"It's strictly a matter of self-defense," said state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio. "I don't ever want to see repeated on a Texas college campus what happened at Virginia Tech, where some deranged, suicidal madman goes into a building and is able to pick off totally defenseless kids like sitting ducks.”
This is the main reasoning given to those who doubt the gun bill legislation being pushed through the Texas State Congress. The bill would allow students and teachers to carry guns on campus, making it the second state, behind Utah, to enact such legislature. However, would a shootout on campus be a good idea? And how will the state legislature be able to avoid being voted out of office if and when a shooting occurs on one of Texas' 38 campuses.
The Department of Public Safety's public information (pr) should at this point already be working on a contingency plan for when this bill backfires on them. First, legislators better be ready to go to every university campus, and address real fears and concerns over the new legislation. The number of students concerned with the bill are numerous, so any spokesperson or representative sent to a college campus better be ready to answer many questions. The majority of students oppose the bill, saying the wouldn't feel any safer in classes and would actually be more fearful knowing a classmate has a gun on them. Let's note that the maturity level and emotional IQ of some college students is not there. Parties and guns do not mix under any circumstance. Republicans in Austin are failing to communicate with their public, the first rule of pr, and are simply not listening to countless students say they are uncomfortable with a gun on campus.
Second, the legislators better have some kind of contingency plan when an emergency occurs. If a shooting occurs in the next fours year on a Texas college campus, the majority of representatives will be voted out of office. This might be a prime opportunity for Democrats to claim the governor's seat, which has been in Republican power since 1994. That year George W. Bush beat Ann Richards, ending the Democratic party's hold over the Texas legislature.
Finally, whether or not a shooting does occur, Rick Perry and his cohorts in Austin will have to answer to a large voting demographic, young voters, who will be outraged over the legislation he has signed off on, and rightfully so. This is where legislators need to write op-ed pieces, and the DPS needs to be releasing news release and facts sheets.
Whatever the result is, and as hard as it is to keep my opinion out of this, Republican legislators have a huge public relations debacle on their hands already and not a single shot has been fired.