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March 18, 2011 8:41 AM   Subscribe

The Texas House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee voted 5-3 Wednesday night to advance legislation to allow concealed handguns on college campuses. Over half of the Texas House has signed on as co-authors of the bill. University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa disagrees. Utah beat them to it.
posted by the Real Dan (106 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh kay....so, that means concealed hand guns are ok for everyone, not just qualified, certified, mentally stable emotionally healthy people without anger mgmt issues,, right? So like all the disturbed people who walked into campus and killed people can still walk into campus and kill people. Yeah?
posted by spicynuts at 8:50 AM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


It will interesting to see if crimes of passion gun deaths go up dramatically.
posted by KaizenSoze at 8:50 AM on March 18, 2011


This is making me reconsider my stance on universal health care. Why should my tax dollars go to pay these idiots' medical bills after they shoot each other?
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:51 AM on March 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


Hey don't let actual facts interrupt your baseless conjecturing or anything, but here's some statistics on conviction rates of Texas concealed carry permit holders vs the general population [PDF].
posted by signalnine at 8:55 AM on March 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


SIt will interesting to see if crimes of passion gun deaths go up dramatically.

My money is on an increase in the suicide rate. A big increase.

It would be nice to see every professor walk out and simply refuse to return. If they had a union they could call it a strike.
posted by three blind mice at 8:55 AM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is being pushed in Tennessee as well. Budget crisis, pfft, what really needs attention is the tragic lack of guns in America's classrooms.
posted by ghharr at 8:56 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is how these people think it's going to go down:

1. A crazy/evil maniac pulls out a gun in public.
2. Before the maniac can start firing, a responsible, alert citizen calmly shoots him/her between the eyes and saves the day.
3. Action movie-style witticism optional.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:56 AM on March 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


And here's how I'm worried it goes down

1. A crazy/evil maniac pulls out a gun in public
2. Responsible citizens whip out their weapons too
3. The police show up and don't know who to shoot
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:59 AM on March 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


How it's actually going to go down:

1. A crazy/evil maniac pulls out a gun in public and shoots several people.
2. A responsible, panicked citizen pulls out a gun, fires at the maniac and misses, hitting a bystander.
3. Repeat step 2 for the number of people carrying concealed weapons.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:59 AM on March 18, 2011 [19 favorites]


1. A crazy/evil maniac pulls out a gun in public.
2. Before the maniac can start firing, a responsible, alert citizen calmly shoots him/her between the eyes and saves the day.
3. Action movie-style witticism optional.


Class...
*takes of sunglasses*
...dismissed.
posted by ghharr at 8:59 AM on March 18, 2011 [29 favorites]


OFF
posted by ghharr at 9:00 AM on March 18, 2011


Because of this I no longer feel safe in class without my 7.62 mm multibarrel Minigun.
posted by storybored at 9:00 AM on March 18, 2011


This is how I think it's going to go down:

1. Everyone pulls out a gun in public.
2. Huge Hollywood shootout, everyone dies
3. WE NEED MOAR GUNS!!!!
posted by fuq at 9:01 AM on March 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hey don't let actual facts interrupt your baseless conjecturing or anything, but here's some statistics on conviction rates of Texas concealed carry permit holders vs the general population [PDF].

My personal experience agrees with the statistics, the gun owners I knew, which were not college students, where very stable, responsible people.

It will be interesting to see any changes to the average permit age and/or changes to the crime statistics over the next few years.

* No, I don't own any guns.
posted by KaizenSoze at 9:03 AM on March 18, 2011


This is how these people think it's going to go down:

Agreed, but let us remind them how it recently went down (when Congresswoman Giffords was shot.)

1. A crazy/evil maniac pulls out a gun in public and before anyone could react, shoots a few people.
2. A responsible, alert, untrained citizen in a state of panic pulls his concealed weapon and almost shoots the wrong person.
3. An unarmed old lady disarms shooter.
posted by three blind mice at 9:03 AM on March 18, 2011 [47 favorites]


I doubt the wisdom of this legislation, but I'd wager that, statistically, it will not have a negligible effect in any direction. But don't let that stop the knee jerk party.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:04 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


My money is on an increase in the suicide rate. A big increase.

I agree.
posted by muddgirl at 9:05 AM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


My personal experience agrees with the statistics, the gun owners I knew, which were not college students, where very stable, responsible people.

I wouldn't dispute that, but suddenly put them into a stressful, panic situation without any training and experience? No way man.
posted by three blind mice at 9:05 AM on March 18, 2011


Soooo...Just a question.
How do you, as an armed citizen in the middle of a situation, tell the difference between the "bad guys" and the other armed citizens who have also drawn weapons? Is there a "Let God Sort Them Out" clause in that bill?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:05 AM on March 18, 2011


How do you, as an armed citizen in the middle of a situation, tell the difference between the "bad guys" and the other armed citizens who have also drawn weapons?

Bad guys wear black hats, good guys wear white hats. Duh.
posted by muddgirl at 9:07 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bad guys wear black hats, good guys wear white hats. Duh.

Do you mean skin?
posted by atrazine at 9:09 AM on March 18, 2011 [10 favorites]


Hey don't let actual facts interrupt your baseless conjecturing or anything, but here's some statistics on conviction rates of Texas concealed carry permit holders vs the general population [PDF].

So... if one doesn't feel like reading this, here are the relevant stats for jumping to conclusions:

AGG SEXUAL ASSAULT CHILD 1,350 13 0.9630%

INDECENCY W/CHILD SEXUAL CONTACT 1,228 8 0.6515

SEXUAL ASSAULT CHILD 671 3 0.4471%

ASSAULT CAUSES BODILY INJ 8,443 14 0.1658

DEADLY CONDUCT 1,510 19 1.2583%

UNL CARRY HANDGUN LIC HOLDER 16 5 31.2500%

TERRORISTIC THREAT 1,622 4 0.2466%

Although the report doesn't say how many CHL holders there are in Texas so there is no way to know what percentage of CHL holders are doing these things. I would think that would be the most telling statistic.
posted by fuq at 9:09 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


hummm, introduce a bunch of guns to a sub-population whose primary dedicated purpose in life is scoring cheap beer to get drunk. Can Texans require their Congress to hold office hours on the largest campus in Texas on Friday nights? preferably out in the open.
posted by edgeways at 9:09 AM on March 18, 2011


I found it interesting that 57% of Texas A&M students voted against the concealed carry bill. A&M is not exactly a hotbed of liberalism.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:10 AM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


It always weirds me out going to a concealed carry state and seeing all of the "No Guns" signs at places. Thinking about taking a dip in the hotel pool? Well you can't bring your Glock!
posted by burnmp3s at 9:16 AM on March 18, 2011


Hey don't let actual facts interrupt your baseless conjecturing or anything, but here's some statistics on conviction rates of Texas concealed carry permit holders vs the general population [PDF].

Yeah! Who gives a fuck about my right to attend class in a weapons free enviornment? Who cares if I can't concentrate on the lesson because I can see my classmate's gun? Don't let my right to attend a safe learning environment get in the way of your bizarre fetish of weapons! Cause obviously your right to carry around a death machine trumps my right to feel safe.

But seriously folks, if you love guns so much, why don't you marry them? Srsly.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 9:18 AM on March 18, 2011 [13 favorites]


> It always weirds me out going to a concealed carry state and seeing all of the "No Guns" signs at places.

I'm just waiting for gun check booths to be the norm at finer establishments.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:19 AM on March 18, 2011


> A&M is not exactly a hotbed of liberalism.

No, but it is full of engineering and technical, and pre med students who are not at all representative of the good ol' boy image that school has.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:20 AM on March 18, 2011


This is how I think it's going to go down:

1. Everyone pulls out a gun in public.
2. Huge Hollywood shootout, everyone dies


I once received one of those page-a-day calendars, with a "365 Stupidest Things Ever Said" theme. One of the best was a late 1800s-era anti-crime proposal wherein anyone seeing a crime being committed would ring an alarm bell and all law-abiding citizens would grab their gun and run towards the crime scene. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:21 AM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


My personal experience agrees with the statistics, the gun owners I knew, which were not college students, where very stable, responsible people.

How many gun criminals are stable, responsible people?

In my mind, a stable, responsible gun owner is one who doesn't accidentally shoot himself in the foot. Stable, responsible people are perfectly capable of carrying out premeditated murder. Also, occasionally stable, responsible people turn into unstable, irresponsible assholes.

The guy I knew in college who kept a gun in his room (Ahem. A safe with an NRA sticker on it that he never opened. Can I see your warrant, officer?) was a responsible, and ostensibly stable person. Goes to church every week, gets good grades, etc.

One day, during a random conversation, he started rattling off the "severe, last-resort" instances in which he'd use his not-a-gun to kill a person ("If a guy cheated on my girlfriend....but only if he had sex with her"). Yikes.

So....yeah. Stable, responsible, homicidal. Not mutually exclusive.
posted by schmod at 9:23 AM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, as much as I hate saying anything nice about damned Aggies (hook em!), any large state school is going to trend liberal just as a matter of course. Of course there's still variation on that spectrum. Berkeley > UT > A&M in terms of liberalism, I'd guess.
posted by kmz at 9:26 AM on March 18, 2011


My personal experience agrees with the statistics, the gun owners I knew, which were not college students, where very stable, responsible people.

My experience has been the exact opposite.

Or is my sarcasm meter broken again?
posted by LordSludge at 9:29 AM on March 18, 2011


burnmp3s: "It always weirds me out going to a concealed carry state and seeing all of the "No Guns" signs at places. Thinking about taking a dip in the hotel pool? Well you can't bring your Glock"

The "No Guns" signs on the front doors of banks always make me laugh. Like a bank robber is going to rethink his plans after seeing that.
posted by octothorpe at 9:31 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


How it's actually going to go down:

1. A crazy/evil maniac pulls out a gun in public and shoots several people.
2. A responsible, panicked citizen pulls out a gun, fires at the maniac and misses, hitting a bystander.
3. Repeat step 2 for the number of people carrying concealed weapons.


Except there are two more steps:

4: Normal person responds "Maybe this law wasn't a good idea..."
5: GOP: "Stop exploiting a tragedy, your reprehensible monster."
posted by spaltavian at 9:31 AM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure who the 'baseless conjecturing' comment was aimed at, but the issue to me is this:

1) Crazed, unstable individual HAS IN FACT IN THE LAST YEAR obtained guns, walked into campus, murdered people

2) Legislature figures the way to end this risk is to let every one carry guns into campus

3) Legislature has not done anything to prevent documented, disturbed or troubled individuals from purchasing and carrying guns

4) Crazed, unstable individual has no barrier to obtaining a gun, walking into campus, murdering people.

SO WHAT THE FUCK HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED??


Do you think that suicidal or borderline schizophrenic people sit down and reasonably say to themselves, well, even though I'm going to kill myself at the end of this spree anyway, I better not go down to campus and kill the people persecuting me cuz they have guns and might kill me???

How is that a line of reasoning?
posted by spicynuts at 9:33 AM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm a pretty stable, intelligent person and I'm pretty sure most mefites wouldn't mind me having a concealed carry permit, but then again, if I ever came upon a situation where some maniac was shooting up a public place my first instinct as a well-armed citizen would be to turn tail and run away as fast as I can.
posted by Avenger at 9:34 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


FYI, I own guns and use them.
posted by spicynuts at 9:35 AM on March 18, 2011


>: "SO WHAT THE FUCK HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED??"

Political theater that generates a lot of heat broken down along predictable demographic lines, none of which addresses core problems. That's what wedge issues are for.
posted by Drastic at 9:36 AM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's what I'm wagering on, if the thing goes through without the amendment that would let individual schools decide (in which case, I think most schools if not all will vote for no concealed carry in buildings). I think the counseling offices are going to get much more stressful, and we'll get a massive spike in completed suicide attempts.

I teach in a Texas university, and you get stressed-out kids all the time. I hear mental health crisis stories every semester, and have had to walk people who've mentioned suicide to counseling. Most of those kids won't have a concealed gun. But some will, and they're much more apt to actually die with a handgun than with a bottle of whatever they had handy.
posted by LucretiusJones at 9:37 AM on March 18, 2011


> if I ever came upon a situation where some maniac was shooting up a public place my first instinct as a well-armed citizen would be to turn tail and run away as fast as I can.

Yeah, I'm able to carry a handgun and the last thing on my mind is getting involved in some kind of intervention or interdiction. It's only to keep the Islamophobes away from my family and me. I don't know what the prevailing stance is by gun owners, but I sure hope it's one of protecting their own hides only and not some kind of vigilante sentiment.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:38 AM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


If the thought is that an armed populace would help prevent crime, wouldn't the guns have to be visible for that to work? It's like they know the criminal won't steal your car if he can see your gun; but that's not good enough, because then you wouldn't get to shoot him.
posted by spaltavian at 9:39 AM on March 18, 2011


My money is on an increase in the suicide rate. A big increase.

e'll get a massive spike in completed suicide attempts.

Why would allowing concealed carry on campus affect suicide rates? I haven't been able to find the actual bill, and all the articles I have found are (unsurprisingly) rather loosely written, but as the post states, the bill is to allow concealed carry, not ownership, which probably has very little to do with suicide.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:44 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing this would decrease the number of quality, out-of-state applicants, because
1. I'd imagine serious students to be less likely to want guns in their classrooms, and
2. few places are as pro-gun as Texas anyway.
Perhaps it would decrease the number of quality, in-state applicants.

From the links, it's not clear to me the exact implications of the legislation. Would all college campuses have to allow concealed handguns, or just the public schools? Would schools be able to opt out?
posted by -jf- at 9:47 AM on March 18, 2011


Ah, Texas. Where the weak are killed and eaten. But always legally.
posted by Kokopuff at 9:47 AM on March 18, 2011


Saw a picture of some students protesting tuition hikes near a (Tx Gov.) Rick Perry event the other day; one sign said "At least my gun can go to college."

I think that sums up this whole issue about as perfectly as possible.
posted by emjaybee at 9:49 AM on March 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


Although the report doesn't say how many CHL holders there are in Texas so there is no way to know what percentage of CHL holders are doing these things. I would think that would be the most telling statistic.

The numbers are accurate. The are about 400,000 people with concealed carry permits in Texas. Texas has a population of 24.7 million. About 1.6% of the population of Texas has a concealed-carry permit. The only listed crime with a percentage of CC permit-holding violators above 1.6% is a gun-licensing violation.

The fact that people with gun permits commit a small percentage of crime makes perfect sense, actually. You don't apply and pay for things like gun licenses unless you've got your shit together, and crimes (except those of the white-collar variety and to a lesser extent drug possession) are largely committed by people who don't have their shit together (usually because they're poor.)

I question the wisdom of anything that might encourage young adults (who are reckless and impulsive by nature) to possess handguns, but it looks like it's not fair to paint CC permit-holding Texans as anything less than generally law-abiding. But probably not any more so than anyone else who can follow the rules.

Which brings up the issue that our attitudes towards guns has been so cavalier for so long and so many are in circulation that registration is pretty meaningless-- the bulk of gun crimes are being committed with weapons that are unregistered or not in the hands of the person to whom they're registered.

posted by Mayor Curley at 9:50 AM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gun laws, especially concealed carry laws, have been dramatically loosened in recent years without any of the fear-mongering impacts that are being predicted here. I know MeFi has a long LULL GUNZ tradition, which is fine, but sometimes it is good to step back and look at the whole situation.
posted by Forktine at 10:00 AM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


FYI, I own guns and use them.

I own guns as well, but I don't use them anymore because I'm sick of the kinds of baseless right wing shit I hear at the range and shops. Also, ammo is expensive.

That's why I now use a bow. Concealed carry isn't really an option for me.
posted by quin at 10:00 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's why I now use a bow. Concealed carry isn't really an option for me.

I smell an AskMefi.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:02 AM on March 18, 2011


That's why I now use a bow. Concealed carry isn't really an option for me.

Trenchcoat and stilts.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:05 AM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


The issue is that concealed carry will mean there are guns in dorms, where Freshmen and Sophomores for the most part have to live. A lot of crisis meltdowns happen there, and anything that makes it easier to get immediately effective means of suicide will bump the rate up.
posted by LucretiusJones at 10:07 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


that registration is pretty meaningless

You are aware that there isn't any gun registration in the U.S., right?

There are methods for a gun to be traced, via its serial number, from the manufacturer to the wholesaler to the retailer to the original purchaser, but that's pretty much as far as it goes, and it's pretty intentionally not kept in a central database or anything. And once the initial sale is completed in most states there's nothing stopping you from selling it on just like any other lump of metal (although if you are smart you will keep records, because if down the road it gets used in a crime ... guess who the police are going to come knocking on the door of?).
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:16 AM on March 18, 2011


I'm a pretty stable, intelligent person and I'm pretty sure most mefites wouldn't mind me having a concealed carry permit


IANMM, but I'm betting you're wrong about that. Nothing jerks a knee like a gun. Most people who conceal are people who already have guns. If they haven't shot themselves by college, the odds are probably going down. I don't have a gun, but I took a class in handling them. If you're going to fret about their omnipresence and dangerousness, you might as well learn at least how to unload one, should you come across it. Trust me, guns are going no where, you should probably get used to them.
posted by umberto at 10:31 AM on March 18, 2011


I own guns as well, but I don't use them anymore because I'm sick of the kinds of baseless right wing shit I hear at the range and shops

Well I get my ammo at Dick's Sporting Goods and I only use my guns to hunt so if a buck has a political opinion I don't like I just kill it and eat it.
posted by spicynuts at 10:40 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dear UT Austin,

I get it- public safety is the new hipster DIY, like building a bike or brewing beer?

Oh and by the way, your loudspeakers that are mounted to the tops of major campus buildings are totally unintelligible, so when we had the shooter in the fall I couldn't actually figure out if you were trying to tell me it's safe or if you were telling me to stay the heck indoors. Instead, I need to carry a gun and hide under my desk since you can't be arsed to get a better sound system that might actually help me avoid danger.
posted by slow graffiti at 10:40 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trust me, if Texas Aggies don't support carrying weapons on campus, that says a LOT. Yes there are engineering, technical and pre-med students on campus. The demographic among those subcategories generally follows the general student population. A lot of those engineering and technical students are indeed "good old boys".

They just aren't stupid "good old boys". They are good old boys who grew up in houses where the hall closet was literally full of weapons. The pickup trucks have rifle racks, and they are often used to carry rifles. They have, generally speaking, a great deal of respect for the weapons, and that includes knowing when carrying a weapon is neither necessary nor prudent.

That being said - 43% of Aggies voted FOR concealed weapons on campus. /facepalm.

It would be interesting to compare the relatively sophisticated Texas Aggie population with the unwashed masses at other Texas campuses - Texas Tech for example, whose population is considered to be among the most violent, boorish, liquor-fueled in the state. They'll stop throwing tortillas and start throwing grenades if you let 'em. I fully support letting the Red Raiders carry weapons - nay, mandate the practice - as a pilot project and experiment in eugenics.

Just kidding. Not really.
posted by Xoebe at 10:44 AM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Quote from a college student I work with: "This is an awful, awful, awful idea." Me: "So - you rate this a solid three awfuls?" Student: "Yes, three awfuls."

As a Texan, this fills me with such blind rage that I really have no choice but to totally tune out, lest I have a goddam aneurism. Sometimes, I want to just be done with it and get a .357 and a concealed-carry license just to keep on equal footing with all the paranoid methed-up rednecks that vote for these assholes, but fortunately, my wife would kick me out if I acted on the urge. I've gotta go make myself scarce from this thread for health reasons.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:52 AM on March 18, 2011


HARTMAN: Do any of you people know who Charles Whitman was? None of you dumbasses knows? Private Cowboy?
COWBOY: Sir, he was that guy who shot all those people from that tower in Austin, Texas, sir!

HARTMAN: That's affirmative. Charles Whitman killed twelve people from a twenty-eight-storey observation tower at the University of Texas from distances up to four hundred yards. Anybody know who Lee Harvey Oswald was? Private Snowball?

SNOWBALL: Sir, he shot Kennedy, sir!

HARTMAN: That's right, and do you know how far away he was?

SNOWBALL: Sir, it was pretty far! From that book suppository building, sir!

HARTMAN: All right, knock it off! Two hundred and fifty feet! He was two hundred and fifty feet away and shooting at a moving target. Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot! Do any of you people know where these individuals learned to shoot? Private Joker?

JOKER: Sir, in the Marines, sir!

HARTMAN: In the Marines! Outstanding! Those individuals showed what one motivated marine and his rifle can do! And before you ladies leave my island, you will be able to do the same thing!
posted by fungible at 10:52 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well I think it's really great that America has decided to have an arms race with itself.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:54 AM on March 18, 2011


Well I think it's really great that America has decided to have an arms race with itself.

Reminds me of an old favorite: We've trapped the cause of the plague In the land of the free and the home of the brave. And if you listen quietly you can hear them shooting from grave to grave.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:01 AM on March 18, 2011


It's Never Lurgi:
"And here's how I'm worried it goes down

1. A crazy/evil maniac pulls out a gun in public
2. Responsible citizens whip out their weapons too
3. The police show up and don't know who to shoot
"

Exactly. If a shooting happens, no one who isn't in the same room is going to know who did it. So you'd end up with a bunch of people running around with their guns, frantically questioning each other. And the cops show up...
posted by Kevin Street at 11:09 AM on March 18, 2011


I competed on my college's rifle team for years. We had an excellent coach who made sure all were thoroughly versed in gun safety; he ran a very tight range and slip-ups were not tolerated. That said, had anyone told me then that some of my teammates carried guns on campus, it would have terrified me. Given their behavior post-meet, it was a very good thing that the firearms were locked up and not entrusted to students. An 18-year-old with an attitude, no matter how well-trained, is dangerous even without firearms.

An aside: I no longer shoot competitively. The insanity I hear at ranges is so braincurdling I'm afraid to even admit I can handle a gun.
posted by kinnakeet at 11:10 AM on March 18, 2011


I have a handgun carry permit (and a handgun obviously.) I rarely carry; I obtained the permit for a specific purpose and apart from that purpose I never feel the need to go armed. I'm pretty moderate, where guns are concerned.

I'm watching with alarm the expanding sphere of influence of handguns, mostly because I can't figure out what the endgame is. Nationally, we can now carry loaded guns into National Parks. Here in Tennessee, we now have the right to carry concealed handguns in state and local parks. We can even carry concealed handguns into bars. What on earth is the alleged benefit of going armed to a bar? Now Texas students can carry guns to class. Great.

Why? It's clear that there's a concerted effort to make handguns ubiquitous, but I don't understand why. I think there's more to it than Bruce Willis/John Wayne fantasies, but I can't see the political game that's playing out.
posted by workerant at 11:19 AM on March 18, 2011


Do any of you people know who Charles Whitman was?

I know I'm not the only who wonders why, if the Lege is making guns easier to carry, it isn't building more towers to shoot from as well.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:25 AM on March 18, 2011


The issue is that concealed carry will mean there are guns in dorms

I'm not seeing this logic. Why does allowing people who have concealed carry permits to carry their weapons--concealed--on college campuses mean "there are guns in dorms"? Like I said, I couldn't dig up the actual bill (no article mentions its number), but this doesn't seem to have anything to do with allowing students to keep guns in their rooms. Is that currently allowed?
posted by adamdschneider at 11:29 AM on March 18, 2011


There are already handguns in dorms. There are also drugs in dorms. These things are true even in the face of any number of rules which forbid such.

Didn't you guys go to college?
posted by vorfeed at 11:39 AM on March 18, 2011


dear RAs: we also had a kitten. Sorry!
posted by vorfeed at 11:39 AM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had (no longer have) a concealed license, during a period when I thought my life was at risk. I was trained by police to shoot handguns, and by a family of hunters on how to shoot rifles. Point I'm making; was raised around guns, know how to fire guns, can take apart and rebuild almost any gun on the market...and I'm also completely in support of rational gun laws...and this, this is NOT a rational gun law. (I don't think there should be a gun *ban*, but I fully support ideas that would dramatically reduce them and things like high capacity clips.)

18 was a long time ago for me...but if I remember it correctly, not a single one of my tribe was a rational human being yet. I mean, we had sparks of rational...windows of rational...but we were still tightly vibrating chords of bad decision potential. (I dunno, maybe that was just me and my friends.) I wouldn't have trusted a single one of us with a gun AT SCHOOL, despite the fact that everyone I know grew up with them, were comfortable with them, and carried them regularly when doing things like riding fences, or camping in certain areas, etc. (Cause there's rattlesnakes and moccasins and other deadly things, oh my.)

I'm willing to bet, if I went to the 10 houses on the 10 acres near me, every single one of them would have guns. And I'd bet that 9 out of 10 of them do what I do, which is keep them in the gun safe most of the time. Everyone I've talked to about this law thinks it's a bad idea...and I live so far out in the country that you can go 5 minutes in any direction from my house, and hit a ranch or a farm. These are not your urbane, liberal leaning intelligencia out here. These are hard working folks, connected to the land, who have worked their asses off to survive.

I know it's fun for y'all to hate on Texas. I know we have this reputation of idiocy, thanks to The Connecticut Yankee in Ann Richard's Court and Governor GoodHair and His Moronic Minions, but really...most Texans are rational, good hearted people, who don't go around shooting up the joint like a bad spaghetti western.

And most of us don't want this law.
posted by dejah420 at 11:41 AM on March 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


There are already handguns in dorms. There are also drugs in dorms. These things are true even in the face of any number of rules which forbid such.

I won't insult your intelligence by pointing out that people are raped and murdered in dorms, too, yet in spite of that most of us still think there's some point to prohibiting such behavior.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:45 AM on March 18, 2011


Yeah, that makes me scared. Of course all the crazy texas guys I know with guns don't have permits that I know of. I have seen people literally drop a loaded gun on the ground and go off and shoot the wall. (Awesome could had died there.)

People get pissed off and shoot their gun in the ground. People who I know own guns railing about who they want to kill as if it's funny. Killing people is so LOL after all.

People literally wave guns in the air drunkenly at bars. "Yeah you don't fuck with me! Ha ha ha I've got a fucking gun!"

Guns scare the shit out of me and I don't want to be near them.

The people who go through the trouble of having permits, I would imagine would be much more responsible people. But none of this makes me want guns on campuses.

What if some responsible person drops their gun on the floor?! Ick, I've got the heebeejeebees. Maybe I'll go to texas state instead of UT (which works since my grades aren't good enough for UT anyway). Perhaps I am lucky.
posted by xarnop at 11:47 AM on March 18, 2011


Why? It's clear that there's a concerted effort to make handguns ubiquitous, but I don't understand why. I think there's more to it than Bruce Willis/John Wayne fantasies, but I can't see the political game that's playing out.

There are the people for whom this is the only issue that matters, who panic about "gun-grabbers" getting into office, and there are the people willing to exploit these idiots for political power.
posted by kafziel at 11:48 AM on March 18, 2011


people are raped and murdered in dorms, too, yet in spite of that most of us still think there's some point to prohibiting such behavior.

So, you're saying ban penises? Or just concealed ones?
posted by umberto at 11:48 AM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


I work at a college. I love my job. For the most part, I enjoy working with the students. But every day I have at least one elevator ride delayed by students who find elevators confusing. A significant portion of our student body can't use a toilet responsibly. We recently got a new safety alert system and staff had to go through training for "shooter on campus" scenarios, neither of which was the least bit reassuring. If there ever is a shooter on campus, I'm going to be praying that no other students have guns.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:03 PM on March 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


My money is on an increase in the suicide rate. A big increase.

This doesn't stand up. Ain't nothing to buying a shotgun.

-----

Who gives a fuck about my right to attend class in a weapons free enviornment?

Talk about entitlement issues. Who told you that you had such a right, your fevered imagination perhaps?
posted by BigSky at 12:08 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Talk about entitlement issues. Who told you that you had such a right, your fevered imagination perhaps?

A big hand for the United States of America Somalia! Give it up, people! Or reach for yer guns.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:10 PM on March 18, 2011


Gun laws, especially concealed carry laws, have been dramatically loosened in recent years without any of the fear-mongering impacts that are being predicted here.

Impacts like the shooting of a U.S. Congresswoman?
posted by JHarris at 12:13 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gun laws, especially concealed carry laws, have been dramatically loosened in recent years without any of the fear-mongering impacts that are being predicted here.

Impacts like the shooting of a U.S. Congresswoman?


Which had what to do with concealed-carry laws, again?
posted by vorfeed at 12:28 PM on March 18, 2011


Impacts like the shooting of a U.S. Congresswoman?

I don't think Loughner tried to get a conceal permit. So nice answer to a different question. In fact, if you wish to attach that shooting to conceal-n-carry facts, how about the fact that the shooting has led members of Congress of both parties to get conceal permits.
posted by umberto at 12:30 PM on March 18, 2011


.most Texans are rational, good hearted people, who don't go around shooting up the joint like a bad spaghetti western.

And most of us don't want this law.


I honestly believe you... and yet Perry is not a one term Governor and the TX congress being the way it is is not new either. So the majority of Texans either support, or are too apathetic to oppose, such politicians.
posted by edgeways at 12:30 PM on March 18, 2011


So the majority of Texans either support...such politicians.

So, seriously, don't move to Texas. It's a democracy. If more citizens want something, then politicians will provide it. Democracy is great, until more people want something you don't like, eh?
posted by umberto at 12:33 PM on March 18, 2011


My money is on an increase in the suicide rate. A big increase.

This doesn't stand up. Ain't nothing to buying a shotgun.


The idea is not that it's impossible to kill yourself now. It's that suicide is generally a heat of the moment decision, and that method and rates of suicides are affected by the options available to a suicidal person. This is why suicide nets exist on bridges and are actually effective at bringing rates down, even though obviously a suicidal person without access to a bridge has many other options. So assuming you think that this law would increase gun ownership, that would mean more people would have an extremely effective and popular suicide method (suicide attempts with firearms have one of the highest percentages of deaths versus other options) which could theoretically increase suicide numbers. This isn't really specific to firearms, if everyone carried around cyanide tablets with them all day there would probably be more suicides as well.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:41 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


If more citizens want something, then politicians will provide it.

Truly, all's for the best, in this, the best of all possible worlds.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:42 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


if everyone carried around cyanide tablets with them all day there would probably be more suicides as well

But I need my cyanide tablet for self-defense.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:55 PM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


If more citizens want something, then politicians will provide it.

Truly, all's for the best, in this, the best of all possible worlds.



See? You're trying to change the wrong thing. On a couple of levels. Democracy is what it is. And in the case of Texas and my home state, Virginia, clearly, the vast majority of people are down with guns. Extremely down.

Like I said, I'm not a gun guy, don't have one. Don't want one. But I don't mind responsible people having guns, or doing much of anything, really. Just like I don't mind responsible people driving 2-ton cars. But railing against guns after some nutball shoots someone kills me: it's like if Mothers Against Drunk Drivers was Mothers Against Cars. At least then they could call themselves MAC. And I guess the head mother against cars person could actually then be the MAC Daddy. Saying responsible citizens can't do things because irresponsible citizens might leads to the kind of lowest-common-denominator society that I find way more objectionable than guns.
posted by umberto at 12:58 PM on March 18, 2011


The idea is not that it's impossible to kill yourself now. It's that suicide is generally a heat of the moment decision, and that method and rates of suicides are affected by the options available to a suicidal person. This is why suicide nets exist on bridges and are actually effective at bringing rates down, even though obviously a suicidal person without access to a bridge has many other options. So assuming you think that this law would increase gun ownership, that would mean more people would have an extremely effective and popular suicide method (suicide attempts with firearms have one of the highest percentages of deaths versus other options) which could theoretically increase suicide numbers. This isn't really specific to firearms, if everyone carried around cyanide tablets with them all day there would probably be more suicides as well.

I assumed while writing my first comment that Texas, like a number of other states, has a waiting period for handguns but not shotguns or rifles. I am pleased to see that this is not the case. My error.

However, I still do not see much of a case for predicting a substantial rise in student suicides as a result of this legislation. Such a rise would require a sizable population of students meeting two criteria: first - acquiring a handgun only because of the new legislation allowing them to carry a concealed handgun on campus, second - willingness to commit suicide with a gun in their possession when they would not have done so by some other means. Sure, I'll concede that the number of qualifying students is probably greater than zero, but "a big increase" in the suicide rate seems rather implausible.
posted by BigSky at 1:09 PM on March 18, 2011


Stupid question: Is un-concealed carry already allowed on college campuses?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 1:29 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


workerant: "Why? It's clear that there's a concerted effort to make handguns ubiquitous, but I don't understand why. I think there's more to it than Bruce Willis/John Wayne fantasies, but I can't see the political game that's playing out."

Not a conservative, but I sort of understand the thinking involved. Apologies in advance for any mistakes.

These lawmakers are sincerely trying to decrease violence, but they don't believe in the social contract or rule of law as a progressive might. In the dictionary definition of law and order, people follow social restrictions because they recognize the worth of living in an orderly society. But this type of conservative doesn't believe that the average person is capable of enlightened self restraint. In their view people are mostly selfish, and in any society where they are not held directly responsible for their actions a lot of them are going to freeload and try to get away with whatever they can. So laws need to make up for this deficit in moral fibre by connecting crime to punishment in the clearest possible way. You are responsible for your own actions. Break the law and other citizens have the right to punish you, much as one would train a dog.

So everyone is a dog, and everyone is also a dog trainer. In the conservative world, the ubiquitous presence of personal firearms is a constant reminder to potential killers that justice will not arrive months or years later after a lengthy appeals process, but is instead just a trigger pull away. So they keep their weapon in the holster.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:31 PM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't think we can make easy assumptions as to the comparative rates of shotgun suicides vs. handgun suicides. Since shotguns are less regulated, we would naturally suspect that there are more suicides due to shotgun use, but on the other hand it seems that they are less "natural" for self-harm. I can't readily find any data that breaks down gun suicide attempts/fatalities by type of firearm, but I'm sure it's out there and we wouldn't have to guess.
posted by muddgirl at 1:31 PM on March 18, 2011


They'll stop throwing tortillas and start throwing grenades if you let 'em. I fully support letting the Red Raiders carry weapons - nay, mandate the practice - as a pilot project and experiment in eugenics.

Nice.
posted by Houstonian at 1:41 PM on March 18, 2011


These lawmakers are sincerely trying to decrease violence

Really? I'm not buying it. I'm not saying that they are trying to increase violence, mind you, I just don't think that violence one way or the other figures into it. I think it's that guns are a natural right and everything that can be done to promote gun ownership is good, because promoting natural rights is good. I honestly don't think it goes further than that.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:45 PM on March 18, 2011


Currently, at my school, "Displaying a weapon or an object that appears to be a weapon in a threatening manner; carrying a firearm of any kind onto university owned or controlled property (except those permitted by state law or university policy); or using a weapon to harm someone;" are all offenses that might lead to arrest or expulsion. If someone has a gun in their dorm room, they're committing a pretty serious offense, and can get booted.

Once you allow concealed carry on campus, not all guns you see are reportable violations. It makes keeping unlicensed guns out a lot more difficult.
posted by LucretiusJones at 1:46 PM on March 18, 2011


See? You're trying to change the wrong thing.

What am I trying to change? You've assured me that everything's fine, that responsible with guns never behave irresponsibly, and that Texans really do want to live in the wild, wild suburbs. I'll take your word on this for what it's worth here. And as bigsky points out, it isn't as if anyone has a right not to live in fear, or the right to worry if the angry, horny, drunk, or angry horny drunk yahoo next to you might be armed. Besides, if some old boy or gal gets a little carried away and shoots someone, well, that's what state executions are for, aren't they?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:49 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to live in Texas (and an alumnus of Texas State) and I get its gun culture. But I don't see how having concealed weapons on campus makes it safer for anyone. But after every shooting news story from the Luby's shootout in Killeen through shooting in Tucson, there's a significant part of Texas (and the country) that thinks if more people had guns that wouldn't happen. But it will continue to happen because crazy people get guns and go and shoot people. In an OPEN carry state like Arizona, Loughner didn't seem too concerned that others would have guns in the Safeway parking lot.

Waiving the threat that of armed civilians to crazy people has the same effect as waiving the threat of jail time.

So would the benefit be a lower body count? That is the gunman goes into a classroom and instead of shooting up the whole class only picks off a few before the armed citizen takes him out? What if the bad guy shot him first? Does everyone need guns for this to work? What about at football games? What about parties where people are blackout drunk?

The whole point of having a concealed weapon is for your personal safety. Not to be a junior member of the Texas Rangers. But I think some people want it to be like in the olden days. I'm talking the Old West when everyone had guns.

This stuff seems to come up in every Texas legislative session and seems not to advance to pass as cooler heads in the legislature prevail or push if off the agenda. This is the same noble body that used time past sessions to argue the length of cheerleaders' skirts and other problems of the day. My whole time in Texas I thought it was bad it had a part time legislature given the number of people, issues, and economy of the state. But now I think a full-time legislature would cause more damage.
posted by birdherder at 2:47 PM on March 18, 2011


Having recently been 18 myself:

I don't know if there's an 18 year-old on the planet that I'd trust with a conceal and carry license anywhere, let alone in an unsupervised environment with thousands of members of the opposite sex. Down that path lies madness.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:17 PM on March 18, 2011


assuming you think that this law would increase gun ownership

An unwarranted assumption. What about letting concealed carry permit holders carry their concelaed weapons on campus suggests it will "increase gun ownership"?
posted by adamdschneider at 5:01 PM on March 18, 2011


They can carry a gun without suffering social stigma. If somebody's walking around with a pistol in a shoulder holster or whatever, people will treat them with a considerable amount of caution, and maybe even fear. A concealed weapon makes it easier to bring the gun wherever they go.

"So would the benefit be a lower body count? That is the gunman goes into a classroom and instead of shooting up the whole class only picks off a few before the armed citizen takes him out?"

Yep, probably.

"What if the bad guy shot him first? Does everyone need guns for this to work?"

Everybody, or at least enough people so the potential criminal can never be sure he's safe from immediate retribution.

"What about at football games? What about parties where people are blackout drunk?"

Oh yeah, I agree with you and the others who are against this idea. All those extra guns being carried around would probably result in a lot more deaths from accidental and accidental-on-purpose shootings than they could possibly save. And it would up the ante for criminals. For instance, instead of just mugging somebody it might be safer for the bad guy to just shoot his victim first and then look for valuables. Even average crimes become more violent when guns are involved.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:17 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think Loughner tried to get a conceal permit. So nice answer to a different question.

No, it's perfectly relevant. Just because he didn't try to get a concealed carry permit or was on a college campus, it doesn't mean that guns weren't involved in that shooting, and it doesn't mean that they won't be used in violence on school grounds. The sphere in which it's "okay" to have the tools that perpetrated this horrible event has been expanded a little further.

And when I say violence, I mean two sorts. The more obvious sort is the kind that makes the news, but it pales against the real violence that will occur when you give students open license to have firearms on your campus. That's the violence of intimidation, violence to free speech and ideas.

When there's a heated argument in Philosophy 101, when someone gets irate at someone putting their religion at historical context, the gun does not even have to be pulled for that violence to be felt. Knowing that it could be taken out, that terrible symbol of power over life, that is the damage done here. And if a gun is taken out and displayed, what then? What could a professor do? Is it not now perfectly lawful for the gun to be there?

Now someone is going to come along and say that I'm overreacting, and I kind of hope they do, because the scene in my mind does not seem like a fun time for the professors at that school, and it would be nice to have someone tell me it's not going to happen that way. I'm not sure if they'll be able to do it, though.
posted by JHarris at 5:56 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think federal law prohibits under 21 year olds from buying a handgun, and I know for a fact that Texas law won't issue a concealed carry permit to an 18 year old-- http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/chl/txchlaws.htm

Looks like a person has to be 21 minimum. So, no worry about 18 year olds legally bringing a concealed pistol to campus. J
posted by wuwei at 10:00 PM on March 18, 2011


And if a gun is taken out and displayed, what then? What could a professor do? Is it not now perfectly lawful for the gun to be there?

This is generally called "brandishing", and is illegal in Texas ("a person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly [...] displays a firearm or another deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.")

Concealed carry means concealed carry. Open carry is illegal in Texas, even with a concealed-carry permit ("A license holder commits an offense if the license holder carries a handgun on or about the license holder's person under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, and intentionally fails to conceal the handgun.")
posted by vorfeed at 10:25 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


adamdschneider: "My money is on an increase in the suicide rate. A big increase.

e'll get a massive spike in completed suicide attempts.

Why would allowing concealed carry on campus affect suicide rates? I haven't been able to find the actual bill, and all the articles I have found are (unsurprisingly) rather loosely written, but as the post states, the bill is to allow concealed carry, not ownership, which probably has very little to do with suicide
"

Ah, but the suicides we would see would be much more surprising.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:58 PM on March 18, 2011


edgeways: "I honestly believe you... and yet Perry is not a one term Governor and the TX congress being the way it is is not new either. So the majority of Texans either support, or are too apathetic to oppose, such politicians."

I'll grant you the most recent Gubernatorial election. Why was Rick Perry reelected? Probably the whole Tea Party thing, but that's just my guess. However, too much emphasis is being placed on the Governor in Texas. That position in our state is one of the least powerful. Rick Perry arguably had more authority when he was Ag Commissioner, except that the Ag can't veto legislation. The Lieutenant Governor acts as the legislative head of the state and virtually every executive authority in this state is vested in an elected officeholder.

Now, about the state Legislature: Gerrymandering is more of a sport here than football, plus we still have straight-ticket balloting. A local Republican representative here actually garnered fewer votes in her primary election than the Democrat challenging her earned in his; roughly 8,500 votes in her primary versus 11,000 for him. She still won, and handily, because virtually every district in this state has been drawn to be "safe" for the party that "holds" it and because people can walk in, punch "R," and leave. Since there are fewer people who will do that for "D" in most districts, we get the result we have today. I fear for what the upcoming redistricting--which has been little-discussed due to the state's massive budget shortfall--is going to do for the balance of power. The Republicans hold a supermajority in the state House and a if-one-Senator-returns-we-have-a-quorum-just-like-in-Wisconsin majority in the state Senate. Even if Governor Perry vetoed every single piece of legislation coming out of the state Legislature, it could all still pass.

The Democrats aren't without fault here. In the most recent election in my area, there were no Democratic candidates below the county-wide judge level. Nothing for state House, or for any of the local elections. Yes, this area is solidly Republican (and even a good bit Tea-rabid), but seriously, no candidates at all is just sad.
posted by fireoyster at 1:24 AM on March 19, 2011


I'm an alum of UT. On a fairly regular basis I am invited back there to speak for one thing or another, it's been about once a year lately.

No more. I will now boycott speaking engagements and conferences on campuses where students may be legitimately packing heat. Nothing could be more inimical to the purpose of the university in a civilized society.

Shame on Texas. How appalling.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:12 PM on March 19, 2011



Someone had to do it: a few choice nuggets from the classic Kinky Friedman song, "The Ballad of Charles Whitman."

Got up that morning calm and cool,
He picked up his guns and walked to school.
All the while he smiled so sweetly
And it blew their minds completely,
They'd never seen an Eagle Scout so cruel.

There was a rumor about a tumor
Nestled at the base of his brain.
He was sitting up there with his .36 Magnum
Laughing wildly as he bagged 'em.
Who are we to say the boy's insane ?

posted by fourcheesemac at 1:16 PM on March 19, 2011


Looks like a person has to be 21 minimum. So, no worry about 18 year olds legally bringing a concealed pistol to campus. J

We're talking about after high school here. There is no age limit to attending college.

The brandishing thing along with open/concealed carry information is useful, thanks vorfeed.
posted by JHarris at 6:38 PM on March 20, 2011


And if a gun is taken out and displayed, what then? What could a professor do? Is it not now perfectly lawful for the gun to be there?

Don't be daft. Permission to carry a concealed weapon doesn't imply permission to wave it around.

Texas law is a bit ... different than most other states where I've lived, but from what I can tell they tend to use their 'disorderly conduct' statute as a catchall for firearms-brandishing issues (most other states have specific laws regarding brandishing firearms). In addition, they have "Intentionally failing to conceal" a firearm by a CHL-holder as a distinct offense (ยง 46.035) which I assume would at minimum result in someone's CHL getting pulled.

Depending on the exact circumstance, pulling a gun is probably also within kissing distance of assault, particularly if it's pointed at someone (the key there is "threaten[ing] another with imminent bodily injury"). It's probably illegal in a bunch of other ways too, that I'm not aware of.

You can read about these and other fun facts in Texas DPS Publication CHL-16, "Texas Concealed Handgun Laws" (PDF), which is mandatory reading as part of the Texas CHL course, and also the official CHL FAQ, which answers burning questions like "If licensed, can I carry more than one handgun?"
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:03 AM on March 21, 2011


And if a gun is taken out and displayed, what then? What could a professor do??

Pull out their gun and shoot the brandishing student. Duh. What do you think all of these guns are for?
posted by fuq at 12:09 PM on March 21, 2011


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