The Lariat’s Oct. 20 editorial, “A hard situation: UT Austin movement sparks national campus carry debate,” misrepresented the facts about the new bizarre protest against Texas’ new law allowing concealed carry of handguns on campus.
There’s a reason it’s called “concealed” carry and not open carry. According to the University of Texas website, “It is now — and will still be — illegal to display a firearm in campus buildings as well as on campus streets, sidewalks, walkways, etc.”
Someone intentionally displaying a firearm without cause (even if they had a concealed carry license) would be guilty of a crime and subject to arrest, while someone displaying a dildo (for whatever weird reason) could only be guilty of violating UT’s obscenity policy – and that’s assuming the campus police would actually care about such a violation.
The obscenity policy at UT says “No person or organization will distribute or display on the campus any writing or visual image, or engage in any public performance, that is obscene…” Read it closely. It’s not carrying the item around that matters. It’s the display. And the same standard holds to guns – except that those carrying guns must be 21 years old, undergo training, and file paperwork to obtain a license, a process UT expects less than 1% of its students to go through.
Carrying a handgun on campus at UT has been legal for more than 20 years, according to the university. So it’s not like this is a big change – the law just now allows license-holders to carry their handguns inside buildings. If you ever walk around a university campus or spend any time in a public park, street, or restaurant in any of the 50 states, there have been people around you who were carrying concealed handguns. Is allowing the same in university buildings really such a drastic change?
The editorial should have brought up more of these points and focused less on the blatant attempts at sexual innuendo.
Daniel Huizinga, Class of 2015 alumnus