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Concealed handguns promote defense-friendly campus

Staff Reporter

Published: Monday, January 28, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 00:01

Taylor Likens | The Houstonian

Taylor Likens | The Houstonian

I can say from personal experience that those who are intolerant of guns have simply fallen victim to the usual causes of intolerance; misconception, lack of education, and a general deficiency in manliness. Furthermore, those who cringe at the thought of their peers being allowed to carry concealed handguns have fallen victim to extreme and alarmist nonsense.

It is perhaps most important to understand that allowing some firearms on campus does not mean allowing any firearms on campus. Only those with a CHL (Concealed Handgun License) will be allowed to carry, which is self-explanatory in what it does and does not permit… concealed handguns.

Afraid of who may be packing heat in the seat next to you? Rest assured that this is the least of your problems.

As it turns out, only 0.18 percent of Texans who were convicted of a serious crime in 2011 were licensed to carry a concealed weapon. That’s a pretty good number in a state where three percent of the population is made up of CHL holders.

In fact, the CHL crowd is statistically some of the most law-abiding citizens out there. Believe it or not, they’re even 13 times less likely to commit any sort of crime than citizens without a CHL, according to a 3-year study of Texas crime statistics. That should come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with the time, training and money involved with obtaining one -- a little more than the average thug or man-child is willing to donate.

Of course, also take into consideration that very few people, if any, will actually be carrying any defense at all. As mentioned above, the highest estimates place Texas’ CHL holders at three percent, the overwhelming majority of whom are middle-aged men well out of college. Assuming the average student is admitted at 18 and graduates at 22, over half of students don’t meet the 21-year-old age requirement to even apply, with a minuscule percentage having any interest in applying at all.  Logically, college professors are significantly more likely to carry than any of their students (take that however you will).

Yes, as hilarious as it may be to imagine dozens of gunslingin’ buffoons lighting up campus like Lucille Ball clones stumbling through a “Die Hard” movie, the reality is much less entertaining. The vast majority of CHL holders are responsible, sound-minded citizens--by all means the exact sort of person you should feel comfortable giving a gun to.

But maybe you don’t trust these people to be level-headed. Maybe you’ve watched an America’s Funniest Home Videos montage lately and are feeling rather down about the whole human race thing. It is, after all, an understandable burden to be aware of humanity’s stupid, panicky nature.

For now, let us assume that 99 out of 100 students are complete fools, all of whom magically passed the required background checks and training. We can probably all agree that this is the worst conceivable version of this scenario that doesn’t involve dragons.

Personally, I would rather be caught in a room with 99 armed idiots that had no interest in killing me than even one armed idiot who had gotten dressed that morning all giddy from thinking about killing me. Though some may attempt to persuade you that this is the inevitable future we face, realize that this is instead the most grossly exaggerated example imaginable, and yet still preferable to the utter defenselessness of the alternative, where the only possible outcome is the loss of innocent lives.

The fact of the matter is that the only people who apply for CHL licenses are those who are already comfortable with firearms, and the only ones who receive them are those who can prove themselves competent. Denying others concealed handguns leaves such devices to only those who would abuse them. A campus that permits the carrying of concealed weapons doesn’t necessarily have to be a gun-friendly campus. It’s just a defense-friendly one.

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