The ominous 50th anniversary of the University of Texas mass shooting from atop the 307-foot UT Tower should signal lawmakers in states like Kansas to abort plans to allow firearms on university and college campuses.
Unless a new Legislature repeals the law in early 2017, next July people in Kansas will be able to carry firearms onto community college, college and university campuses, despite widespread opposition from faculty and staff.
The pro-gun logic is that having more people armed will prevent mass shootings from occurring or minimize injuries and loss of life.
But more guns will only result in more accidents and more problems.
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The nation remembered Aug. 1, 1966, as the day former Marine Charles Whitman took guns and ammunition to the top of the Tower, and then began shooting. He killed 14 people and wounded dozens of others before Austin police fatally shot him. Whitman had killed his wife and mother the night before.
Aug. 1 also was when Texas’ campus-carry law went into effect. It will enable people to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of dozens of public community colleges, colleges and universities. That affects tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff.
The Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus, founded in 2008 to urge colleges and universities to collectively oppose the gun lobby, said in a news release that people should honor those killed and wounded and think “about ways in which we can reduce gun violence in our nation and preserve safety on America’s campuses.”
Everyone should be concerned that states continue to liberalize gun laws, enabling more people to carry firearms.
In Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a wide-ranging gun bill that the Republican-dominated legislature passed this year.
As passed by lawmakers too often controlled by the gun lobby, it would eliminate the requirement to get a permit to legally be in public with a concealed firearm.
Under the bill, the penalty for carrying a gun into a building where it’s not permitted would be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
And the bill would establish a “stand your ground” law — the first in the country since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death in February 2012 in Florida by George Zimmerman.
Efforts have been underway in the General Assembly for weeks to muster enough votes to sustain Nixon’s veto next month. For safety’s sake, that needs to happen.