Monday, February 21, 2011

Wade Watch: Yes to guns at our state colleges and universities

Sorry I'm late, I had forgotten my gun. You got a problem with that teach?

Tom Wade, the gun-toting, Starbucks loving, Bucks-supporting host of 1090 AM radio's Wake Up Laredo was at it again this morning, true to form. I only got to listen to part of the show, but I'm guessing that Wade opened up with the same story that today's Laredo Morning Times did: Guns on campus. Apparently, the Texas GOP is poised to pass a gun law that would allow concealed firearms on the state's colleges and universities. Not surprisingly, Wade's take on this was sort of "What took you so long?".

I wonder if the free exchange of ideas at our institutions of higher-learning will be hindered in any respect by this new law. Some class discussions can get pretty heated, especially those dealing with political and/or sociological issues. What are the chances that some students will refrain from truly speaking their minds when someone with an opposing viewpoint, sitting only a few feet away, is packing heat? What if that person is a right or left leaning extremist and is just  "itching like a finger on the trigger of a gun" as Paul Simon would say?

I wonder if Mr. Wade feels that guns in this type of setting present even the slightest infringement upon Americans' first amendment rights. It would be interesting to hear his take on this view. The Bill of Rights grants us Freedom of Speech. What happens when that freedom is impinged upon by another right (right to bear arms)? What say you, Tom Wade?

Maybe next we see a political debate in Texas, both candidates will be armed and ready for bear.


  1. Max, thanks for listening in. I did say this morning that one thing that seems to be overlooked in the debate is that people who have a CHL (concealed handgun license)spend a lot of training time on dispute resolution. In fact the class teaches you to escape from dangerous situations and only utilize the force of a handgun to protect yourself or another person from bodily harm. It is this training and understanding of our legal system (lawsuits) that teaches potential gun carriers that shooting someone is not the way to go if you can avoid it. It is a last resort. Now, if I had a kid in college, I would want to know that trained people could interupt a fanatic from harming my child.
    On the other side, I understand all the hysteria about "kids" having guns and going to class or parties and getting crazy. Well, the facts are, you must be 21 to obtain a CHL, you cannot take a gun into a place that does more than 50% of its buisness in the sale of alcohol, and if the school decides to ban the carrying, they can do so. On this last point, there may be no option at the Texas public colleges. Not sure.
    I would say that like the hysteria that allowing citizens to carry guns would lead to massive shoot outs and hundreds killed, that the concern over college students (not kids) carrying licensed concealed weapons on a college campus is overblown.

  2. On you point about first amendment infringements, I don't see how a person who has a concealed weapon could itimidate a debate. If the weapon is concealed properly, who would know?
    Now, if you are saying that on the campus in general there might be a fear of the policy, and that might cause a lack of free debate and expression, I agree with you, that could happen.
    So now comes that risk/reward thing I am always talking about. Let's measure the risk, limited speech and expression due to fear of the polity vs. the reward, potentially stopping a fanatic from performing another Virginia Tech type incident or at a minium preventing one on one violent crimes on individual students who choose self defense.
    Of course, there must be honest, and open debate over the risk/reward.

    This link (a blog by college students) states the case much better than I did.

  3. Tom Wade, thanks for reading and responding. I understand that if the weapon is concealed, then how does one know? That's exactly my point, how does one know that someone else is NOT carrying. I also understand that in measuring the risk reward, you see limited free speech as worth sacrificing for safety's sake (stopping an armed fanatic). I think most people would see it this way also. BUT, you always hear how soldiers have given their lives so that everyone can have freedom of speech (not limited speech)here in this country. So then, having said that, do you still opt for limiting speech? You probably still would as would most-but what if the fanatic is himself has obtained a CHL? Is the state liable? Again, thanks for reading.