Right Hooks

A Texas Sized Defense Against School Shooters

Postsecondary students in the Lone Star State can now carry guns on campuses.

Jordan Candler · Aug. 1, 2016

The anti-gun Left is in a frenzy over a new Texas gun law that gives college students in the state the ability to defend themselves in a worst-case scenario. As of today, postsecondary students with a valid concealed carry permit who opt to pack heat on school grounds are now protected under Texas law. Of course, any kind of gun on school property is vehemently and almost unanimously deplored by leftists, but Texas’ new law is under particular reproach for, in the words of The Washington Times, being “at best insensitive — at worst, ominous.” And it all goes back to a horrific shooting that occurred exactly five decades ago.

On Aug. 1, 1966, Charles Whitman slaughtered 16 people and injured scores more, beginning with the assassination of his wife and mother and ending with 14 fatalities at the University of Texas at Austin, where Whitman studied engineering. For some, the question of why guns on campus is even objectionable defies all reason, while others argue the implementation of a gun law on a day of solemn commemoration. (For the record, the legislation’s author says the timing is happenstance.) But it’s worth recounting what prevented even more tragedy that fateful day. Consider this excerpt from The Washington Post:

Blasting at victims 500 yards away, the 25-year-old engineering student fired at will for 20 minutes — the time it took for students and residents to fetch their own high-powered rifles and shoot back, helping an unprepared and outgunned police force. Some worked alone, taking position on roofs or behind bushes. Others partnered with Austin police officers, whose handguns and shotguns could not reach Whitman nearly 300 feet above. Officers even raced to gun stores to get ammo for the civilians, who were told to shoot to kill. “These guys were pretty good shots,” said Bill Helmer, then a graduate student who witnessed the mayhem. “There was a lot of lead flying up there at him.”

Ammolands.com’s David Codrea put it best: “The upshot of the Whitman story is that these armed students and citizens kept human carnage to a minimum. Guns preserved the peace and kept people safe.” Can you imagine that kind of reaction today? As the Times says, today marks “the 50-year anniversary of what is regarded as the first school shooting in modern American history.” And ever since, politicians have gone about addressing the problem entirely the wrong way — namely, by banning guns and belittling the Second Amendment. Texas and the seven other states with similar campus gun laws should be commended for advocating the best defense it can against mass shooters.

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