Act 226, previously known as House Bill 1243, was introduced to the state Legislature by Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville. When fi rst authored, the bill would require that all public institutions of higher learning across the state allow concealed fi rearms on their campuses.
Because of substantial pressure and fear that his bill would fail (again), he introduced an amendment to allow these schools to optout of the requirement.
With nearly 50 colleges and universities across Arkansas opting out of allowing guns on their campuses, and the remaining having not yet voted, it seems Collins has made a huge mistake.
Actually, the word “mistake” implies that he didn’t know that what he was doing at the time was bad for Arkansas. Collins knew exactly what he was doing and all of the consequences that came with it.
He knew citizens acrossthe state opposed the bill.
He knew student and faculty senates across the state had voted against supporting such a bill. He knew David Gearhart, chancellor of the largest university of the state, had signed a letter denouncing attempts to get guns on campus.
Everywhere he looked, Collins faced push back, yet he continued to pursue the bill. He sacrificed the safety of thousands of students and professors across the state in the name of cheap political gain.
Luckily, Collins is an elected oft cial. This means he can be held accountable by those he was elected to represent. That is why on Nov. 4, 2014, the people of District 84 (or statewide, depending upon where his name is present on the ballot) must go to their voting booths and ensure that a man who has no regard for his constituents will not hold public oft ce any longer.
Opinion, Pages 5 on 08/24/2013