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2016-08-23 10:05:16

area readers tell us whether state legislators should expand gun rights Should Texas expand its gun laws to let people openly carry handguns and bring guns on college campuses?Pat Patterson, Plano: So we don't think that college kids should be trusted to make good choices with alcohol, but they're going to be model citizens of restraint with firearms? These bills are nothing more than the continued feeding by the GOP dominated Legislature of "red meat" to their base. In this instance, the open carry "enthusiasts" are living in a dream world, one in which they are cool, level headed Matt Dillons who will be able to calmly and accurately dispatch any and all "bad guys" once they are able to legally strap their low hanging gun belts on and, of course, never hitting an innocent bystander. If they want to return to the days of the Wild West, fine. Let's start with the most common local ordinance you'd actually see in Dodge City, Tombstone, Abilene, et al: "City limits: no carrying of firearms allowed in [town name here]. Check your firearms immediately at the sheriff's office."Olan Knight, Murphy: Responsible campus carry is a great idea. No law abiding citizen who earns their concealed handgun license should be prohibited from carrying on any college campus. A gun gives a 90 pound woman a chance against a 200 pound predator. Remember that "gun free zone" really means "no risk, target rich environment."In my honest opinion, open carry is a terrible idea for two reasons: First, open carry means no learning requirements. Unlike a CHL, where you learn the laws of Texas, the responsibility of a gun owner and the consequences for various actions, open carry has zero training requirements.I'm all for the Second Amendment, but I think it is reasonable to

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require that people to have some minimal training when carrying around devices designed to kill. The best example of this is driving. Second, if you open carry, you will be the first target of the bad guys. That seems pretty obvious to me.Shirley McGlothlin, Plano: We have enough gun nuts as it is. We don't need more people loosing their temper and firing a gun. It appears guns have taken over control of good common sense. I would think one life saved by a legal gun carrier isn't enough evidence to overlook the many others who are shot or killed just because a gun was within reach.Vicki McManus, Plano: I do not think it is a wise thing to do. I think it would be unnerving to me to see people walking around with their guns. As to having them on campus, there are many immature young people going to college some of whom I would not trust with a gun, concealed or open carry.Barbara Hanson, Plano: The question of expanding gun laws to allow for open carry and carrying on campuses is so ridiculous that I find it difficult to respond. I don't see open carry as a deterrent. I see it more as a challenge a "bet I can pull my gun faster than you can pull yours" mentality.I see no value in handguns; I only see needless death and injury. Guns on campuses? Gee, I don't think that's a good idea. I can guarantee you that innocent people will be shot and killed even more than now, which is hard to imagine. I don't have a lot of confidence in my elected officials in Austin to do the right thing as it pertains to this issue. In truth, the future terrifies me. I'm very glad both of my children have graduated from college and won't come face to face with a gun toting student. At the risk of revealing my age, I so wish we could all put away our electronic devices and our guns for ten minutes and talk to each other.Mark Owen, Plano: It is quite telling that the first thing on the agenda in Texas is guns not education, not drinking water, not public health, but guns. I agree with Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo when he said both bills would cause problems and wondered aloud, "What are we trying to fix?" I am no expert on God, but I don't agree that carrying a gun is a God given right, nor do I believe that any one legislator's interpretation of God and God's opinions belongs in our legislative deliberations. Guns don't belong on university campuses, nor do they belong in bars or churches.I, for one, will not knowingly do business in a public place where guns are being carried by the general public because I believe it unnecessarily increases my risk of an accident with said guns. Knowing folks around me in public places are carrying guns will create a fear that I am in danger when it didn't exist before. If I feel there is a clear and present danger nearby, I will call a professional law enforcement officer, not call out for anyone or everyone with a gun to confront my perceived threat.Having been in a bar one time when customers drew their weapons over a young lady they were each trying to gain favor with, I can tell you: No one in the bar was safe. Two innocent bystanders were wounded, and one of the Don Juans will always walk with a limp. Most of the folks I have met that want to carry guns in public are the last persons I would give a license to do so.Sam Kartalis, Plano: Let's all get realistic and remove our rose colored glasses. The world is awash with guns and ammo. Except for the military, most of those are in the hands of criminals and murderers. Gun laws only affect honest, law abiding citizens the same group of people who need protection from lawless gun owners. Sure, you will always have a few crazies who get through our screening process, but I trust those with licenses rather than the criminals.John Thomas, Wylie: Being an old person and a veteran, I grew up where we had open carry. You usually saw gun racks in pickups, and they often times had guns in them. We were in a small town and surrounded by farmland. Most of us were taught how to handle guns. Even though open carry was legal at that time, the local police discouraged Ray Ban Sunglasses it. So we did not wander around town carrying guns.Now there were several times when some groups came in from rabbit hunting and stopped at the local drive in and went inside to eat and talk. We looked like bandits taking off all the rifles and handguns and storing them in the trucks. However, this was a different time and place. I cannot imagine this happening today.Society has different set of standards today. The ability to have a gun is in the Constitution, but the privilege to carry one about unrestricted should be subject to some controls. I like the concealed carry option, however I would like to see more training required. Open carry is another thing; this invites to many opportunities for encounters due to posturing by men.The carrying of guns on the campus of any learning institution should never happen. The general population of those institutions in general are not familiar with what to do in situations that may result from a shooter. If you will recall all types of armed units, be it civilian or military, train and train some more to be able to respond correctly to difficult situations. I would hate to put someone who has gotten a concealed carry permit in a situation where their response may kill or injure someone.David Mahaffy, Plano: The proposed campus carry law would not change who is permitted to carry a handgun, but where someone who is already licensed may carry it. To rephrase the question, "Why should we prohibit CHL holders from carrying in buildings on campus, when that group already carries almost everywhere else and has an offense rate lower than police officers?"Irma MyersDonihoo, Plano: No, if anything we should be restricting our gun laws and enforcing the federal ones in place. If terrorists killed as many Americans as Americans do "innocently" with handguns on a daily basis, we would be in an uproar. I wish more people actually realized that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with the rights of individuals to carry guns.Ted Gold, Plano: Thirteen states now allow open carry with a permit. Thirty one states now allow open carry no permit needed. With 88 percent of states allowing, open carry it, like gay marriage, is a right that needs to be taken away from state jurisdiction and become one of federal jurisdiction. Texas should not remain contrarian to the rest of this nation.Donald J. Dupier, Plano: Isn't it amazing that so many people feel the pathetic need to walk around armed, on campus or off, as if this was still the Wild West of yore? And, as if that isn't bad enough, they now want to swagger around with them openly displayed so that everyone will know that they are real men (and women) and are not to be fooled with. Meanwhile, the rest of us who are not so scared or paranoid will have to put up with the danger from these itchy trigger fingered nutcases.Billie Lee Tinoco, Plano: I oppose expansion of gun laws to allow the open carry of handguns. When law enforcement, heads of universities and the public are opposed to expanded open carry gun laws, you must pause and reflect on the feasibility of allowing hand guns in classrooms, libraries and on campuses.Statements by some of the proponents of this law have caused me to question the character and intent of some who are asking for open carry. Outright threats to lawmakers who think guns should not be allowed in college classrooms segued into thinly veiled threats by these open carry advocates who think they have a God given right to create an atmosphere of fear and anxiety in the general public. What about a student who should have a right to attend class without the open display of weaponry?Howard Clapper, Wylie: Open carry is a bad idea no matter how you look at it. I come from a military family with my father, brothers, myself, my wife, my son and his wife all veterans. We know and own guns. But speaking for myself, I don't feel good about sitting in IHOP eating with my family knowing the guy in the next booth is sporting his gun and holster in full view so he can pretend he is John Wayne. And we don't need them in classrooms either. That is the last thing we need to see when the student contests his grade with his professor or he is upset because he owes a balance for unpaid tuition and he can't get a transcript. These clowns we have in the Legislature and governor's office should be recalled if they pass this foolish bill.Barry Rosen, Plano: Open carry is nothing more than an invitation for a small minority among us to intimidate and frighten the rest of us. How comfortable would you be to walk into Starbucks for a cup of coffee and be faced with several people holstering handguns?I can tell you that I would turn around and walk right out and would let management know that I would not be back unless such displays are banned. And what could possibly go wrong with allowing guns on college campuses? After all guns, immaturity and alcohol are a perfect mix, if what you want is more shootings, both accidental and otherwise.Ray Norton, Plano: I am very much for concealed carry laws. I have no issue with them. When it comes to open carry, I do not think it is a good idea. This increases the possibility of accidental discharge and unwanted confrontation. Corral. Navy in Da Nang, Viet Nam in 1970. When I arrived in country, all security personnel of E 4 and above could be issued a.45 caliber pistol and a M 16 rifle. We carried them with us pretty much all of the time and kept them in our locker next to our beds. There were so many issues with accidental discharges, attempted suicides and confrontation between service men that severe restrictions were placed on when and how they were carried. Eventually, all sidearms were taken away and put behind the security desk when we were not on duty.

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