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The Case for Conceal and Carry

April 22, 2009

Okay, so currently in Texas there’s this talk about the legislation that would allow for concealed handgun license holders to actually carry their handguns on campus… I wrote an article for the Independent, which is another source of media here at UTSA, speaking out in favor of this legislation. Check it out…

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants;they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”– Thomas Jefferson

First off, I feel like I have to clear up what this actually means. If a Conceal and Carry bill were to be passed by Texas, it would not lead to a free for all shoot out like you get to enjoy in the ending of every western flick. Take a look at yourself as you read this. You’re not some crazy outlaw who’s looking for a license in order for you to carry your handgun on campus, right?

In fact, if you were a crazy outlaw wouldn’t it be more effective for you to actually just carry it without a license? Lunatics that want to hurt people will do it by any means necessary, and if it unfortunately comes to the point to where they want to bring a gun to school; I’m sure they will not wait to get a concealed handgun license. That is the whole point to this legislation. It would essentially allow responsible citizens the right to carry a means of self defense that could be used in dire situations like a crazy outlaw causing harm in our halls of higher learning.

Why would they waste their time in attaining a concealed handgun license? In the state of Texas it is quite a strenuous task just to attain one. So just to clear up what some of these requirements may be, I went to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website and looked them up. Some of the requirements are:

You have to be 21 years of age. You also have to take a 10 hour course, and you must attain a minimum grade of 70%. They do a criminal background check on you. So, you can’t be a convicted felon, and you can’t have a Class A or class B misdemeanor charge on your record for the past 5 years prior to your application for a concealed handgun license. Another qualification is that you can’t be delinquent in any payments such as child support, taxes, or being defaulted on a loan.

There are various other requirements, but it is obvious to see that these alone are enough to root out many people who apply for this license. The truth is, and statistics show believe it or not, that Concealed handgun license holders are very responsible citizens. Even on college campuses as well.

Since 2006, the state of Utah has allowed for concealed license holders to be able to carry their weapon of defense on all 9 of their public universities. Colorado State has implemented this since 2003, while Blue Ridge Community College has been allowed to do so since as far back as 1995. Amazingly enough, there has not been any gun related incident that has occurred to this date, so that means no gun violence, act of suicide with a gun, gun misfire, or a case of gun theft either.

If this does not make sense at all, well as crazy as it may sound it actually makes perfect sense. Hypothetically speaking, if someone were thinking of shooting up their fellow classmates would they want to do it in a campus that allows conceal and carry on their campus, or would you rather do it in a gun free campus?

In 2006, the Texas Department of Public Safety came out with a compilation of data analyzing all the convictions in Texas for that year in comparison to concealed handgun license holders. Within some of the data there are various different gun related scenarios that took place such as aggravated robbery, aggravated sexual assault, and assault causing bodily injury.

There are many interesting figures that are contained within this document. For example, under robbery there were over 1,937 cases that took place in 2006, and not one of the convictions pertained to someone with a concealed handgun license holder. Another astonishing figure was when there was an assault conviction that caused bodily injury on a family member. There were 17,473 convictions, and only 23 of these incidents had to do with someone with a concealed handgun license. In total there were 61,539 convictions in 2006 in the state of Texas. Only 140 of these convictions actually had to deal with concealed handgun license holders.

This further enhances the common sense idea that those who want to hurt others will not wait for a license in order to carry their handgun. There is a misunderstanding that implementing this would cause more violence in schools, but if one takes the time to look past the hysteria it can easily be seen that in fact the opposite is the case. Of course, there is no perfect solution to any problem, but if you give people the power to exercise their rights in a responsible way the outcome is usually more positive than negative.   


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