Texas lawmakers push guns on campus

A proposed law would give college students and professors in Texas the right to carry guns on campus, furthering calls by US gun activists to arm university populations.

The bill would allow the concealed carry of handguns on all state run college campuses. Texas hosts 38 public universities and over 500,000 students.

Over half of the state’s lawmakers have signed up to co-sponsor the bill. Support is strong in both the House and Senate, and the governor himself supports the bill. After all, he packs a pistol when jogging.

If passed Texas would follow Utah, who pass such a law previously and Colorado who gives individual colleges the option to allow or disallow guns on campus.

Texas is often at the forefront of the gun debate, given its active gun culture. Politicians often boast of their gun ownership to gain votes in elections, bragging about size, style and quantity.

Supporters of the bill argue that campus gun violence such as the University of Texas sniper incident; Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois shootings highlight a need to arm students and professors for their own protections. They argue shooters are less likely to enter an environment where many others may also be armed.

In other states, such as Oklahoma, which borders Texas to the north, similar measures have been proposed but faced strong opposition. All 25 public college and university presidents in Oklahoma declared their opposition to guns on campus.

Even the President of the University of Texas, William Powers, has openly expressed opposition to the measure, arguing students, parties and guns will not mix well.

Proposed bills have been introduced in about a dozen states; thus far opposition has been strong outside of Texas and Utah.