For some, campus carry is personal

Ruben Paquian

The right to possess a firearm is more than just a political stance for accounting junior Quinn Cox — it’s a personal matter. 

As the southwest director of national organization Students for Concealed Carry, or SCC, Cox has had a lifelong passion for guns. It started when he was three years old, when Cox said his father was put in a situation where he became concerned for his family’s safety.

From hearing this story growing up, Cox said he became passionate about protecting his and everyone’s right to carry.

“Obviously not everyone is going to be put in that situation, but if you’re a law abiding citizen … there’s no reason for (my father) not to be able to have that ability (to carry),” Cox said.

Cox began his involvement in the subject’s politics during his freshman year. At a meeting for student libertarian organization Young Americans for Liberty, Cox was approached by the previous southwest director to start a UT chapter for SCC.

Since then, he has moved from being the UT chapter’s vice president to the position he currently holds. Cox is now responsible for setting up new chapters in the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas as well as being a spokesperson for the organization.

Cox became southwest director on Aug. 1 of this year, the same day campus carry was legalized for two-year institutions. Right off the bat, he had to juggle summer school, SCC interviews and his internship working for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Cox said he’s having difficulties getting chapters set up now that there is already a campus concealed carry bill in place. He argues that there is still a need for Texas chapters to advocate for improvements to the bill as it is full of loopholes.

One of the loopholes explained by Cox is that the bill allows a professor to verbally request a student to leave their bags, possibly containing a firearm, outside of their office. To Cox, this is a violation of the individuals’ right to personal safety. 

“Why inconvenience students who are interested in their personal protection?” Cox said.

Tayler Johnson, a corporate communication and philosophy senior, said despite coming from a conservative family, he disagrees with Cox and argues for the professors’ right. 

“To the point of ‘It’s for private safety’, when does it become a point to where somebody else’s safety has to be put above my own?” Johnson said. 

In contrast, history junior Morgan Wallace agrees with Cox, saying that there is no added danger from students carrying firearms if they have the proper licenses.

“Those people, 99.99 percent of the time, are not intending to do anyone any harm. If they are, there should be systems in place to catch those people before they get a gun in their hand,” Wallace said.

Although there are many on campus who don’t agree with campus carry, as proven by the “Gun Free UT” signs around campus, Cox said he applauds their protest despite disagreeing with them.

“I personally like that people are taking initiative on things that they believe in,” Cox said.