Recent legislation proposed in the Texas Legislature would allow Texas college students to carry concealed handguns. Arming every Texas college student is probably not the best way to address the concern for the safety of our students on college campuses. The decision as to when to use a deadly weapon in self defense or the defense of others requires extraordinary judgment. Some have argued that if an 18-year-old is old enough to join the military, fire automatic weapons in combat, and die for their country then they are old enough to carry a handgun while going to class. This is false logic. The military provides specialized weapons training and soldiers use those weapons pursuant to direct orders and a rigorous chain of command. While many 18-year-olds are extremely competent with firearms the judgment regarding when to use a firearm is something that is more likely to come with age and experience.
This is not to say that the notion of having numerous concealed weapons on campus is a bad idea. Any adult working on campus should be authorized, and even encouraged, including by the payment of a stipend, to obtain a concealed handgun permit and to carry a concealed handgun on campus. Offering tuition discounts to graduate students or other older students who agree to complete a concealed handgun course and carry a concealed weapon while on campus is another viable option. However, allowing every 18-year-old college student the option of carrying a weapon on campus has the potential for obvious problems. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. We don’t want our college students learning judgment with handguns on our college campuses.
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