Campus carry law isn't 'vigilantism'


Two University of Texas system professors have written a remarkably fact-free manifesto on the issue of concealed handguns on college campuses - campus carry - which will become law on Jan. 1.

Mostly, the point they make - and make very well - is that some UT graduates might deserve a refund, if this is an example of the level of higher education they received.

UT-Austin history professor Jorge Canizares-Esguerra and UT-El Paso political science professor Patrick Timmons contend that no white man should ever be allowed to have a firearm.

"America has all along been about the sheer display of white male power (with guns): over Indians, over slaves, over females, over Mexicans, over Asians, over African Americans, and over Arabs, now," write these two leaders of Gun Free UT. "The return of the vigilante movement is a giant, collective white pushback against the Civil Rights Movement and against the unintended consequences of globalization, migration, and demography."

Are any facts offered to prove there's such a thing as a "vigilante movement" linked to Texas concealed carry laws? Well, no. Because the facts show just the opposite. These professors are undeterred.

"The great debate (at least ours) has been centered on proving that guns do not make us safer from mass shooters on campus," they wrote. "That guns do nothing to lower crime rates. That guns instead increase the number of accidents, suicides, sexual assaults, and deaths. That licensed carriers are not the benign actors that the statistics on crime seem misleadingly to suggest."

But crime statistics don't "misleadingly suggest" that Texans with concealed carry licenses are less likely to commit violent crimes - they prove it.

The Texas Department of Public Safety confirms that licensees are far more law-abiding than average. DPS studied violent crime rates for all Texans, and broke out the rates for concealed carry license holders, for all of 2011. There were 2,210 aggravated robbery convictions, for example - and only two of those were license holders. Out of 2,675 convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, three were license holders.

Overall, license holders accounted for less than two-tenths of 1 percent of the violent crimes committed in Texas.

Why? The rules for concealed carry are strict. Most people with criminal records (above a Class C misdemeanor) are ineligible to get a concealed carry license. They're ineligible if they have pending criminal charges, a psychiatric illness or even just if they are behind on their taxes, child support or student loans.

In other words, only the most law-abiding and responsible Texans obtain concealed carry licenses.

The UT professors make another specious argument. They said allowing concealed carry on campus infringes on the freedom of speech.

"The mere presence of guns can intimidate and thwart free speech," they claimed.

Clearly, they missed the part about guns being concealed.

The real point here is how poorly reasoned the screed was. Its tone and tenor are academia au courant. Instead of evidence, it recited critical race theory.

UT students deserve better.

Recommended for you

Load comments