Fifty Years Later: 1966 Firing Lines

Editor's note: Reprinted below are the original firing lines from the Aug. 5, 1966 print edition of The Daily Texan.

Closed Doors

To the Editor:

I was one of a group of persons trapped in the Bursar’s office during Monday’s terror. The two public doors of the room were locked for us, but the doors are clear glass and offered no protection if Whitman had decided to descend from the Tower. The Newspaper Collection Room was locked and no one had a key. The only place of apparent safety was the tellers’ area behind the opaque green glass windows. When someone asked the employes behind the tellers’ windows if we could take shelter there,  the answer was no because the office contained money. It is no comfort to know that when you’re in danger of your life, the Bursar’s office is going to take care of your money. Thank God that Whitman chose not to come down.

Jeanette Calle
Taylor Hall 112



To the Editor: 

I feel the Students’ Association of the University of Texas should begin a collection for the construction of a memorial on the South Mall to the persons who were struck down by the sniper.

John D. Boswell
San Jacinto A. 226A


Sinking Feeling

To the Editor:

I have a sinking feeling that it is going to be the Tower rather than the memory of Charles Whitman that becomes the memorial to the futility that exists side by side with the humanitarian aspirations on this campus.

Dudley Lynch
1201-D Marshall Lane


Guns Hit

To the Editor:

Why, I am wondering, should long-bore rifles be allowed henceforth to remain in private hands at all?

All legitimate needs of private defense and sport can be met by less accurate weapons.

Is it a sport, for instance, to leisurely shoot at an unsuspecting animal from a quarter of a mile away? I submit that this, as sport, is perversion. Let hunters use weapons that will force them a bit closer to their quarry.

Dick Hazelett
2710 Nueces


Give Up Toys

To the Editor:

Who was to blame? Was Charles Whitman to blame for having lost his mind, as he apparently did? Were the rest of us to blame for failing to foretell the future last Monday morning? Or for lacking an “art to read the mind’s construction in the face?”

I say blame rest most heavily upon certain weapons now in the hands of the police. These weapons were designed and made for the very use to which they were put: the destruction of life.

How often the mere presence of a loaded gun turns an argument into a murder, a mistake into a personal tragedy—or insanity into a massacre! Can nothing be done about guns?

I’m afraid not. The good old National Rifle Association staunchly defends our right to folly. It is practically impossible to pass even laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and lunatics: those who have already demonstrated their instability. How about the rest of us, who have not yet blundered into felony? Like our clean-cut, all-American young Eagle Scout Charles Whitman, we can buy just all the guns we want. And we can use them tomorrow as he did Monday.

Can we ever give up our dangerous toys? Can we turn our backs on the lure of such dreadful and dramatic extensions of personal power? Can we forget our long tradition of TV Westerns and gangster movies, in which Good always outshoots Evil? I doubt it. I doubt if we can ever be wise enough to stop buying and keeping guns, or to prohibit their manufacture.

I feel very much like a deer.

Neil Hendricks
3907 Jefferson