Texas Tech Shooting Renews Debate About Guns on Campus

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The shooting death of a Texas Tech University police officer has renewed the debate over a controversial state law that allows students and faculty to carry concealed handguns on campus.

Police said Hollis Daniels, 19, “produced a gun” at the campus police station in Lubbock on Monday night and used it to shoot and kill a university police officer, Floyd East Jr.

Daniels fled the station and was later arrested after an hour-long manhunt, police said.

Although it isn’t yet clear how Daniels was able to gain possession of a weapon, the shooting has reignited debate over SB11, a 2015 law commonly known as “campus carry,” which allows licensed handgun owners to carry weapons on campus.

Lisa Moore, an English professor at the University of Texas in Austin, has been locked in a legal battle to overturn the law since 2015. Moore said incidents like Monday’s shooting furthered the need to prevent students from being allowed to carry weapons.

Related: Authorities Identify Texas Tech Officer Killed in Campus Shooting that Suspect Called “Illogical”

“I think it’s really important not to let our awareness of the loss and sorrow and grief that an event like this causes to distract us from the fact that it is preventable,” she said. “Of course, this student had a gun with him because the idea that guns belong on college has been encouraged by our legislators.”

As news of the shooting spread on social media Monday, the official Twitter account for Texas Democrats posted a message, since been deleted, linking the incident to the “campus carry” policy.

In a statement to The Texas Tribune, lawmakers later apologized for the tweet, saying it was published before “the full facts of the investigation” had been made public.

Christopher Smith, a professor of musicology at Texas Tech, said he believed concealed handguns had no place on college campuses, whether they were licensed or not. Smith said he was attending a student recital on campus Monday when he got an emergency alert from the university officials saying that the campus was on lockdown and that a gunman was loose.




Image: Hemmle Recital Hall at Texas Tech University

Hemmle Recital Hall at Texas Tech University.