Wednesday, July 13, 2016

UT Regents Modestly Improve Campus Carry Policy

Greg Fenves discussing gun-free zones with Wallace Hall

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;"
1 Peter 4:12

In politics, as in life, one advantage to low expectations is that occasionally they are exceeded; this morning's UT Board of Regents meeting, much like the whole campus carry process, cleared that hurdle.

During public testimony, C.J. Grisham of Open Carry Texas delivered remarks with which we largely concur.  C.J. said that the campus carry implementation group led by President Fenves "by and large" did a good job [Author's Note: By U.T. Standards].  Nevertheless, C.J. re-iterated the longstanding concerns related to the prohibition of firearms in dormitories and pointed out that requiring gun safes would solve the issues that were the alleged basis of the continuing prohibition.

C.J. Grisham talking with Chancellor McRaven

At their May meeting, the Regents punted on two motions to amend the policy.  Vice Chairman Jeffrey Hildebrand revived the first motion to remove a proposed prohibition on chambered rounds.  That motion sailed through 7-2, though it's worth pointing out that Steve Hicks and Sarah Martinez Tucker [Author's Note: Abbott Appointees.] carried water for the politburo.  Speaking of Sarah Martinez Tucker, during public testimony she went out of her way to congratulate two anti-Second Amendment students who re-iterated their opposition to firearms under any conditions.

(Abbott appointee) Regent Sarah Martinez Tucker congratulates anti-Second Amendment student
Wallace Hall did something awesome.  Responding to the previously discussed worries about the continuing prohibition of self-defense in dormitories, Regent Hall introduced a motion to prohibit gun-free zones anywhere on campus.  Brenda Pejovich seconded.  The motion was doomed from the start, but it's still pretty badass that Wallace Hall made them vote on it.  In the event of future litigation, let the record very clearly state that Regents Hall and Pejovich voted against gun-free zones on campus.

Regent Wallace Hall
Following Hall's motion related to campus-wide gun free zones, Alex Cranberg offered a more narrowly tailored motion over written signage to prohibit self-defense in faculty offices.  Hall asked Fenves "is there any downside" to removing ambiguity?!?  Fenves said that verbal notice was sufficient to comply with the law and deflected Hall's inquiry with a vague statement about not wanting to dictate office aesthetics to individual faculty members.  Hall subtly, but unmistakably, pointed out the hypocrisy of faculty members who are unwilling to advertise their own offices as gun-free zones.  In addition, Cranberg got Fenves to admit that a faculty member would have to individually inform each visitor to their office about an office prohibition without signage to satisfy the law.  Without explicit verbal prohibition every single time a visitor enters, the status of the office is actually in legal limbo.  Ultimately, Cranberg joined Hall and Pejovich in voting "aye," but the motion failed 3-6.

Maybe we have Stockholm syndrome.  Maybe we're grading them on a curve.  Nevertheless, at least by U.T. standards, we found the campus carry implementation process to be reasonably transparent and the final policy to be less than reprehensible.

Bottom Line: What was it a certain former Governor said about "the soft bigotry of low expectations"?!?

[Author's Note: You can read the system's press release here.]


Following the campus carry discussion, Chancellor McRaven gave a brief update on the ongoing Houston debacle 'stakeholder process.'  McRaven's two minute address was littered with buzzwords and cliches.  The phrases "generational effort" and "wide range of possibilities" stood out.

1 comment:

  1. Here let me fix that for you....

    UT Regents Still Circumvent the Legislative Intent of Campus Carry and Infringe on Gun Owners Civil Right