If you knew the person next to you could be carrying a gun, would you be willing to express yourself? This is the question facing college students in Texas as they headed back to school.
On August 1, Senate Bill 11, known as the campus carry law, went into effect in Texas. This law allows students at state universities who have licenses to carry concealed handguns to bring those guns anywhere on campus, with the exception of “exclusion zones.”
What is an “exclusion zone”? The majority of dorms are “exclusion zones” but not some research centers, some classrooms, religious centers, day care centers, health centers, veteran center and the LGBTQ Resource Center. “Wow, I just assumed it was, out of common sense,” was University of Houston student Robyn Foley’s reaction when Foley learned that the center was not an “exclusion zone.”
University of Houston faculty member Elizabeth Gregory states that many faculty members are concerned about the law and how it will affect class discussions especially with controversial subjects. “The whole point of being at university is being able to speak your mind,” she said. “This dampens that because people never know what the person next to them might be thinking about what they are saying.”
How would this law affect your college experience? Would you be willing to express yourself, if you knew the person next to you was concealing a weapon? On the flip side, do you feel any safer knowing your fellow classmates are concealing, or more scared? Leave a comment and let HL know what you think.
, gun violence
, LGBT youth
, LGBTQ youth
, University of Houston