To the editor: While I appreciate Cohe Bolin’s attempt to write a balanced article about the guns-on-campus bill (“Target: Campus,” May 6, 2009), I felt that she made it appear that there are as many supporters as there are those opposed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I was at the anti-gun rally in Austin, and there were only two students marching in favor of the bill while 300 University of Texas students, parents, legislators, and staff members protested against it. When the students entered the capitol to express their dissent to the House committee, they were searched before entering the visitors’ gallery, since concealed handguns are now banned. How ironic that our legislators aren’t worried about students shooting a gun, unless it’s aimed at them. And what did the committee members have to say? Nothing: Those lily-livered legislators canceled their meeting when they observed the large dissenting crowd. In the Senate committee, the bill passed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (May 12), after amendments were defeated that would have banned guns from dorm rooms and that would have let individual colleges opt out, keeping guns off their campuses.
The big question is why 75 House members and 13 senators would sponsor a bill that every college and university in Texas has opposed. The answer lies in the number of National Rifle Association lobbyists walking capitol halls. They expect total loyalty and threaten to withdraw campaign funds or campaign against any legislator who dares to oppose them. Sadly there’s no lobbyist representing the parents who have lost children to gun accidents or suicide, no lobbyist to represent the 30,000 victims of gun violence killed every year, no lobbyist who’ll refute the lie that a student is safer with a gun than without one.