Earlier this week, a distraught University of Texas Austin student opened fire on campus with an assault rifle — locking down the entire school for hours and bringing a heavy response from local police and military units. The shooter eventually killed himself.
As the students and surrounding community continue to reel from the effects of the shooting, Gov. Rick Perry (R) has started advocating for allowing students and faculty to bring concealed carried weapons on campus. Doing so would require a change in state law, which currently bans weapons on campus:
Under current state law, colleges and universities, like UTPB in Odessa, are gun-free zones. That means it’s illegal for anyone to bring a weapon onto campus, licensed or not. However, days after a gunman went onto the University of Texas campus in Austin and took his own life, Governor Rick Perry says he believes concealed weapons should be allowed. However, he only thinks it should be allowed if the owner is well-trained and licensed.
“There are good reasons, for persons to carry permitted, concealed weapons, and to use them when they feel threatened,” UTPB President, Dr. David Watts, said.
Watch News West 9’s report on Perry’s stance:
Perry isn’t alone in calling for a change in the law. Young Conservatives for Texas, a “conservative youth organization” and often ally to state Republicans, is also “once again calling on state lawmakers to pass a law allowing licensed students, faculty, and visitors to carry concealed handguns on state university property.”
The reaction to the Texas shooting is not unlike the reaction by major conservatives to the Virginia Tech shooting. Following that event, leading conservatives Michelle Malkin, John Gibson, and Andrew Napolitano all pushed to allow students to carry guns on campus.