There is a big fuss being made over this…
Legislation has passed the Texas Senate and is headed to the House for review and vote that will allow those with a Texas Concealed Handgun License to remain armed when entering buildings on college campuses.
I spoke about this with a friend not too long ago. This friend is one that I would consider to be of above average intelligence and he completely misunderstood the issue. It made me think about all the other folks that are misunderstanding and why.
The media is mostly to blame for this I think. The newspapers don’t report the news any more. They represent what they choose in such a way as to 1) advance THEIR political interests and 2) to create a stir that will sell more papers.
The conversation with my friend went something like this:
My friend: “I don’t think guns on campus is a good idea.”
Me: “how so?”
My friend: “I just don’t think all those college kids should be allowed to carry guns.”
Me: “only those with licenses will be allowed to carry them though.”
My friend: “ohhhhh! You have to have a license?”
…actually, I didn’t say that…lol. I don’t wanna offend a friend. I just happen to keep up with this kinda stuff more than the average person. I just said, “well, of course you have to have a license…just like anywhere else.”
To hear the college professors and administrators talk, our campuses are populated with irresponsible, alcoholic frat boys that you wouldn’t wanna trust with a potato gun. If I have that many stupid people around me, I darn sure wanna be armed…lol.
But a big deal is being made out of a statistical non-issue. Here is what I mean…
Let’s use UT Austin as an example because it is one of the bigger schools. According to Wikipedia, the undergraduate population in 2015 is 39,979. Let’s round that to an even 40,000 for the sake of the math. Being as you have to be licensed in order to carry a handgun in the state of Texas…and that you generally have to be 21 to get that license, we will whittle the 40,000 down to just the seniors. I will do this because, as a general rule, they are the ones 21 years of age or older. So we divide the 40,000 by four and get 10,000. We won’t factor in campus employees (faculty, administration, janitorial and hospitality staff, etc. as they will be governed by school policy rather than the law.) The school can prohibit these folks from carrying a firearm as a condition of employment.
So roughly 10,000 of the 40,000 are old enough to obtain a license to carry a gun. Of the roughly 27 million people in the state of Texas, only 840,000 have made the decision to obtain a license. Now, statistically, the younger age groups have a lower rate of obtaining the license than the older age groups but let’s use the flat statistic for the sake of argument. 840,000 out of 27 million is about 2.6%. If we apply that to our UT student population, that whittles the 10,000 number down to 260.
We get down to only 260 out of the 40,000 students might, statistically decide to obtain a license to carry a gun. It is starting to look kinda like a non-issue isn’t it? 260 on your campus that MIGHT have a license? Let’s trim it down further statistically. Polls have shown that, of those with licenses, only about half of them actually carry their gun on a regular basis. If we apply THAT statistic, our 260 students gets whittled down to 130.
130 students out of our original 40,000 students are what represent the ones that a) are old enough to get a license, b) chose to do so and c) actually choose to carry on a regular basis. Some might say that 130 guns is still too dangerous right? Well, let me try to assuage some of their fears.
The Texas Department of Public Safety releases crime statistics annually. Starting in either 2007 or 2009 (I can’t remember off-hand) these statistics were collated to show something very interesting. Statistically speaking, those who are authorized by the state to carry a handgun were found to be 13 times less likely to commit a crime than those who were not licensed. 13 TIMES! This is actually a better statistical record than those members of the law enforcement community.
Most people that want to ban guns are generally ok with a cop carrying one…matter of fact, most of them say that cops are the only ones that should! But statistics have shown that they are more likely to commit a crime than those ‘ordinary citizens’ who have chosen to obtain a license by the state to carry a gun. Does this really make sense?
Getting back to the statistical 130 people who MIGHT be carrying a gun on a college campus, those 130 are, statistically, 17 times less likely to break the law according to current statistics. Yep, the track record for license holders has been doing nothing but improve since they started keeping track of it. But it remains though that those 130, who have been vetted by the Texas DPS and the FBI by the way, are 17 less likely to break the law than the other 39,870 students that they share the campus with. Sounds like it would be the 130 would have more reason to worry about how law abiding everyone else is…
Why would anyone have a problem with these folks carrying guns? Well, it’s hard to explain irrationality. It is already legal to carry anywhere on a campus except inside the buildings or at sporting events. All this is doing is changing the law so that, that CHL holder does not have to come out of his building after class at 10:30 at night and walk a half mile to that dimly lit parking garage unarmed…with all those irresponsibly intoxicated frat boys around…lol.
The main argument the faculties have is that it’s not a good idea to have guns around the drinking parties. My understanding is that alcohol is prohibited on campuses (at least I’ve never come across one where it is allowed.) That tells me that a) the parties are happening off campus thus it is irrelevant to this legislation, or b) these prohibited activities are happening regularly on campus (meaning that the campus administrations have lost control of their campuses.)
Only one of those arguments is valid or relevant to this legislation. That would be ‘b’, that they have lost control of their campus. So how can you, in good conscience, charge $10,000 per year plus fees to attend classes at a campus that has rampant irresponsible and dangerous behavior happening so much that you use it as an excuse not to allow the law-abiding students the option to defend themselves with a firearm?
Irrationality…irrationality irks me. I have absolutely no issue with someone disagreeing with me. At least be able to articulate WHY you disagree with me though. If you DO disagree with me and you CAN articulate why, I would LOVE to discuss!
Y’all stay safe and keep a round in the chamber…