The woman who will lead the anti-campus carry movement in Texas has fired a gun all of once, at an outdoor recreation class in a Round Rock middle school.
That certainly didn't set Kristen Katz on the path of an anti-campus carry activist. The epiphany came when Katz attended a documentary on the 2007 Virginia Tech University shooting rampage at Texas State University with two survivors of that bloody winter day: Colin Goddard and John Woods.
John Woods, an earnest engineering grad student at UT-Austin, was the face of the opposition to campus carry back in 2011. Woods was on the Virginia Tech campus the day of the rampage. He lost his girlfriend, one of 32 murdered in the attack.
But that was four years ago, and this is today. The campus carry bill is up in a Senate committee on Thursday, and Katz is pretty much alone, with the exception of a Dallas colleague and a phone line to a national network. Most of the University Democrats who bombarded elected officials with phone calls in 2011 have graduated.
Amid intense criticism from the Second-Amendment crowd, which harangued Lt. Gov Dan Patrick for supposedly backtracking on gun-rights issues, Patrick fired off a Facebook post to "set the record straight" late last month: gun rights would definitely be a priority, and campus carry would be among the first bills to move this year. And fast-track it he did. Early this week, it was announced that campus carry was already set for a senate hearing.
"We did know, after Patrick's Facebook post, that it was going to be an issue, just not this soon," says Katz, "We aren't ready. We felt ambushed. Really, how much can two or three people do in three days?"More »