EL PASO –The latest notable gun killings (as opposed to the daily carnage now routine in our cities) struck close to home. The gunshots last week echoed in the halls of a university campus, spreading terror throughout Delta State University in Mississippi.
This time one professor shot another educator. It was not a case of an alien killer dropping in from hell to cause havoc. It was simply an angry man shooting another, which can happen anywhere a gun is present.
That is why I say that the Texas State Legislature went one gun too far when it passed the so called “campus carry” legislation this year, which will allow individuals to carry concealed firearms on public university campuses in 2016.
That means that any person with any motive or in any state of mind can carry a gun on campus unchallenged by law enforcement or any authority. And I don’t want those guns in my classroom.
A movement protesting this law has started to gain strength in the University of Texas system. A group of professors at UT Austin, the system’s flagship school, has started a petition drive protesting the law with the goal of enlisting at least 100 professors in each UT system university to raise their voices against this law.
Since the law allows schools to designate some areas of a campus as “gun-free zones” the professors are also working hard to expand those zones to the maximum in number and in area.
Ironically, the exemption that allows schools to designate zones as “gun free” proves that this law is bogus.
Why should one part of the campus or one program at the university be selected to be “gun free”? Would that be because the presence of guns is disruptive, dangerous, threatening? Then that reasoning should apply to the entire campus.
If the designation of gun-free zones becomes too restrictive for the firearms advocates to accept, this action could be challenged in court. In that case, I believe that “campus carry” would be struck down as simply irrational, disruptive, dangerous and ultimately unconstitutional because it in no way upholds the second amendment. In fact, it implies that carrying a concealed gun on campus is so dangerous that some areas, perhaps programs such as childcare and some laboratories, should be gun free. Therefore, the entire university should be gun free.
In the meantime, the family of the Delta State gun-killing victim mourns as so many have in the past, and students there now suffer the lasting trauma of having experienced an “active shooter” situation on campus.
Reports say that the shooter left a note that expressed sorrow and the hopeless wish that he could undo the shootings. Unfortunately deadly force is deadly and the dead don’t rise up again.