Fortunately, we live in a country that affords us the right to have debate and to elect leaders to create laws for

us as a nation. The 2nd amendment right is a contentious issue for many and continues to be divisive at a national level. Concealed Carry on college campuses has gained traction in many states. In Texas, we currently see Senate Bill 182 that will allow licensed concealed carry permit holders to carry their personal weapons on college campuses. Local media outlets, including the Baylor Lariat, have reported that Baylor faculty members Dr. Blake Burleson and Dr. Robin Wallace recently drafted a letter condemning Texas Senate Bill 182 and circulated it among the faculty. The letter strongly asserts that the freedom of licensed citizens to carry concealed weapons is disruptive to a learning environment. The authors and signatures of the letter contend that the possible presence of a firearm on campus would “introduce an element into this environment that causes anxiety, tension, concern, and fear” and “impede the free flow of ideas and exchanges which are essential in the academic enterprise.” I found these assertions to be quaint and lofty. First, disasters such as those at Virginia Tech and in Colorado have demonstrated that criminals willingly defy the laws and the rights of others and thus illegally possessed weapons are likely already present in almost any context—even in educational environments. Secondly, under SB 182 and current regulations, no one should be aware of legally carried firearms by Concealed Handgun License (CHL) permit holders. According to the law, no one should ever know who is lawfully armed until the need arises. Under Texas Penal Code 46.035, it is an offense for a CHL permit holder to intentionally fail to conceal a handgun (Class A Misdemeanor). Thus, it would be illegal for anyone to expose a weapon on or off campus except in what is perceived to be a threatening situation. Thirdly, the statements approach fear mongering. As a senior here, I have had debates with individuals in class and never have I thought of using force (let alone deadly force) in those encounters. This is an academic institution, not someone‟s 'Thunder Dome' in which one lambasts others or threatens violence in the name of education. Using the authors‟ logic, one must conclude that CHL holders are constantly shooting each other over car accidents or other stressors. The fact is they are not and, as a whole, CHL holders are by far a most responsible demographic - period. For supporting statistics, one can see Texas DPS Conviction Rates for Concealed Handgun License Holders. The letter written for circulation states paternalistically and patronizingly that, “our 17 to 25-yearolds are in transition from youth to young adulthood; they are at various stages of intellectual, emotional, and moral maturity. Loaded handguns carried by youth can be dangerous anywhere.” This assertion is insulting. There are 18-year old men and women carrying fully automatic weapons in warzones for this country. Yet, per Burleson's and Wallace's statements, these men and women too must be insufficiently morally shaped and mature enough to handle those weapon systems. Also, it seems odd that these same people lacking in “intellectual … and moral maturity” are entrusted with participation in the election process. It would seem that even an education at Baylor University (which advertises itself as a place for „Discovering Truth‟) is not effective at shaping responsible and intelligent citizens until they have reached their mid-twenties. For the record, one must be 21 years or older, (18 years or older if in active military service), both to buy a handgun and to receive a CHL. The gross ignorance of the laws and systems to possess and carry a weapon by the authors (and one would hope not their intentional misrepresentation of the laws) is sad given that their statements are offered as weighty evidence for why our right to “keep and bear Arms” must be infringed. I have learned in college that, in order to make a decision, one should be informed of all facts and legalities of the situation. It would appear that the authors have not followed this advice.

In that possible moment of crisis. or stating that they are on their menstrual cycle when they encountered an assailant with hostile intent.The concern of the authors and signatories regarding students having weapons in administrative offices.‟ It is no wonder that there have been events like the list of armed robberies and assaults on and around the campus in recent years. Tyrants come in all forms. the right to possess legally a concealed weapon for the preservation of your right to life and the pursuit of happiness. I want to be able to use the most efficient means to secure my safety and that of others—I want to be able legally to use a firearm. at a point in this country when we must stand for our rights and not let them be negated by a government elected by us but unwilling to trust us with any other decision or let them be amputated (and then likely deleted) under the specter of „safety. gun control is not about guns. and appear in dark alleys and in well-lit rooms. and faculty at Baylor University” can defend themselves in such ways prescribed at the University Of Colorado at Colorado Springs which advised female students to take a variety of actions from vomiting. capable of free thought and rational deliberation. . or pending dismissal and wanted to harm others the mere fact that it is a gun free zone would do nothing to deter the attacker. Only citizens feel compelled to obey laws. We are. They use power assumed over timid victims. criminals do not care for them and are only concerned with their few moments of power over their victims. or we can actively resist tyrants who threaten “certain unalienable Rights” which were not limited to “Life.” “to be secure in their persons. I refuse to lie down while others are threatened. maimed. I refuse to be a victim. Students. We deserve the liberty as „free‟ people not to be defenseless should the wolves ever approach. against unreasonable searches and seizures. or killed. I also feel emotion. Gun-free zones are 'victim zones' and these have done nothing to stop bloodshed in our schools. We have a choice: we can passively accept to be victims. Did gun-free zones stop the crime at Virginia Tech? Columbine? Sandy Hook? No they did not and the regulation forced law-abiding individuals to be defenseless. According to the laws of the land and the laws of nature we have the right and responsibility to use available means and force to defend ourselves. the right to life. and the Pursuit of Happiness” but also were deemed to include the rights to “keep and bear Arms. How does one explain making self-defense illegal? Perhaps “those of us at Baylor University” would suggest that “our students. staff. citizen-soldiers. It is likely that these vocal individuals will also pursue the expansion of „gun free zones‟ which translates into greater numbers of „victim zones. and effects. Know that more than a hundred of those who are charged with educating and serving you feel that those of you who are eligible by law to obtain a CHL are unfit to exercise your right to carry a concealed weapon. facilities and courts (a practice currently illegal unless one is given express written permission) is not unfounded no matter how illogical. or as supposed „youths‟ will have our liberties extended or restricted by the forthcoming laws.” etc. I do not want to die urinating on myself or die cowering as a defenseless animal I am a human being. houses.‟ Make no mistake. scholarships. If a student was angry and loosing benefits. love and pain. it is about control.” to “trial by jury. For my part. urinating. I encourage you to become involved in politics as we as citizens. I believe. The authors‟ very concern is one that prompts support of SB 182—that is. Liberty. papers. As such I deserve the lawful ability to defend the most precious right of all.

I am just like you. I am a CHL holder. I am student at Baylor University. .I am an individual and I choose to be in charge of my own actions. According to the law. I am responsible for my own actions.

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