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by Charles L. Cotton
Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:25 am
Forum: Goals for 2007
Topic: Higher Education shouldn't be off limits.......
Replies: 15
Views: 5128

A compelling argument can be made for allowing CHL’s to carry on college campuses and I would be happy to make the argument. One of the strongest arguments in my opinion is giving female students the ability to defend themselves while on campus at night. How often do we hear of attacks against females occurring in dark, deserted parking lots or other dark and desolate areas of campus? I’m not suggesting that the prohibition should be relaxed only for female students, I’m simply stating that I believe they are most at risk and would thus benefit the most from a change in TPC 46.03.

That said, the political reality is such a change is virtually impossible. The public perception of college campuses is one of rowdy, often drunken parties sparked by visions of Animal House and Girls Gone Wild. While it would be possible to craft legislation that would allow campus-carry while addressing those concerns, to say it would be an uphill climb would be a gross understatement.

Unfortunately, I think it would take a highly publicized tragedy to change the public’s perception of campus-carry, but even that may not be enough. There is a common misconception that the Luby’s massacre was the driving force behind the filing of and passing of the original CHL statute in 1995. While the tragedy at Luby’s was certainly mentioned often during public hearings and even floor debates, it was not the driving force behind the passage of SB60. In fact, the Luby’s massacre occurred on October 16, 1991, only four months after the end of the 1991 Texas Legislative Session. In 1993, the CHL bill passed as a non-binding referendum to be voted upon by the public, but then-Governor Richards vetoed the bill. So the first opportunity to address the problem in the wake of Luby’s was a failure. When SB60 passed in 1995, Luby’s was discussed in committee hearings, but it was not the battle cry nor was it a driving force behind passage of the bill. There have already been countless assaults, rapes and even murders on campus at night since 1995, but there has been no hue and cry for change. Sadly, I believe this attitude will continue.

Chas.

P.S. I don’t want anyone to think I’m downplaying former Rep. Suzanna Gracia- Hupp’s testimony before both House and Senate Committees during public hearings on SB60. It was gut-wrenching and brought tears to the eyes of many who heard her describe the horror and helplessness of October 16, 1991. After SB 60 passed in 1995, Suzanna was elected to the Texas House of Representatives and proved to be one of gun owners' best friends.

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