Those who dislike guns and oppose gun rights often base their antipathy upon fears and emotions, not facts or logic. True to form, a group of LBGT students at the University of Houston have created a anti-ballistic bogeyman that’s left them nearly hysterical with fear. “I feel like I can’t speak up for myself anymore,” one student tells Buzzfeed.
Many LGBT students at the University of Houston say they feel like they can no longer express themselves safely now that a law allowing people to carry concealed weapons on campus is in effect and classes have begun.
“I feel like I can’t speak up for myself anymore,” Robyn Foley, 22, a transgender and intersex student who majors in anthropology, told BuzzFeed News. “I can’t correct someone on my pronouns” — Robyn’s pronoun is “they” — “I can’t stand up for my transgender friends, because if I do and someone gets pissed off all they have to do is pull out a gun.”
A number of other students eating lunch at the campus LGBTQ Resource Center nodded in agreement.
Guns on campus are nothing new. In addition to the few students and/or faculty who’ve been (or continue to be) carrying illegally, armed criminals and psychopaths have preyed on student populations for decades. Some at the edges of campus, some within its magical “gun free zones.”
While some decry Texas’ License to Carry requirements, like all such systems it creates a population of vetted individuals, fingerprinted and background checked. No surprise, then, that licensed carriers are some of the most law-abiding members of society.
Statistics and facts are one thing. Feelings are another. If, despite the evidence that her concerns are much ado about nothing, the aforementioned Foley feels silenced or intimidated by campus carry, that’s on her/him. But I don’t suppose a self-imposed state of helplessness is a pre-requisite for being a member of the LGBT community.
…The building containing the LGBT center, as well as the veteran students’ center, is not an exclusion zone, which many of the students in the LGBT center didn’t realize until someone looked it up during a conversation with BuzzFeed News. The students sat in stunned silence for a moment before Foley said, “Wow, I just assumed it was, out of common sense.”
“That’s actually really scary,” another student, who went by K, added. (K asked not to have their full name included because they haven’t yet told their parents about their gender identity.)
…Some students said that the fact that the guns can’t be seen makes it even more intimidating. “Anyone you get into a philosophical argument with in class might have his hand on his gun while you’re talking,” one student, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, told BuzzFeed News. “I already feel it affecting my education.”
“…Asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation”? It’s the “blood will flow in the streets” thing all over again. We’re into the second week of Texas campus carry and . . . nothing. Why it’s Utah all over again. Again.
Meanwhile, the odds of an unopposed assault on campus, including a spree killer, just went down. How great is that?