murderer, students and faculty deserve a fighting chance and it was proven at Virginia Tech that there was more than enough time to take the mass murderer down and save many lives. His weapon jammed, he was having difficulty reloading, and yet all students could do was watch in horror. Gun free zones disarmed these students, but allowed the criminal to walk right on by and execute his helpless victims. We would rather have a fighting chance to defend ourselves than stand idly by as a madman executes our fellow students. We hope this tragedy is never repeated and we hope that if it is, we will be allowed to be prepared. While we can’t prevent mass murders and every day crimes, we can be prepared to defend ourselves and put a stop to them if they do occur. You don’t expect to ever get in a car crash, but if you do, your seatbelt can save your life; we all hope never to have to use a gun, but it would be much better to have it and not need it than to need it, not have it. Please feel free to join Texas A&M Students for Concealed Carry on Campus on Facebook if you agree with our cause. We currently have over 1,200 members and will have our next meeting on at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 in Rudder 504.

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