I’m a female college student in my 20’s. Like most college students, I spend a lot of time working on projects after hours at school. We are all in situations where we have to walk through a dark parking lot to get to our car. Most university buildings are full of winding corridors and unlocked doors. A young college girl working late at night makes the perfect target. It’s not always possible to find an escort to the car, and security guards seem to only be present when you don’t want them around. I’ve spent many tense nights walking through the building to my car armed only with a cell phone and a pre-rehearsed escape plan. When I heard concealed carry on campus was on the table as new legislation, I instantly supported it. However I was stunned at the reaction of some of my peers.

The main argument I’ve heard is that they already feel unsafe on campus. A lot of them use almost verbatim the argument I’ve made above. Security guards aren’t enough to help. Dark corridors make perfect hiding places. They’re scared to walk out to their car. Somehow they feel this argument supports their opposition to the law.

I have some news for people who oppose this law. Every day, you wake up and go out to public places filled with people who are certified to carry a concealed weapon. You live in Texas. I promise you that you come into contact with a concealed carrier at least five times a week and hardly ever know it. Have you ever been the victim of a shooting rampage? Are you constantly threatened at Starbucks while enjoying a mocha? Have you frequently seen someone brandishing a weapon around screaming “I carry this legally under Texas State Law!” No. You haven’t. If you’ve seen an inappropriate discharge or display of a weapon, I almost guarantee you it was unlawfully there in the first place. Now let me ask you a different string of questions. How many times have you walked out to your car in the dark and felt threatened? How many times have you had encounters with someone who threatened you? How many times have you been in a situation where you needed to protect yourself and couldn’t? I bet it’s more times than you’ve been threatened by a concealed carry holder.

Under the purposed legislation, if you are sitting in a classroom and a maniac (who, for the sake of argument, has a concealed carry license) decides he wants to kill your professor, guess what? It’s very possible there are three sane carriers who won’t let that happen. Who dies? Not you. Not the professor. The maniac at the front of the class dies.  Who knows? Maybe the professor was exercising his right and had a concealed weapon as well. You wouldn’t even have to carry; you would be protected by other holders. Now factor in the fact that if someone wants to kill their professor, they probably don’t really care about gun laws. Every person in that classroom has the right to protect themselves from a threat like that.

Sadly, the above scenario won’t be the case for quite a while. It looks like this purposed bill will die in the house. So instead of concealed carriers saving the rest of you from one bad apple, one bad apple gets to ruin the whole bunch. It’s a shame that cowardice and misinformation was able to destroy legislation that would have restored our right to protect ourselves. Those who supported this bill need to continue their efforts to educate others what concealed carry really means. It’s as much their right to be protected as it is ours.

A great source of information on this subject is the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus Website at http://www.concealedcampus.org/common_arguments.php

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