In light of the media attention surrounding the horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, we at the Texas chapter of Students for Concealed Carry wish to remind the media that we do not take a position on concealed carry at primary or secondary schools and, therefore, have nothing to contribute to the national dialogue about preventing such shootings. SCC’s sole objective is to ensure that trained, licensed adults (age 21 or above in Texas and most other states) are allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses as in other open, unsecured environments (e.g., movie theaters, churches, shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants, banks, the Texas Capitol). Although we understand and sympathize with those who believe that primary and secondary schools would be safer if faculty and staff were allowed to carry guns, we recognize that that issue is only tangentially related to the movement to allow concealed carry on college campuses (aka “campus carry”), and we wish to avoid conflating these two distinctly different issues.
College campuses are open environments populated with adults. People come and go freely, and the adults there (including students, faculty, staff, and administrators) are legally responsible only for their own safety. Yes, administrators are responsible for overall campus security, in the same way that a business owner is responsible for the security of his or her business, but they aren’t responsible for the safety of individuals on the campus. For example, a college administrator has no duty to break up a fight between two students, and a professor has no duty to make sure that his or her students get on the right bus after class.
On the other hand, a primary or secondary school is a controlled environment populated largely with children/adolescents. People’s comings and goings are closely monitored and regulated, and the few adults present (faculty, staff, and administrators) are charged with the task of safeguarding the students over whom they are afforded a limited measure of legal guardianship.
Although the push to allow concealed carry on college campuses is about allowing concealed handgun license (CHL) holders their usual measure of personal protection, the push to allow concealed carry in primary and secondary schools is about asking CHL holders to act as de facto security guards. This raises a host of issues not found in the debate over campus carry. One example of the disparity between these two issues is the question of whether or not CHL training is adequate to allow someone to serve as an armed security guard. In Texas, as in most states, the training required to obtain a CHL focuses on self-defense. CHL holders are taught to move away from the sound of gunfire, not rush toward it. Based on the training currently in place in Texas, a teacher with a CHL might be prepared to stop an active shooter from entering his or her classroom (a pretty standard self-defense scenario) but would, absent additional training, be unprepared to interdict in a shooting happening in another classroom. This concern and others like it dictate that questions about concealed carry at primary and secondary schools be addressed separately from questions about concealed carry on college campuses.
Since its inception, SCC has maintained the singular focus of promoting the legalization of licensed concealed carry on college campuses. We have never taken positions on open carry, unlicensed carry, or concealed carry in primary or secondary schools. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the horrific tragedy in Connecticut, but we have nothing to say on how to avoid this type of tragedy in the future.
Originally posted by Madison Welch on December 20th, 2012