The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Debate shows students divided over state’s concealed carry bill

By Marley Malenfant/feature editor

Student Political Awareness Club and Students for Concealed Carry on Campus debated Should Guns be Allowed on Campus April 20 on NE Campus.

NE student and SPAC member Bianca Gutierrez argued that if a state bill passes allowing concealed weapons on campus, it will persuade students to purchase a gun and get a license.

“This idea of passing the bill is going to promote the idea of owning a gun,” she said.

Jason Bowman spoke first for SCCC, saying college crimes and suicides usually occur before students enter the classroom.

“There is an increased number of suicides among students,” he said. “However, most of those suicides occur at home. Ninety percent occur at home. The laws that we’re proposing are not going to change that rate.

“Campus police do a good job of keeping us safe. A lot of these crimes occur in the parking lot. You look at UTA’s crime statistics. There’s quite a few armed robberies, rapes, things like this that occur in a parking lot. You can’t put a cop in a backpack.”

SCCC member Clayton Smith argued that those with concealed handgun licenses are least likely to commit crimes.

“The conviction rate is 0.15 percent for CHL holders,” he said.

Gutierrez argued that like the tobacco ban on campus, guns should also stay banned.

Bowman replied, “Tobacco causes cancer. Guns don’t.”

Gutierrez also threw a verbal jab at Smith, highlighting his empty gun holster case against TCC.

“Didn’t a student here sue TCC for having an empty gun holster that’s supposed to hide a gun?” she asked referring to Smith.

Gutierrez was cut off and reminded to stick with the debate and not attack the other debaters.

She said students need to find another way to defend themselves without purchasing a handgun.

“We can teach our kids taekwondo or karate instead,” she said. “That’s what our police are for, to carry guns.”

Bowman said having students learn a form of fighting is ludicrous.

“It takes decades to learn martial arts, and it’s inferior to a gun,” he said. “We hear all the time that people are going to snap. Even my wife told me this. It’s people with psychological issues that cause shootings. Not some straight A student who just one day snaps.”

NE student Adam Beck agreed that concealed carry on campus should be allowed.

“It’s our constitutional rights,” he said. “If we can’t keep our rights, why do we have them?”

NE student Jimmy Vaughn said the debate may have left the room divided.

Clayton Smith

“Some of the arguments were effective,” he said. “It was very opinion-based and emotional, no logic behind it.”

Smith was confident he got his point across during the debate.

“I think we got a lot of facts out there instead of a lot of emotional arguments,” he said.

NE student Gloria Nunes said both sides made well-rounded arguments.

“The team that was pro-guns on campus said a lot of interesting things and had some good facts, but I still wouldn’t want to carry a gun or know people who have guns on campus,” she said.

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