Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Weapons On Campus: Disasterous Only for Anti-Gun Bigots

The Texas state senate has passed a bill to allow citizens with CHL licenses to carry on public college campuses.  This article in the UK newspaper The Guardian has this particular bit of silliness:

Democratic senator Judith Zaffirini, who was a student at the University of Texas in 1966 when sniper Charles Whitman killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others, argued against the bill. She predicted mass chaos if police responded to a call and found several people with guns drawn.
Perhaps Ms. Zaffirini was not on campus that day, because not only was the Whitman massacre perhaps the first campus mass killing, it was also one in which armed citizens, some of them students, assisted police by taking Whitman under fire while officers made their way up to Whitmans position and shot him dead, ending the attack.

Around 20 minutes later, once Whitman began facing return fire from the authorities and armed civilians who had brought out their personal firearms to assist police, he used the waterspouts on each side of the tower as gun ports, allowing him to continue shooting largely protected from the gunfire below but also greatly limiting his range of targets. 

In the course of that 90 minutes, many of Austin’s citizens, including many Vietnam veterans, risked their lives in returning fire against Whitman or rushing onto campus to pull out victims. Many years now, on the anniversary of the massacre, the UT community pays homage to the heroes of that day.

And finally, we have the remembrances of an eyewitness to the events of that day. And guess what? There were guns on campus:

None of the professor’s offices were occupied except for one whose door was open. As I walked down the hall toward that office the sound of a large caliber rifle thundered from that open doorway followed by two men talking. After all the bizarre events of the last few minutes it didn’t seem strange to me when I peeked around the office doorway to see one professor shooting a deer rifle at the top of tower while the other fed him ammunition. It never entered my mind to question why an English professor would have his deer rifle in his office complete with boxes of ammunition. This was Texas after all. Guns were commonplace. From the office windows, we could see the top of the tower clearly. Small puffs of smoke were coming from the rifle of the sniper on the observation deck. The large glass faced clock above the observation deck was shattered from others shooting back at him. The professor ran through several boxes of shells before running out of rounds. My ears were ringing. 
So, "mass chaos" has already happened,  it happened on the UT campus on August 1, 1966, and the police did what police always do: exercise good judgement. No citizen was shot, injured or arrested by the police, except for Whitman.  Indeed, citizen gunfire is credited with suppressing Whitman and limiting his ability to kill more people.  Citizens also used good judgement, not shooting indiscriminately but making sure they had identified the correct target.

Why is there so much hysterical opposition to on-campus concealed carry?  Perhaps the anti-gun Left is afraid that if the last sacred gun-free zone is lost, then what has happened elsewhere will happen there as well: nothing. No increase in violence or suicides.  No people "snapping" and starting a shooting rampage. No police accidentally shooting students because they encounter one who is armed.  And then it will be proved, once again, as it has been proved in every state that has implemented a shall-issue concealed carry permit law, that their arguments are completely false and without merit.

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