We did the impossible: we defeated guns-on-campus. Your calls made the difference.

We just did the impossible.

Just now, the 82nd Texas Legislature adjourned sine die, marking the end of the regular session. And we have won.

When this session began, our closest allies told us we had no hope of defeating the concealed handguns on campus legislation. "It's going to pass," one House member said, shaking his head.

The media even gave up on us for a month or so after the Associated Press ran a headline: "Texas Poised to Pass Bill Allowing Guns on Campus." They barely reported on the public hearings after that story — right up until your phone calls flipped two Senate votes.

But you kept the faith. You stayed involved.

I used to believe that sunlight cleanses government — that media attention frightened politicians into doing the right thing. In this case, your phone calls made the difference.

With that said, the fight is not over. There is a small chance that Senator Wentworth or others could try to amend guns-on-campus onto another piece of legislation during special session. It's hard, but it's not impossible.

Other groups are in an uphill battle  — similar to our own  — to ensure that mentally unstable individuals like Jared Loughner, the alleged perpetrator of the Tucson shooting, cannot purchase firearms. I learned on April 16th, 2007, that these things can happen to anyone. I hope you will sign up for alerts from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which is working hard to keep us safe.

You can also stay updated on what I (personally) am doing. I hope to stay involved in politics and especially violence prevention, even as I continue to work on my doctorate.

One last favor. If your elected officials were particularly helpful during this legislative session, please consider calling and saying thank you. Send some cookies with a note during the special session, especially if any of them took a risk voting against guns in classrooms. As always, you can look up your state lawmakers here.

Again, thank you so much for all of your hard work. I can't emphasize enough the sheer magnitude of what we have done together over the last 140 days.


John Woods
Class of 2007, Virginia Tech
Doctoral Candidate, Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin
Copyright © 2011 Students for Gun-Free Schools in Texas, All rights reserved.
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