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Texan lawmakers aim to fire up the younger generation of gun owners

By Andrea Ordonez, Columnist

A staple of my childhood was the Christmas movie "A Christmas Story. As I grew up in the South, I felt a special connection with the main character Ralphie who, for those sad souls who have not seen the film, wanted nothing more than for Santa to bring him a Red Ryder BB gun.

At a young age, I myself wanted a BB gun so I could prance around in my backyard pretending to be Annie Oakley. However, due to the reception Ralphie got in the film, I never asked my parents for one. Despite my personal hesitation, I knew at a young age the wide prevalence of both BB guns and real firearms in Texas homes, where the cliché of "Texans love their guns" rang true.

In my recent years of viewing "A Christmas Story," I always chuckle at the idea that if Ralphie grew up in Texas, he probably would have gotten that Red Ryder BB gun without any hesitation from Santa.

Now imagine if Ralphie took his BB gun to college with him. If that college was Hofstra or practically any school up north, he probably would receive expulsion within the first week.

However, gun lobbyists in my home state are pushing the right to buy and carry concealed weapons in public places for 18- to 20-year-olds. Passage of such laws would obviously allow Texas college students the right to bring firearms to school.

Besides allowing Texan students the ability to carry firearms, the Second Amendment is making its way back into the public eye with new knife laws in Arizona and New Hampshire. Arizona, according to New York Times reporter Marc Lacey, is now a "knife carrier's dream," due to weakened knife regulations made this past year. Meanwhile, New Hampshire has recently lifted its ban on switchblades to promote the knives' useful purposes as tools.

Upon hearing about the new firearm proposals from my friends in Texan universities, I was slightly jealous. People with firearms possess a sense of authority and heightened responsibility, and to think that they would get such a privilege before I did made me a little envious.

Yet, after dwelling on the idea, I revised my opinion. Perhaps allowing people so young the privilege of concealed carry may not be a good thing. After all, it did not turn out that well for Ralphie who shot his eye out minutes after getting his Red Ryder BB gun. How much more damage can a first-year college student inflict?

I am not wholly in favor of 18 to 20-year-olds carrying firearms to class, I find no problem in 21-year-olds gaining that privilege. It is so easy for someone that age to legally obtain alcohol, which affects the body negatively in more ways than one. Therefore, the process of obtaining a registered firearm or knife should be made just as simple. These can actually save a person's life better than a bottle of beer could.

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