In its third meeting of the year, College Republicans hosted Michael Cargill, Second Amendment expert and Central Texas Gun Works owner, for a talk involving Second Amendment rights and campus carry.
Cargill is a concealed handgun license instructor, and his business serves as a retail store and training facility for gun owners. During the talk, Cargill answered questions from organization members and detailed the laws surrounding open carry, concealed carry and firearms.
Cargill said the biggest aspect missing from the rhetoric surrounding issues such as open carry and concealed carry is knowledge about the laws already in place.
“It’s just knowing what the law is and knowing that licensed holders are the most law abiding people that we have here in the state of Texas,” Cargill said. “They are more law abiding than police officers. That stat about licensed holders goes all the way back to 1995, says that if you’re a licensed holder, you’re less likely to be convicted of a crime.”
Accounting sophomore Quinn Cox said during the meeting that he picks apartments based on if they allow guns on the premises and is personally for campus carry.
“It’s more about personal protection,” Cox said. “I believe there’s a consensus among the anti-campus carry that the purpose of the law is to prevent mass shootings when that’s not the purpose of the law. The purpose of the law is about protection and protection of personal liberty.”
Cox said he believes University administration leans left on political issues and should bring more right-leaning speakers like Cargill to campus.
International relations and global studies sophomore Hennessey Herrera said she plans to buy a gun as soon as she turns 21.
“I think that when it comes down to it, I want a way to be able to protect myself,” Herrera said. “I think if somebody comes into the classroom and they have a gun, I want to be able to protect myself from the people around me.”
While members of College Republicans seemed to agree that carrying a gun is a matter of personal safety, Cargill said he realizes having a firearm isn’t for everyone.
“It’s up to you to decide if that’s something you want to do because a gun is not necessarily for everyone, but I believe that everyone who can legally possess a gun should have the right to have one,” Cargill said. “But it’s not for everyone.”