Overview: A rash response; let it die


A rash response

Most UT students remember where they were when they heard about the most devastating terrorist attacks in American history.

Within months after the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001, the United States was at war. For most students, the United States has been at war longer than it has been at peace in their lifetimes.

But on Sunday night, President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, leader of the terrorist group al-Qaida.

The immediate excitement of the announcement elicited a variety of reactions from members of the UT community. While we share the collective sense of relief expressed by millions across the country, we question whether chugging alcohol or engaging in patriotic karaoke is the appropriate response. Thousands of fellow Americans are still fighting our wars in the Middle East; there must be a better way to honor their sacrifice. Yesterday marked the end of a significant chapter in our nation’s history, but there is a right and a wrong way to celebrate its passing.

Moreover, it is disappointing that many Democrats and Republicans immediately sought to put a political spin on the event by trying to determine whether it was the policies of former President George W. Bush or President Barack Obama that led to the death of bin Laden.

We hope that in the coming days, Americans of all ages will take time to reflect on what has transpired and ask themselves what this event means for the future of our country.

Let it die

Earlier in the legislative session, Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, proposed legislation that would allow for the concealed carry of handguns on college and university campuses — and the bill was almost certain to pass. A few months later, however, several senators withdrew support after pressure from constituents.

Before students could rejoice at the seeming death of the legislation, Wentworth tacked a concealed carry amendment onto a higher education bill introduced by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Zaffirini’s bill would reduce costly reporting requirements for institutions of higher education.

Wentworth surprised not only senators but also Texans when he introduced his proposal as an amendment. Nonetheless, Wentworth denied “trying to pull a fast one,” according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The move by Wentworth will undoubtedly shift important discussions of university funding to concealed carry. It is disappointing that senators are turning key discussions of higher education into partisan debates on issues that have already been addressed.

Zaffirini, who opposes the concealed carry legislation, threatened to kill her bill if the amendment passes. However, Wentworth appears relentless, and if Zaffirini kills the bill, he will likely find another technicality that would allow him to reintroduce similar legislation.

It is clear Wentworth has not accepted the death of his legislation and wants to continue to ignore the many Texans, including students and leaders in higher education, who oppose concealed carry. Last March, a majority of students at Texas A&M voiced opposition to concealed carry legislation in a campus-wide referendum. We just hope senators truly represent their constituents, including students, and continue to oppose the measure.