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Texas poised to pass bill allowing guns on campus

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In this April 15, 2010 file photo, Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry fires a six shooter filled with blanks as NASCAR driver Colin Braun looks.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110220/ap_on_re_us/us_guns_on_campus

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas is preparing to give college students and professors the right to carry guns on campus, adding momentum to a national campaign to open this part of society to firearms.

More than half the members of the Texas House have signed on as co-authors of a measure directing universities to allow concealed handguns. The Senate passed a similar bill in 2009 and is expected to do so again. Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who sometimes packs a pistol when he jogs, has said he's in favor of the idea.

Texas has become a prime battleground for the issue because of its gun culture and its size, with 38 public universities and more than 500,000 students. It would become the second state, following Utah, to pass such a broad-based law. Colorado gives colleges the option and several have allowed handguns.

Supporters of the legislation argue that gun violence on campuses, such as the mass shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Northern Illinois in 2008, show that the best defense against a gunman is students who can shoot back.

"It's strictly a matter of self-defense," said state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio. "I don't ever want to see repeated on a Texas college campus what happened at Virginia Tech, where some deranged, suicidal madman goes into a building and is able to pick off totally defenseless kids like sitting ducks."

Until the Virginia Tech incident, the worst college shooting in U.S. history occurred at the University of Texas, when sniper Charles Whitman went to the top of the administration tower in 1966 and killed 16 people and wounded dozens. Last September, a University of Texas student fired several shots from an assault rifle before killing himself.

Similar firearms measures have been proposed in about a dozen other states, but all face strong opposition, especially from college leaders. In Oklahoma, all 25 public college and university presidents declared their opposition to a concealed carry proposal.

"There is no scenario where allowing concealed weapons on college campuses will do anything other than create a more dangerous environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors," Oklahoma Chancellor of Higher Education Glen Johnson said in January.

University of Texas President William Powers has opposed concealed handguns on campus, saying the mix of students, guns and campus parties is too volatile.

Guns occupy a special place in Texas culture. Politicians often tout owning a gun as essential to being Texan. Concealed handgun license holders are allowed to skip the metal detectors that scan Capitol visitors for guns, knives and other contraband.

Guns on campus bills have been rejected in 23 states since 2007, but gun control activists acknowledge it will be difficult to stop the Texas bill from passing this year. "Things do look bleak," said Colin Goddard, assistant director of federal legislation for the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, who was in Austin recently to lobby against the Texas bills.

Goddard was a student at Virginia Tech when he was shot four times in his French class. Student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people, including 10 in Goddard's classroom, before shooting himself. Goddard dismisses the idea that another student with a gun could have stopped the killer.

"People tell me that if they would have been there, they would have shot that guy. That offends me," Goddard said. "People want to be the hero, I understand that. They play video games and they think they understand the reality. It's nothing like that."

But Derek Titus, a senior at Texas A&M who has a state license to carry a concealed handgun, said someone with a gun that day could have improved the chances of survival.

"Gun-free zones are shooting galleries for the mass murderers," Titus said. "We do not feel that we must rely on the police or security forces to defend our lives."

Texas enacted its concealed handgun law in 1995, allowing people 21 or older to carry weapons if they pass a training course and a background check. The state had 461,724 license holders as of Dec. 31, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Businesses, schools and churches can set rules banning guns on their premises. On college campuses, guns are prohibited in buildings, dorms and certain grounds around them.

Opponents of campus gun rights say students and faculty would live in fear of their classmates and colleagues, not knowing who might pull a gun over a poor grade, a broken romance or a drunken fraternity argument.

Frankie Shulkin, a first-year law student at the University of Texas, said he doesn't think he'd feel safer if other students in his classes had guns.

"If I was taking an exam and knew the person next to me had one, I don't know how comfortable I would feel," Shulkin said. "I am in favor of guns rights and your typical conservative guy, but the classroom thing bugs me."

Wentworth said he heard the "blood on the streets" warnings when Texas first passed the concealed handgun law. "They said we'd have shootouts at every intersection," he said. "None of that has happened."

Edited by Why_Me

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Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaa!

Too bad they declined to enact the same law in Virginia the year before that nut case went to the "gun free zone" of Virginia Tech. Just like the law promised him...it was a gun free zone. Except for HIS gun.


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(More) guns, beer, and hormones make for a nasty cocktail.


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My dad's ancestors were Westerners and guns have always been around in our family. I grew up in Texas back when we openly had shotguns and rifles hanging in the back windows of our pickup trucks.

However, I find it kind of creepy that our modern 21st century society has degenerated to the point that students need to run around college campuses armed to the teeth. This ain't the frontier or the Wild West anymore.

There's a time and a place for everything. That ain't the place. That ain't the answer.

Edited by peejay

"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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My dad's ancestors were Westerners and guns have always been around in our family. I grew up in Texas back when we openly had shotguns and rifles hanging in the back windows of our pickup trucks.

However, I find it kind of creepy that our modern 21st century society has degenerated to the point that students need to run around college campuses armed to the teeth. This ain't the frontier or the Wild West anymore.

There's a time and a place for everything. That ain't the place. That ain't the answer.

I prefer this answer to the Nazi alternative of checking papers/patting people down as they walk onto campus/into a building.


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False sense of security in my eyes.

Ft. Hood was full of people carrying guns - and yes, some of them eventually took out Major Hassan, but not before he had killed how many people? Anyone who thinks this will stop (or seriously limit) the next Virginia Tech is living in a dreamworld.

Increase access to guns and you increase the chances of them being used. That's the simple fact. Per capita (in the ten years to 2005) there were EIGHTY (80) times as many gun related injuries and deaths in my state (Colorado) where gun laws are relatively lax, compared with the UK, where they are highly restricted.

I know where I feel safer from violent crime - and it aint in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains!

Edited by N M

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That's good news. Hopefully it will prevent more tragedies like Virginia Tech.

+1 :thumbs:

=


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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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False sense of security in my eyes.

Ft. Hood was full of people carrying guns - and yes, some of them eventually took out Major Hassan, but not before he had killed how many people? Anyone who thinks this will stop (or seriously limit) the next Virginia Tech is living in a dreamworld.

Increase access to guns and you increase the chances of them being used. That's the simple fact. Per capita there have been EIGHTY (80) times as many gun related injuries and deaths in my state (Colorado) where gun laws are relatively lax, compared with the UK, where they are highly restricted.

I know where I feel safer from violent crime - and it aint in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains!

you've never been on a military base, have you?


nfrsig.jpg

The Great Canadian to Texas Transfer Timeline:

2/22/2010 - I-129F Packet Mailed

2/24/2010 - Packet Delivered to VSC

2/26/2010 - VSC Cashed Filing Fee

3/04/2010 - NOA1 Received!

8/14/2010 - Touched!

10/04/2010 - NOA2 Received!

10/25/2010 - Packet 3 Received!

02/07/2011 - Medical!

03/15/2011 - Interview in Montreal! - Approved!!!

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Ft. Hood was full of people carrying guns - and yes, some of them eventually took out Major Hassan, but not before he had killed how many people?

Now imagine if Ft Hood had been a gun free zone. How many people would he have killed then?


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I prefer this answer to the Nazi alternative of checking papers/patting people down as they walk onto campus/into a building.

You might as well let people go aboard airplanes armed to the teeth too. Eliminate the TSA and let the law of the jungle be our guide.

Besides...what do you know about Nazis except that the mere drop of that term is supposed to bolster your position? Comparing America to Nazi-ism is laughable. It really diminishes what Nazi-ism really was.


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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I see the value of being able to defend oneself or others in some shootouts, where crazies open fire. But I am also reminded that having a green light to be armed, also removes some of the apprehension of seeing a weapon that can be used for such craziness.

Texas has had campus shootouts hasn't it?

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My dad's ancestors were Westerners and guns have always been around in our family. I grew up in Texas back when we openly had shotguns and rifles hanging in the back windows of our pickup trucks.

However, I find it kind of creepy that our modern 21st century society has degenerated to the point that students need to run around college campuses armed to the teeth. This ain't the frontier or the Wild West anymore.

There's a time and a place for everything. That ain't the place. That ain't the answer.

If you grew up in Texas, as I did, then you know that there are NO restrictions concerning the carrying of long guns in Texas, then or now. Nothing has changed regarding the carrying or transport of long guns since 1873.

Why would Texans be less able to handle the freedoms we have here in Vermont? What are they lacking?


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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