Since 1st August 2016 ‘concealed carry’ is legal in Texas. It means that the state allows any licence-holder over 21 years of age to carry concealed handguns on their person while on university campus and into lectures.
Most educators in Texas are opposed to this for fear of the impact it will have of teaching contentious topics such as religion, politics and philosophy. But after the notorious shootings at Virginia Tech, Columbine and the University of Texas, some students welcome the ability to defend themselves. They also feel that it is a part of their culture as most of them are into hunting and target practise.
How would I feel if my friends and classmates were carrying lethal weapons? Would my teachers also be carrying them? How would that change the atmosphere of a lecture hall? The play ground? The pub? How would this ‘knowing but not knowing’ affect the relationships within the class?
As indicated by the statistics below, half the suicides in the USA are caused by firearms. This could be due to the ready availability of means.
US statistics 2013
Total number of deaths by suicide : 42,773
13.4 per 100,000 population.
Firearm suicides : Number of deaths: 21,334
6.7 per 100,000 population
Suffocation suicides : Number of deaths: 11,407
3.6 per 100,000 population
Poisoning suicides : Number of deaths: 6,808
2.1 per 100,000 population
In addition 505 deaths occurred due to accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm and 11,208 due to homicide.
I like the proposal made by one of the professors at the University of Texas. He proposes ‘open care’ instead of ‘concealed carry’. If everyone knew that no one was carrying arms, we could be more relaxed and be caring towards each other. How have we come to a place where carrying a phallus shaped toy in our bag is illegal and carrying a handgun is not?