University of Texas Chancellor Sends Message to Governor on Guns

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Texans are often stereotyped as gun-toting cowboys, holding on to fantasies of the Wild West. Republican Governor Rick Perry has done his best to preserve this image, in part by fighting against President Obama’s gun violence prevention efforts. But Perry himself increasingly faces resistance of his own, much of it from students and administrators at the state’s colleges and universities.

Francisco Cigarroa, Chancellor of the University of Texas System, wrote a letter to the governor outlining his objections to legislation that would allow concealed handguns to be carried on college campuses.

Cigarroa wrote that concerns are that guns on campus would increase accidental deaths and suicides, and that they could make it more difficult for law enforcement to distinguish perpetrators from bystanders during a shooting.

“During my tenure as Chancellor, parents, students, faculty, staff, administrators and institutional law enforcement officers have all expressed concern that the presence of concealed weapons on our campuses will make the campus environment less safe,” he wrote.

This mirrors a national trend in which legislative efforts to allow weapons on college campuses are resisted by students, staff, and faculty.

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