guns on campus

By Dr. Henry Flores, NewsTaco

I know I have written several columns or essays decrying the dangers of guns.  But in light of the recent Senate debate, highlighted by our own embarrassing United States Senator from Texas, que desmadre that guy is!  But, anyway.  What really gets me is the debate going on in Texas right now.  Our esteemed (in the old days one of my camaradas would ask me if the vatos were steemed?)  Texas state legislature is contemplating legislation that would allow students to carry concealed weapons on campuses.

The other day I had one of the higher-ups on my university campus tell me about the epidemic of binge drinking and drug use that seems to have affected our student body this year particularly the freshman class.  I’ve been aware of police escorting youngsters to rehab straight from the classroom in the morning.  I don’t know what’s going through their young booze and drug addled minds but they are almost as bad as we were when we were in school!  ¿Que no? 

            The word in higher education is that drug use and heavy drinking are at all-time highs these days perhaps this youngest generation sees no future for themselves and we are experiencing the 1960s all over again.  There has been less interest in fraternities and sororities for sure and more in social justice issues.  So who knows what’s really going on with the 17-24 year olds these days?

I say all of this as back drop to the carrying gun hearings going on in Austin, Texas.  Our representatives even held the public hearings during Spring Break when UT was away at the beach.  You know you can carry concealed weapons into the state capitol; they even have an express entry through security for gun carriers.  Nice move guys, your scheduling kept all students from giving their perception on this issue!

Still, lets think about this for a moment.  Guns on campus.  If the Texas legislature, which Molly Ivins once described as useless as a bunch of old furniture, passes the law then every student would be allowed a permit to carry a concealed weapon onto campus.  OK, I can understand this.  But why would you want to allow students to do this in the first place?  Some super smart legislator will argue so that students can protect themselves against crazy drug addled students who amass large amounts of guns and ammunition in their dorm rooms!  So, we’re going to make it easier for more drug addled, heavy beer drinking students to have easy access to guns so they can protect themselves from other drug crazed, drunk students who decide to shoot up the campus on a Saturday night.

A couple of issues seem to rise to the surface.  If you allow all students to carry guns, we have yet to talk about the size of the guns or ammunition on campus, then you have a situation where the faculty and administrators begin feeling intimidated.  So, I think that our brilliant state legislature needs to add a rider to the legislation letting all faculty and staff to carry guns on campus as well.  We need to have the right to protect ourselves from all the drug addled students who are amassing guns and ammunition in their dorm rooms and who come to campus drunk or very “loaded” on something or other almost daily.

Oh!  Another thought just hit me.  If we are going to allow gun carrying on campus I would think that, particularly the more selective campuses, would have to insure that the students who matriculated were worthy of admission.  So, we need to consider changing our admission’s standards and make marksmanship and gun care and maintenance part of the requirements.  Now all admissions offices would have to open pistol ranges and create standards for shooting.  ¡Valgame dios!  We don’t just want to let any student carrying a gun into our campus.  We want good shooters who can take out a crazed gunman (they all seem to be men anyway).  If we really want to be selective we will have to give scholarships and additional student aid to the better shooters.  Oops, I forgot about affirmative action.  What of those students who cannot afford a gun do we give them grants?  How about those that show promise?  Do we create special summer shooting programs to develop their marksmanship and better their scores?   Just thinking out load here!

¡Mil disculpas!  Pero me olvide de los profesores.  What about faculty and staff?  Do we purchase guns for them or give them and extra $25 a month, added to their paycheck with the requisite deductions taken out, in order for them to buy an appropriate gun that will take out a crazed, drug addled student, wearing body armor?  How about gun training for the faculty and staff.  We can also make proficiency part of the tenure and promotion system.  So that any faculty not maintaining a good shooting record just won’t make the grade and will have to be let go.

Bueno, I think the Texas state legislature has their hands full and haven’t thought through the entire law but they better start soon because we want to be sure that all students, faculty and staff who have a right to carry gun in nice holsters (I like a shoulder holster myself makes me feel so John Waynish) when the new year begins.

[Photo by Andrew-Hyde]

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