PUBLIC VIEWPOINT: Attack On Representative Collins Unfair

I am writing to protest an unfair attack on my state Rep. Charlie Collins in a letter to the editor dated Aug. 24.

The author, a University of Arkansas college student who neglected to identify himself as president of the UA College Democrats, really needs to take one of those logic courses offered by the UA Department of Philosophy. His premise is that Charlie’s successful efforts to protect college students by permitting faculty and staff the same right to carry concealed weapons on campus as they already have off-campus was a huge and unpopular mistake (and) is undermined by his assertion that by so doing he made a “cheap political gain.” How do you achieve political gain by making a gigantic mistake?

Aaron Gibson, the letter’s author, called for voters to hold Collins “accountable” for attempting to protect Arkansas’ college campuses by ending their status as “free fire zones” for any wacko with a gun. Exhibit A, the Virginia Tech Massacre. April 16, 2007.

Gibson was probably in junior high at the time so he may not remember Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, before committing suicide. In August 2007, the Virginia Tech Review Panel Report recommended that the state’s General Assembly adopt legislation “establishing the right of every institution of higher education to regulate the possession of frearms on campus if it so desires.”

The legislation Gibson decries passed the Arkansas House with the support of 70 representatives - a 70 percent margin - and the Arkansas Senate with the support of 31 Senators, an 88 percent margin.

Obviously Act 226 has broad bipartisan support.

Many Democrats voted “aye” and Gov. Beebe, also a Democrat, signed Act 226 into law.

Aaron should do his homework before writing a letter to the editor.

Opinion, Pages 5 on 09/02/2013

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