The following paragraphs open an investigative article by Adam Weinstein titled “The Secret History of the Campus Carry Movement”:
“June 13, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott visited an indoor shooting range in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville. Abbott wasn’t there to chew up targets. Rather, with a wall of long guns as his backdrop, the governor signed into law a recently passed bill he ardently supported. The measure, called campus carry, permits handguns in dorms, cafeterias, and student unions at state universities and community colleges. Abbott’s bit of political stagecraft served as a victory lap for legislation that had nearly died in the Republican-dominated House. Sponsors gained the necessary support for the measure only after watering it down at the eleventh hour, limiting carry privileges on Texas campuses to holders of concealed-gun permits, and agreeing that it would take effect only at public schools and only in places not deemed off-limits by school administrations.
“No wonder that some of the same activists who lobbied for campus carry in Texas renounced the bill that ultimately passed. ‘We got outplayed on every front,’ one such group, Students for Concealed Carry, said in a statement published by the Houston Chronicle, adding that the organization would ‘appreciate it if the bill’s authors and sponsors would quit confusing the issue by claiming victory for our side.’
“It was a remarkable statement. For one thing, it came from the group that—more so than the National Rifle Association—was largely responsible for generating media and legislative interest in campus carry. For another, the Texas bill was the closest thing campus-carry advocates have had to a success in years.
“The movement to legalize campus carry was born in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting at a university in U.S. history. On April 17, 2007—one day after Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho systematically shot and killed 32 people and injured another 17 before turning one of his guns on himself—college pupils in several states formed Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, as the group was originally called. Before then, no one had seriously pressed for arming college students and professors. ‘These state laws and these school policies that prohibit concealed carry on college campuses stack the odds in favor of dangerous criminals who have no concern for following the rules,’ one early SCC leader, Texas-based community-college student W. Scott Lewis, told Newsweek.
“SCC’s message didn’t resonate with the majority of Americans after Virginia Tech. And it still doesn’t, despite how the issue flares up with each new school shooting. Over the past several years, the NRA and other gun-rights groups have scored a series of legislative victories in states across the country, including the passage of Stand Your Ground and concealed-carry laws. But campus carry is the rare steady loser. Of the roughly 70 bills introduced in the past five years to loosen university restrictions on firearms nationwide, barely any have passed. In the last year alone, 15 states considered campus-carry-related legislation. Only one of those bills became law: the diluted measure in Texas. Other states that proudly tout their Second Amendment bona fides, like Florida and Montana, have repeatedly killed campus-carry plans while rubber-stamping other gun-rights proposals.”
The rest of this excellent article is available at: http://www.thetrace.org/2015/07/the-making-of-the-campus-carry-movement/.
The article has been published on a new website established by Bloomberg News to advocate for reasonable gun legislation nationwide. The site is called The Trace, and what follows is a announcement that has been distributed to progressive mailing lists nationwide:
“For years, the gun lobby has worked tirelessly to suppress information about gun violence in this country–from the “trace data” that helps police track guns found at crime scenes to the social science research on the risks that firearms pose in the home.
“So what’s the best way to fight back? Shine a light RIGHT on the problem.
“That’s why I want to introduce you to The Trace, a new, independent digital magazine dedicated to daily, in-depth coverage of guns in America. It’s the only news outlet exclusively covering America’s gun violence epidemic.
“The Trace‘s staff writers and editors bring decades of experience from The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, New York magazine, TIME, BuzzFeed, andPBS FRONTLINE to their work.
“Here are some articles from The Trace that are already providing readers with new, vital information and analysis:
–“The Secret History of the Campus Carry Movement” | Read >
–“Gun-Rights Advocates Claim Criminals Don’t Follow Gun Laws. Here’s the Research That Shows They’re Wrong.” | Read >
–“New Study Finds No Advantages to Using a Gun for Self-Defense” | Read >
–“Just Another Bloody Summer in America” | Read >
“I encourage you to explore these articles and to sign up to get the daily roundup in your inbox starting tomorrow.”
A box in which you can enter your e-mail to receive the free updates in located at the bottom of the home page: http://www.thetrace.org/