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“When the founding fathers wrote that the right to bear arms ‘shall not be infringed,’ writes, “did they mean guns must be allowed everywhere, even in classrooms and dorm rooms?” Yes! No? “The University of Virginia Board of Visitors took up the issue of campus carry in 1824, and didn’t have to look far for an originalist perspective—Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were in attendance. The board resolved that ‘No Student shall, within the precincts of the University … keep or use weapons or arms of any kind, or gunpowder.'” Flash forward a couple of hundred years . . .

Those who want to arm educators often cite the example of Pearl High School, where in 1997, Assistant Principal Joel Myrick retrieved a handgun from his own truck and confronted a gunman. (Some accounts forget to mention that Myrick was an Army reservist, and that he intervened as the 16-year-old assailant was leaving the school, following a shooting spree that left two people dead and three others injured.)

I’ve never heard of Pearl High School. The example is weak sauce, if you’re trying to prove that armed civilians are a bad thing on campus. But I guess you can find anecdotes to [kinda] back-up any position. Here’s my anecdote, from the infamous UT tower shooting no less.

With more and more weapons aimed his way, though, Whitman ducked behind the four-foot wall encircling the deck and began firing through rain spouts cut in the walls, using them as gun ports.

More than 300 feet below, at the base of the tower, Martinez found a civilian named Allen Crum, a retired Air Force tail gunner who had never fired a shot in combat. Together they worked their way to the top of the tower with another Austin officer, Houston McCoy, following them.

Martinez carried his duty revolver, Crum had an old rifle, and McCoy toted a 12-gauge shotgun.

At the door to the observation deck, Martinez told Crum to cover him and point his gun toward the southwest corner.

“I said, ‘If the guy comes around the corner, shoot him,’ ” Martinez remembered. “Allen thought he heard him running, and he fired a shot.”

By then, Martinez had peeked around another corner, behind Whitman, and saw him crouching, looking for Crum.

“I saw him, but he didn’t see me,” Martinez said. “I opened fire and Houston McCoy was behind me with the shotgun. “I hit him probably on the shoulder. He was trying to shoot back at us, but we didn’t give him the chance.”

“I emptied my gun, and McCoy fired the shotgun. We engaged the sniper, and we killed him.”

Here’s another one from the same article (How Armed Civilians Have Helped Stop School Massacres via

In Israel, four years ago, when a Muslim terrorist armed with an Ak-47 entered the Mercaz HaRav religious school and began murdering students, he was shot by  Yitzhak Dadon, a part-time student.

“We realized something happened so I cocked my handgun,” Yitzhak Dadon said. “I went up on the roof and waited for the terrorist. Meanwhile, I saw blood and shattered glass. The terrorist continued firing in the air, so I waited to see him again, and then I shot him twice in the head.”

So yes, Virginia, armed students and other civilians on campus stop school shootings. Not to mention the deterrent effect of armed civilians on perps committing campus rape, robbery and murder (a not irregular occurrence). Oddly (for a relentlessly anti-gun website), the article ends without backing-up their headline. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Debate on the issue intensified after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012. Soon after the tragedy, the National Rifle Association commissioned the School Shield Program. A committee led by Asa Hutchinson (in private life at the time, after his term in Congress but before his election as governor of Arkansas), was tasked with developing strategies to stop active shooter scenarios. Their report recommended arming teachers and loosening laws that prohibit licensed individuals from carrying their weapons onto school campuses.

As we’ve said before, the School Shield Program report will come back to haunt those who oppose the NRA and its common sense recommendations for protecting our schools from lone wolf or coordinated terrorist attack. But it’s a lot less likely to happen at The Lone Star State’s schools of higher education, now. As for the Texas public school system, in which my daughter partakes, it’s still a matter of God help us all.

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  1. I will be the first one to say campus carry does endanger students. It endangers student’s who intend to rap other students. You know the kind of men who should be shot in the first place. Other than that it is not dangerous at all.

  2. All the hope or belief that a sign or ink on paper will deter a madman is an epic failure of logic. Ink on paper is punitive, after the fact and no anti gun advocate has a proactive solution.

  3. Robert, if you haven’t heard of the Pearl High situation, you need to get up to speed. He was leaving the H.S. to go to the middle school to off some more people. The Assistant principal threw down on the punk and stopped him before he killed additional people. The punk is in prison for life. He killed his mom before going to school. He was packing a .30-30 lever gun. He also killed is g.f. and another girl. The gun-free zone crowd don’t like to bring up Pearl High (1997) nor the Appalachian School of Law (2002) because they are examples of armed people stopping a spree shooter.

  4. “We realized something happened so I cocked my handgun…”

    It’s good to see the good old SAA is popular in Israel too.

  5. I suspect that the reason UVA banned firearms from campus was the propensity of Southern Gentleman to take offense at the slightest affront to their honor and challenge one another to fight a dual. The school didn’t ban weapons because they thought that a disgruntle student would commit a mass shooting.

    • Actually, the BOV banned guns because the students, back when there were no gun laws, would ride their horses up and down the lawn shooting into the air and intentionally shooting the clock in The Rotunda hoping that if they stopped the clock they would stop classes. The analogy in the article is ludicrous… The idea of concealed carry and the other laws surrounding firearms didn’t exist in the same form, so there regulation was more of a ‘Please, for gods sake, stop vandalizing our beautiful rotunda,’ than it was a criticism of firearm ownership or possession.

  6. Open carry is up, concealed carry is up, gun ownership is up, and crime is down… What is so hard to understand? Now make nationwide concealed carry without a permit a reality and watch our revolving prison doors creep to a stop. Well you know if we actually get some common sense and stop vilifying armed citizens that have to actually fire a shot in defense of their(or anybody else’s) life. I mean honestly I don’t expect elitists to admit the truth but at least some sheep should understand that armed citizens are a self cleaning appliance. Give more people more guns and watch the bad ones go somewhere else or straighten up.

  7. Better not mention Colorado, a state loved by the left, that has had campus carry for several years now (as well as legal weed too, OH THE HUMANITY) but because it is “Texas” and “Republican” it gets the media attention.

    • EXACTLY. Here in Colorado, people with CHLs carry on campus all the time, and it’s just not a big deal. The people who are armed, are armed, and the people who are not, are oblivious. Same thing with open carry – you might get the occasional odd look, and very rarely praise, but the VAST majority of the time it’s a non-event.

      It really amazes me how the anti-gun side and much of the general public seems oblivious to the reality occurring outside their home state.

      It happened with concealed carry in Florida (meanwhile, no problems in Vermont).

      It’s happening now with open carry and campus carry in Texas (meanwhile, no problems in Colorado)

      It surely will happen again.

      (Hmm, I think there’s a song in there somewhere:

      • Nothing, really, except that working outside of an apartment building while a bunch of stoners sit on the porch giving you “advice” on how to do your job is a might bit irritating.

    • But they did something about it here, we kept the mass shooters to 15 rounds, so the shooter can be tackled. They kept the weed limited too! (Only one ounce in possession at one time) By doing that, we can also save the Cheetos and frozen pizzas. All about saving lives here in Colorado!

  8. Regarding Charles Whitman and the UT book tower incident, it’s important to note that Officer Martinez was a blowhard and a braggart who wrongfully claimed that he stopped the mass shooter. He didn’t.

    All of Martinez’ shots at Whitman missed — every single one. I guess that Whitman was so busy laughing at Martinez’ ineptitude that Officer Houston McCoy was able to blow Whitman away with his shotgun. At that point, the ever-modest Martinez grabbed the shotgun from McCoy’s hands and ran around yelling, “I got him! I got him.” In reality, Martinez got nothing.

    Martinez was a lying, self-aggrandizing jackalope.

  9. Ohhhhh………NOW Jefferson and Madison and their views on guns are relevant and compelling! Whatever happened to the “archaic ideas from old rich dead white guys” theme? Curious, that.

  10. The moment I saw a reference to the UV minutes, I suspected that it was taken deliberately out of context. Imagine my surprise to discover:

    “No Student shall, within the precincts of the University, introduce, keep or use any \spirituous/ or vinous liquors, keep or use weapons or arms of any kind, or gunpowder, keep a servant, horse or dog, appear in school with a stick, or any weapon, nor, while in school, be covered without permission of the Professor, nor use tobacco by smoking or chewing, on pain of any of the minor punishments at the discretion of the Faculty, or of the board of Censors, approved by the Faculty.”

    They didn’t BAN weapons, any more than they BANNED keeping a servant, horse or dog. They simply wanted to be able to, “at the discretion of the Faculty”, be able to use “minor punishments” in case, I am sure, any student acted irresponsibly. So much for Jefferson and Madison rejecting the right.

    Further, another passage:

    “No Student shall admit any disturbing noises in his room, or make them any where within the precincts the University, or fire a gun or pistol within the same, on pain of such minor sentence as the faculty shall decree or approve. but the proper use of musical instruments, shall be freely allowed in their rooms, and in that appropriated for instruction of music.”

    If firearms were to be BANNED, why would the Faculty feel the need to write a noise ordinance to suppress their use in student rooms?!


    “Fighting with weapons which may inflict death, or a challenge to such fight, given or accepted, shall be punished by instant expulsion from the University, not remissible by the Faculty; and it shall be the duty of the Proctor to give information thereof to the civil magistrate, that the parties may be dealt with according to law.”

    The Faculty decided to apply harsh sanctions only when actual lethal force is used or threatened (and it seems, perhaps deliberately, that self-defense is NOT implied, only something like mutual combat or dueling).

    Where did these quotes come from? Politico actually supplied the link. I guess they thought no one would actually READ it, and instead would trust their interpretation. Condescending douchebags.

    • I didn’t like it that they banned dogs. Sure, it starts with military style assault dogs like the Belgian Malinois, but they never stop there. No, soon enough they’ll come for the Plott hounds, too, like Grandpa used to hunt with. It never ends with these dognappers.


      I read it and basically the university was setup similar to a boarding school, allowing people as young as 16yrs. FWIW, it only prohibited the students from being armed (and only on minor punishment), not the entire campus being disarmed (which would be folly) except there’s:

      “A military Instructor shall be provided at the expense of the University […] and shall instruct the Students in the Manual exercise, in field evolutions, maneuvres and encampments. the Students shall attend these exercises, and shall be obedient to the military orders of their Instructor.” […] Substitutes in the form of arms shall be provided by the Proctor, at the expence of the University; they shall be distinguished by numbers, delivered out, recieved in and deposited under the care and responsibility of the Instructor, in a proper depository to be furnished him; and all injuries to them by a student shall be repaired at the expence of such Student.”

      I supposed that’s the well-regulated militia part, huh?

  11. Glad I went to college before this sort of nonsense really sank in. We kept guns in our cars and in our dorm rooms (just as did Ronald Reagan when he was in college). We even armed ourselves when a would-be rapist entered our dorm late one night and tried to molest one of the Army ROTC students as he exited the shower (again, similar to Reagan, who picked up one of his four .45s to help a woman being attacked) . I won’t go into detail regarding the armed perp’s demand (use your imagination). Suffice it to say the student refused and instead slugged the guy, dropping his towel in the process, then proceeded to chase him naked to the stairwell where he gave him an assist reaching the first landing (we were on the third floor). We heard his yells for assistance and some of us quickly armed ourselves and went to his aid, not that he needed any. The perp got away, and eventually the campus police showed up to take a report. The final upshot was that our dorms were supposed to be locked at night, but somebody had rigged this particular door to stay open. We never found out who it was, but we never had anymore trouble, at least while I was living there. God forbid what the authorities running these places today would insist you to do – probably tell you to bend over and think of England.

    • “It’s not nice to HURT your attacker, besides we need more proof of RAPE CULTURE. Oh, it was a man being attacked you say? Oh, well the patriarchy is just getting a taste of its own medicine so we don’t care.”

      -campus sexual assault awareness coordinator

  12. Everyday after I was 21 and had a PA LTCF, I carried on campus and in class. Many of the people I attended class with were not the most stable people, some having outbursts in class over grades and policies – which is why I carried. Now, it wasn’t against the law, but Penn St. sure had a rule against it. I just kept it well concealed and told no one.

  13. “The founding fathers never envisioned automatic weapons” so the 2A is obsolete.
    They didn’t envision Cho, so it’s back in.

  14. This topic came up in one of classrooms while attending at the University of Alaska. A recent proposal to adopt campus carry was abandoned after many of the faculty said they would leave if it passed. Its difficult for UAA to recruit so the threat was persuasive. My instructor stated that he wouldn’t be comfortable with students carrying since heated arguments can arise etc. I should have stated, for the benefit of my fellow students, that signs won’t prevent violence if a person is intent on it. The school does nothing to ensure student safety. No metal detectors and usually one police officer for the whole campus. I wish they would have called their bluff and passed campus carry.

  15. Politico can’t argue how it makes the campus less safe. Just because a firearm is present? They also must remember history did not have to defend against campus murderers. The per capita population was much smaller and where we may have had one murderer in an entire State long ago, we now have increased the odds to have more. We also have places like Politico frightening people, creating hysteria, and inciting trouble. Unstable people thrive on paranoia and often can act a s a trigger to set them to act in a violent manner.

  16. From Politico: ” Texas Campus Carry Endangers Students”

    That’s funny as I have not heard of ANY stories of any mass shootings on college campuses in recent history where concealed carry was permitted.

    Students for Concealed Carry might have something to say about that.

  17. The most dangerous thing on college campuses is activist professors. They indirectly have caused more damage to this nation and individual lives than any gun ever could. Ironically, they and their ilk create a world in which the 2A is necessary.

  18. Administrator McRaven was on the radio this morning, NPR Morning edition, and I had to laugh because the interview started off with the usual “I’m a 2A kind of guy, I own guns (listed them), swords, and two tomahawks.”

    Listen yourself:

    It got kind of interesting after he tried to list his arms collection… he made it very clear that HE doesn’t like the idea, and tried to make it equally clear that the decision was made, the law was passed, so now he had to make the best of the situation. “I learned that you argue the point up until the decision is made.” He tried to ride both sides of the issue, he doesn’t like it but is just a worker and has to follow the rules given.

    Then it fell back into the typical anti-gunner crap about keeping guns out of the places where the emotions are high or are very stressful or both. Ball games at the stadiums was the example…… like people at the game are so close to descending into moral and social anarchy that if just one person has a gun that’s it! End of the world! We’re all going over the edge and are going to start raping, pillaging, cannibalism even!

    Ok, that last bit might have been over the top…. but still. This whole ‘we can’t trust people with guns in these special places’ is just plain stupid. You can trust me with a gun over here, but over there suddenly I can’t be trusted. And…. the bad guys aren’t going to obey your stupid signs and will be quite happy being the only one with a gun in a room full of victims.

  19. It was a different world in 1824, when handguns were more likely used for dueling than self defense. I imagine dueling students would have been bad for attendance as well. Fast forward to today, when the 2A has enjoyed a revival in the human rights world. Note that some other states already allow campus carry, I I predict in Texas what has happened elsewhere, a non event. And do we have the minutes of the UVa Board meeting? Do we know how TJ and JM actually felt? Not that it matters, even the Founding Fathers could be wrong sometimes. Like continuing to allow slavery when all men are created equal.

  20. We don’t want to arm students.

    We don’t want to arm faculty.

    We just want you fucks to stop disarming the ones who are already armed, lawabiding and responsible off-campus.

  21. The article is correct in the assertion that carrying on campus has made students less safe due to the risk of accidental/negligent discharge. The real question that no one ever quantifies is by how much has the risk to safety gone up? The risk of rape, active shooter, mugging etc has gone down so that needs to be considered also but again, there are no studies to quantify this either.

    Both sides say the risk to student’s safety has gone up or down but neither side can provide any real evidence to back that up other than anecdotes. Every one wants the same thing, increased safety. A real studdstudy to quantify things would go along way to settling the debate.

    If student safety is the concern then why not starestart with a push to ban cars from campus? Again, with no data to back this statement up, I think that would make a big improvement in their safety. Then again, maybe student safety isn’t the real concern.

    • Probably the only way to truly make it safe is to ban students from campus. Well… and faculty and staff too… And visitors. That way the only people on campus would be criminals and only they’d be armed.

  22. I graduated a year ago, and I can say without any hesitation that carry on campus would be a net negative. I met so many fundamentally immature people, in such a high concentration, while enrolled that I cannot imagine this going well. Moreover, campus culture as it currently exists in the USA makes responsible carry unlikely. the sheer ammount of group alcoholic idiocy i witnessed leaves me convinced that there would be multiple instances of armed drunks. The sad reality is that modern america often treats higher ed as an occasion to party. Campus carry just doesnt make sense to me until that changes

    • The majority of undergraduates are going to be under 21. Drinking is illegal by the way. Graduate students, faculty and staff are likely to be the ones that carry anyway.

    • If you think people being fundamentally immature stops once you leave college, you got another thing coming.

      As a freedom absolutist, I’d also approach college carry the same way I approach any other gun right. Other people’s failings are no excuse to take away my rights.


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