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Inside Intelligence: About That Campus Carry Debate...

For this week’s nonscientific survey of insiders in government and politics, we asked about the effect of a mass shooting and a professors' petition on the campus carry debate in the state.

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For this week’s nonscientific survey of insiders in government and politics, we asked about the impacts of the Oregon college mass shooting and a petition from UT-Austin professors on implementation of campus carry in Texas.

We kicked off this week's survey by asking the insiders to go back and evaluate Texas lawmakers' approach to relaxing regulations on carrying firearms on campus. Nearly half thought lawmakers went too far in their efforts while another 30 percent thought the finished product turned out about right.

We then asked about the effects of a couple of recent events on the progress of implementation of campus carry. Three in four of the insiders did not think the Oct. 1 mass shooting on an Oregon college campus will cause any slowdowns in implementing the Texas law.

More than half of the insiders thought a petition against campus carry signed by more than 380 UT-Austin professors would spread to other campuses while just one in five thought the petition effort would prove an isolated happening.

The vast majority of the insiders, though, felt lawmakers remain the dominant voice on campus carry. Just 11 percent said students are the most influential voice on campus carry while 9 percent cited parents and 2 percent cited professors.

We collected comments along the way, and a full set of those is attached. Here’s a sampling:

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Evaluate Texas lawmakers' approach to relaxing regulations on carrying firearms on college campuses.

• "The fact that lots of folks think they went too far, while at the same time lots of folks think they didn't go far enough, tells me their approach is about right."

• "Have you ever seen an angry student? Usually, worked up over an issue in class or it's the A student who received a B+ that I fear the most."

• "Sure, put more guns on campus and let the SWAT team figure out who the bad guys are."

• "Didn't Whitmire say that the bill wasn't as bad as some folks fear and not as good as some folks think it'll be? Seems to sum it up pretty well."

• "This whole campus carry thing is a high-stakes experiment with human life. There are bound to be some tragic results, but maybe some offsetting heroic events, too. It will be a decade or more before even an objective person can definitively say whether it was a good idea."

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Does the most recent mass shooting at the college campus in Oregon cause a pause in implementation of campus carry?

• "In 2013 (during session no less!!) a person stabbed at least 14 people at a Lone Star College campus outside Houston. I don't recall anyone calling for a ban of knives on Texas campuses as a result, so why would implementation of campus carry be put on hold?"

• "This has been said too many times: people who want to kill others are not going to follow a law saying you can't carry a gun. They're already not following the law saying you can't kill others."

• "People in support of looser handgun laws (the Legislature) are not about to allow a slower implementation."

• "Were I a student, it would make me want to carry on campus. Perhaps these cowardly madmen would consider that they won't have an easy path to carry out their mayhem."

• "Those who want to ban guns on campus will use Oregon as a motivating factor. Those who want to have guns on campus will use Oregon as a motivating factor."

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Evaluate the impact of the 320-plus UT-Austin professors who signed a petition to ban guns in their classrooms.

• "320 out of over 2,000 faculty members is impressive, but if they wanted to shape policy they should have been at the Capitol during session."

• "Nobody will care though. Although I liked my professors in college, it is hard to deny that they were relatively out of touch with reality."

• "All the professors want to ban guns in their classrooms. But here's a newsflash: they've probably taught a class where guns were in the classroom and nobody knew."

• "It will have the same impact as similar petitions during the Vietnam war and investing in South Africa during apartheid."

• "Let's talk to them after there is a shooting and they are sitting there with nobody or no way to defend themselves. Last time I checked, CHL carriers are some of the most responsible gun owners and carriers period."

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Which group has the most influence in campus carry debate?

• "Only one of these groups actually writes laws... they're clearly the most influential."

• "Lawmakers in Texas vote with whoever gives them the most money. If the professors, parents and students were all billionaires, then what they think would matter."

• "Unfortunately, the NRA has the most influence."

• "The real answer is 'voters.'"

• "None of the above. The correct answer is the 5 percent of the electorate who vote in Republican primary elections."

Our thanks to this week's participants: Gene Acuna, Cathie Adams, Clyde Alexander, George Allen, Jay Arnold, Charles Bailey, Andrew Biar, Allen Blakemore, Tom Blanton, Chris Britton, Raif Calvert, Lydia Camarillo, Kerry Cammack, Corbin Casteel, Elna Christopher, Harold Cook, Kevin Cooper, Randy Cubriel, Beth Cubriel, Denise Davis, June Deadrick, Nora Del Bosque, Glenn Deshields, Tom Duffy, David Dunn, Richard Dyer, Jack Erskine, Tom Forbes, Dominic Giarratani, Bruce Gibson, Eric Glenn, Kinnan Golemon, Jim Grace, Bill Hammond, Ken Hodges, Steve Holzheauser, Kathy Hutto, Deborah Ingersoll, Mark Jones, Robert Kepple, Richard Khouri, Tom Kleinworth, Sandy Kress, Dale Laine, Pete Laney, Dick Lavine, James LeBas, Luke Legate, Ruben Longoria, Matt Mackowiak, Matt Matthews, Steve Minick, Bee Moorhead, Mike Moses, Gardner Pate, Jerod Patterson, Bill Pewitt, Jerry Philips, Wayne Pierce, Allen Place, Gary Polland, Jay Pritchard, Jay Propes, Patrick Reinhart, David Reynolds, A.J. Rodriguez, Grant Ruckel, Andy Sansom, Stan Schlueter, Robert Scott, Steve Scurlock, Ben Sebree, Christopher Shields, Nancy Sims, Jason Skaggs, Ed Small, Martha Smiley, Mark Smith, Larry Soward, Dennis Speight, Tom Spilman, Jason Stanford, Sherry Sylvester, Sara Tays, Trey Trainor, David White, Darren Whitehurst, Seth Winick, Angelo Zottarelli.

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