The Corner

Law & the Courts

A Texas Judge Turns Back an Irrational Challenge to Campus Carry

Here’s a piece of judicial good news. Yesterday, a Texas trial court dismissed a court challenge to Texas’s campus carry law that was based, of all things, on the First Amendment. No, really:

Plaintiffs allege that “classroom discussion will be narrowed, truncated, cut back, cut off” by the allowance of guns in the classroom. One professors avers in an affidavit that the “possibility of the presence of concealed weapons in a classroom impedes my and other professors’ ability to create a daring, intellectually active, mutually supportive, and engaged community of thinkers.”

This, of course, is cowardly, ignorant nonsense. I’ve spent more than my share of time in college classes that covered contentious topics, and not once did they generate so much as fisticuffs, much less deadly violence. Moreover, lawful concealed carriers represent a segment of the population more law-abiding than the police.

If violence erupts, it’s overwhelmingly likely to come from someone who’s not lawfully carrying. Moreover, if the worst does happen, those same professors would likely find themselves fervently praying that one of their other students was armed and capable of defending themselves and the rest of the class.

Fortunately, the court had little patience for the plaintiffs’ claims, striking them down on standing grounds:

Here, Plaintiffs ask the court to find standing based on their self-imposed censoring of classroom discussion caused by their fear of the possibility of illegal activity by persons not joined in this lawsuit. Plaintiffs present no concrete evidence to substantiate their fears, but instead rest on “mere conjecture about possible actions.”

The court thus found there was no alleged “injury-in-fact” and dismissed the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

The plaintiffs’ case may be dead for now, but no doubt their fears are still very much alive. An appeal may well follow, and one hopes that a panel of perhaps more liberal judges can also discern the truth — irrational alarm is no grounds for litigation.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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