Let me carry … ON-campus

It’s a normal day of class for you in the state of Texas.

You’ve just downed your second cup of Starbucks coffee and are arriving at your first class of the day. You’re halfway through the lecture, half paying attention, half zoned out. We all have done it.

That’s when the unthinkable and unexpected happens. Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 6.05.37 PM

The door to the classroom opens and you expect a student or faculty member to walk in, but instead chaos enters.

A masked man wielding one or multiple weapons enters and opens fire. Everyone falls to the floor as fast as humanly possible; sadly, some already have been hit.

What could you possibly do in this situation?

Not much. You might try to use a table or chair as a barricade, but if the assailant is firing anything stronger than a 9mm, there isn’t much in a classroom to stop a bullet.

I’ve just described to you what a possible shooter scenario in a college classroom might look like – always unexpected and always deadly.

According to American Police Beat, the average response time for a 9-1-1 call is 10 minutes. That’s the average, and a lot can happen in 10 minutes.

Now let’s think, if the average response time for law enforcement in general is 10 minutes, then how long could it be for campus police at any college or university, such as Amarillo College?

The officers could be anywhere on the campus, and they would have to first locate the building an incident was occurring in, then the floor, then the room, then enter with caution so they don’t get shot.

Sound like a bit of a nightmare?

What if a responsible, qualified citizen were able to help settle this situation or at least calm it while the police were on the way?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am referring to law-abiding CHL carriers. A CHL is a Concealed Handgun License, something that many Texans have.

To be eligible simply to apply, an applicant must be: a legal resident of this state for six months, not a convicted felon, at least 21 years old (18 if military), not currently charged with a felony or misdemeanor … and the list goes on even more.

What I’m saying is that not just any Joe off the street can walk up and attain a CHL. Those who do acquire one typically are calm, ordinary, law-abiding citizens just wishing for peace of mind.

I personally believe they should be allowed to have that peace of mind on or off a college campus.

That’s because in the event of an armed assailant, chances are high that there would be a student or two present with proper training who could put a stop to a gunman in probably a fifth of the time of an average police response time.

Right now, as we speak, our state legislators are gearing up to discuss many proposed bills.

One is a proposal for CHLs to be allowed on Texas college campuses. The concerns that have been holding this bill back in the past are understandable and obvious.

What if a CHL carrier lost his marbles and turned on his fellow students?

That is a risk, but chances are there will be one or more other licensed carriers present to put a stop to him.

I know that when I turn 21, I will apply for my CHL. I would feel a lot better if I didn’t have to leave my firearm in my car.

If college administrators and faculty want students to act like the adults that we are, then let us help protect ourselves and each other.

We should be allowed to be responsible, sensible citizens, on and off campus.

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