On Monday, 11/28, an incident at Ohio State University left at least 9 injured, including one critically. A shelter-in-place was issued and the Ohio State Emergency Management Twitter account tweeted out the following:
Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College.
— OSU Emergency Mngmnt (@OSU_EMFP) November 28, 2016
"Run Hide Fight." That is an interesting choice of words for Ohio State to issue when the Ohio Revised Code § 2923.126(B)(5) makes it illegal for anyone to carry a firearm on to public or private universities. Despite it not actually being an active shooter, you cannot properly fight back if you cannot meet or exceed the enemy's use of force.
The good news is that last session, Texas passed SB11, also known as the Campus Carry bill. This would allow students with an LTC to carry their firearm concealed on public university campuses, giving private universities the ability to opt out. It further goes on to mandate a few areas as
Defenseless Victim Gun-Free Zones, such as sporting events, daycare areas, &c. The reason is because we all know that bad guys never attack areas like that (please ignore the Aurora Massacre, the Brussels Attack, the Charleston church shooting, the Paris Attack during a soccer match, the Orlando nightclub massacre, or most other attacks with high casualty rates).
The bigger problem is that most LTC holders are not 21-25 year olds. In 2015, there were nearly 218,000 new LTC's issued in the State. Of those, only 15,000 (or 6.8%) were issued to 21-25 year olds. Using a semi-scientific metric based on an average span from 2010-2015, only about 6.3% of active LTC holders are ages 21-25. That only accounts for 0.25% of the 28 million people who call themselves Texans and only about 3.4% of the age group.
So what can Texas learn? For one, removal of the licensing requirement and enacting Constitutional Carry would go a long way. Instead of only about 1500 of Texas A&M's 58,600 students (2.6%) being able to carry a firearm, that number could grow exponentially. Currently, only about 4% of Texans have their LTC. Constitutional Carry would allow anyone not prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm the right to carry without a license. This gives a maximum potential of about 11 million Texans (about 40%) carrying. While realistically, this number likely won't be carrying, it does show the potential growth from 1 in 25 to 2 in 5. We should all want to carry to ensure safety for our families, ourselves, and our neighbors, and getting an LTC, while easy, can be a hassle for many.
The State of Texas also needs to do away with every single State-mandated
Defenseless Victim Gun-Free Zone. With 98% of shootings taking place in these areas, let the only GFZ's be those mandated by private property owners, so we all know where to avoid. We are all adults and should be treated as such. Every single first-time gun owner that I know has approached either me or someone else seeking training on how to operate the firearm effectively and safely. This doesn't require any government mandate. People naturally want to know how to protect themselves with their firearms.
Texas still has a long way to go to become the gun-friendly icon that our State claims to be. We have a preemptive reputation set, but our laws do not reflect that reputation and should. We should use metrics set out by pro-gun control groups to be at the top of their naughty list every single year, but we don't. We need to make Texas pro-gun again and make the 2nd Amendment "shall not be infringed" again. Sign our Constitutional Carry petition, Like us on Facebook, Share our posts, Push your Reps and Senators to return our survey's (click here to see the current list) and help us make Texas live up to our reputation!