As most of you have heard, HB1249, Representative Collins’ bill to put guns on our campuses without allowing our Boards to opt out, passed through the House Judiciary Committee this morning.
This was expected.
The crowd in opposition to the bill was overflowing. UAPD Police Chief Gahagans led off the testimony against the bill, and he was extraordinary: measured, authoritative, a true and rare expert in every sense of the word. President Welch, from ASU testified, as well as President Bobbitt. Everyone provided forceful and credible opposition. The community’s position on this unpopular bill is clear, and I want personally to thank everyone who joined our efforts. (I was unable to go because of teaching obligations, and so have now mastered the skill of lecturing and checking messages simultaneously!)
The bill will now go to the House floor, and then next week on to the Senate. It hasn’t yet been assigned a Senate committee.
In my opinion, it is very important that we see our efforts in a larger context. As I have often said—and so speak only for myself—my primary goal has always been to leave a public and articulate record of my disapproval of this destructive and dangerous bill, and together, we have done this and are continuing to do it.
This record will be vital as we approach the mid-terms in 2018, the next legislative session in 2019, and of course the national election in 2020. We are all constructing important narratives that will shape opinion as we move forward, and the fact that we are able to do this together is significant.
We will, of course, do everything that we can to make our opinions known as the bill passes into the Senate next week, and eventually the Governor’s office, if it finally lands there. Our Governor has expressed his support of the opt-out clause, but nothing is certain, especially since his veto, if it were exercised, only requires a simple majority to override.
But finally, I want to thank this organized and dedicated community. Opposition to the gun bill now is the strongest that it has ever been in this state, and I would hope that together we can parlay this energy into the kind of change, in other areas, that our state deserves.
So again, thank you very much for your support!