Letter to the Editor: Gun-free zones are a lie

A “Gun Free Zone” is a lie. It is a lie propagated by those who are out of context with bad people, but nevertheless try to protect us with symbolic, feel-good efforts. A “Gun Free Zone,” supposed to keep us safe, but is in fact a “Killing Zone” for bad people.
These bad people are individuals focused on exacting retribution through mass killings. They plan to kill as many as possible, become famous, then end their lives with a last bullet, hoping to make some grandiose statement about their tortuous plight in life.
Bad people will not be deterred by symbolic, feel-good bans. Instead they will be attracted to and embolden by the prospect of an unfettered challenge to their righteous slaughter. Sandy Hook, Columbine and Virginia Tech were visited upon by such bad people. These bad people exacted their retribution through mass killings and morbidly benefited from the lie of a “Gun Free Zone.”
This is the context of a bad person’s belief system, and it is on these grounds and in this context our university system must answer the threat: a threat best answered by another gun. A gun used to confront, to prevent harm and preserve life.
At issue then is whether Texas public universities, will allow individuals, let’s call them “good people,” who already possess a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) to do what they already do in their normal day: carry a concealed weapon.
These individuals are trained in firearm safety and gun laws. They have undergone extensive background checks and proficiency tests, and add to the collective safety of us all by being able to pose a deterrence threat to those who would perpetrate violence. That deterrence threat is exactly what will keep the campus safe.
So would our campus be awash in guns if we allowed concealed carry? Not hardly. Statistics show that only .15% of individuals over the age of 21 acquire permits. Extrapolating this to UTSA’s population of 7,000 staff members and 10,000 21-year-old-plus students means that about 25 individuals would have CHL’s. Active carry rates among this group average about five percent, so at best we might have 1 or 2 people actually carrying a weapon at any time across the entire campus.
This seems to me to be a very small risk to gain a tremendous amount of safety.

Michael D. Noll
Adjunct Professor
College of Business
Department of Real Estate Finance and Development