We Asked: Guns on campus?


A bill filed by State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) on Jan. 17 would allow concealed handgun license holders to carry firearms on campus. We asked UT students if they would feel safer if such a bill were passed.

For me personally, it’d make me feel less safe, just in the sense that I think the law would be too general by letting everybody carry a concealed weapon. Personally, I would prefer something where certain people could carry concealed weapons on campus, just because any random guy could walk up on the street with a gun, in that case, and have no repercussions for that action.

DT: What types of people did you have in mind?

Well, I mean, obviously, police. I don’t know, I feel that there would have to be more legislation for the background of people that have guns, and maybe creating different classes of where you can have your gun. That way, personally, you’re not taking away any [Second] Amendment rights.

Branden Chaisorn
Computer science senior from Elkhorn, Wisconsin

Less safe. I actually know cases where innocent people died because of shoot-outs, like lost bullets. So suppose that the guns are used to protect someone else — that would cause a shoot-out. If there’s a shoot-out, there’s a risk that I will get shot by mistake. So that actually makes me feel less secure.

Jesus Gonzalez 
Computer science senior from Pachuca, Mexico

In my personal opinion, I feel like it would make me safer that law-abiding people who have passed their examinations and who have been legally licensed to operate firearms — to own and carry their firearms by the government — are allowed to do so everywhere, including college campuses. It would definitely make us safer, because, in the wake of all these school shootings that have happened, especially the ones in Houston, Virginia Tech, all those — they’ve all happened in places that were gun-free zones at the time. So I feel like if somebody’s going to come in and start shooting people, they’re not going to respect whether guns are allowed there or not. So I’d rather the opportunity for people who are trained to use their weapons to be allowed to have that protection in case of such an emergency, and have it on hand so that they’re able to exercise that right.

Chris Thomas
Asian studies and journalism senior from Ossining, NY

Oh, no, I would not feel safer. Because, for example, someone turns out to be — sorry to say — a little bit crazy, like in just one split second, he gets angry, he could shoot someone. I would not agree with that. It could kill many people for no reason.

Kandice Najjar
Chemistry junior from Amioun, Lebanon

I would actually feel less safe, just because if everybody’s going to be holding a weapon on them, who knows what type of motive they actually have for holding that. So, it could be bad, it could be good — nobody knows — but I’d rather not take that risk.

Diana Mendoza
Communication sciences and disorders junior from Alice

Probably less safe. It’s somewhat disconcerting to know that anybody can be carrying a firearm on campus. They’d have to be licensed, I’m sure, but the licensing process is not nearly as rigorous as I would like it to be, at the same time. I feel like, if you should be able to bring a firearm on campus, you should probably have to go through a psych evaluation of some sort.

Sarah Luckey
Classical archaeology, ancient history, and English junior from Dallas

Definitely less safe. I mean, I know the whole issue with guns has been a big thing, especially in Texas, but I’ve just never believed in owning firearms. I’m just one of those people who just doesn’t believe in them. So, definitely I would feel less safe. I mean, there was just that recent shooting in that community college in Houston, right?  There’s no reason to bring them on campus, so I don’t see the point in carrying one around.

Gracie Jaimes
Nutrition junior from Austin

Less safe. Well, I guess, it’s really because I come from a country where weapons aren’t that common. And, well, looking at the statistics, more guns lead to more gun violence, so I don’t think that giving people guns will make it any safer for the rest of us. So, yeah, I’m generally pretty much against guns. I think only policemen, military and maybe licensed hunters should carry them.

Michael Malcer
​American studies senior from Wuerzburg, Germany