Texas lawmakers have before them five proposals that would allow those with permits to carry concealed handguns on college campuses. Proponents of the measure say a well-armed campus populace will stand a better chance of stopping a potential school shooter.
“It is no longer illegal to carry a gun at a church. It’s no longer illegal to carry a gun at a governmental meeting. And it no longer needs to be illegal to carry a gun on a college campus,” said Scott Lewis, a community college student and the Texas legislative director for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. He said he wants all Texas college campuses to allow licensed handguns.
The flurry of bills has captured national attention. State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, who introduced one of the bills, and state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, who is opposed, debated Tuesday on CNN. Later that night, on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Wentworth took on Colin Goddard, assistant director of legislative affairs for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
But Goddard isn't only a lobbyist. He is a survivor of the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, where Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 and wounded Goddard and 16 others. Goddard recently came to Austin to meet with lawmakers and to campaign against the legislation to allow for concealed weapons to be carried on college campuses. He was joined by John Woods, a graduate student at the University of Texas and director of the school's chapter of Students for Gun-Free Schools in Texas. Both argued that increasing the number of guns on college campuses could lead to more students, faculty and staff being killed.