The Lone Star State seems to finally be living up to its "Wild West" reputation. In less than a week's time, gun rights advocates have scored two significant legal victories. The Texas legislature approved not just the open carry of handguns in public, but also the concealed carry of handguns on college campuses. Come 2016, Texas will have lifted the ban on campus self-defense; concealed handgun licensees (CHL) will be permitted to arm and defend themselves as they move about colleges and universities.
Now many among us who depend on others for their security are, of course, screaming bloody murder. Meanwhile, those cut from a cloth of self-reliance and self-defense - my beloved brethren - are smiling, if not gearing up for the next battle. But what does Campus Carry really mean? Similar to the new Open Carry statute, this development is largely symbolic for most Texans. The legal permission to carry a concealed weapon on campus is limited to CHL holders; totaling a whopping 3% of the Texas population. However, for the students, faculty, and other potential targets of campus violence, this development is enormous. It means the difference between neutralizing a deadly threat within seconds versus having to sit and wait valuable minutes for campus police to arrive. And we've all seen the level of carnage that can unfold in just a few short minutes. We've also witnessed case after case of armed civilians effectively defending themselves, and saving lives in the process.
Consider the horrific history of mass shootings on college campuses, such as the one at Virginia Tech, in which a single individual made short work of his numerous, yet unarmed, victims. One wonders. How many lives could have been spared if only a couple of the would-be casualties were equipped to defend themselves? In the aftermath of such tragedy, fingers get pointed. Where were the police?! Why doesn't Congress pass a law?! Can't the president do something about this?! NEWS FLASH: it's not up to State mercenaries, corrupt legislators or your favorite capitalist politician to stop an attacker. That responsibility falls upon the people on-site, those most immediately affected: the potential victims. This is the value of campus carry. It allows for the safety and security of students and faculty. It encourages cowards to go seek a softer target. And most importantly, it empowers peaceful people to defend themselves.
All power to the peaceful.