Legally Armed Students in Your Classrooms: Ready or Not Here They Come

By Elaine Godfrey

A professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin very publicly quitearlier this month in response to a new state law that allows students to bring their handguns into all classrooms and offices — including his 500-person introductory economics lectures. The professor, Daniel Hamermesh, has become a symbol for frustrated faculty nervous over the spreading of campus concealed-carry laws.

In the wake of recent campus shootings — two in two states on October 9 alone — not every professor thinks more guns are better. Especially since Chris Harper-Mercer, the man who killed nine people at Umpqua Community College on October 1, was reportedly angered over being corrected by Professor Lawrence Levine in an “uncomfortable exchange.” Levine was among those killed by Harper-Mercer a few days later.

A new state law, signed by Texas governor Greg Abbott on June 1, allows students and faculty members with a concealed-handgun license to enter campus buildings with a pistol. Texas law already permits concealed-carry on college campuses, but as of August 1, 2016, concealed weapons will be allowed into almost all classrooms and offices as well.

“With a huge group of students my perception is that the risk that

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2 Comments for “Legally Armed Students in Your Classrooms: Ready or Not Here They Come”

  1. Paul, the site has tens of thousands of readers each month.

  2. Not sure how many faculty read Adjunct Nation since we have those bizarre Chornicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Education peddling so many, err, lies, and middling bits and pieces about a very viper-filled pit of indignity and inequities – higher education. But, at least one comment about guns in the classroom. This is the illogic and dumb-downing of our times, and let it be known if in fact colleges and universities were bastions of liberal thinking, there’d be outrage, protests, and outright walkouts, daily.

    Hmm, I have weapons, guns, and I go to shooting ranges and sometimes my hillside property where there are no homes or roads around. The process is built on safety for me, my fellow shooters, any movement in the woods, and anyone that might be within two miles of the place.

    So, I want to teach in a classroom where guns are allowed because students are balanced, students know how to shoot in tight quarters, students know how to distinguish perpetrator from innocent, and, how yeah, you have to wonder if another shooting crime happens – many of these white males are on SSRI drugs, are part of this culture of dog-eat-dog, and have no strong males in their lives, by the way – these guys will begin to use American military tactics like stun grenades, smoke bombs and turning off the lights.

    Americans are a special lot of ignorant folk, bread into a culture of institutional violence, Tuesday morning kill list round tables, and Black Friday drone sales. Very few people would even attempt to question this policy because adults teaching in these institutions are infantile and fearful of their own shadows.

    It takes guts to confront this culture and more guts to be humane and caring and smart. How can you have a web site devoted to adjunct issues, academic issues in general, and receive zero commentary on one of the most obscene forms of American pre-crime violence? You think someone like me who rails against the machine and the man and the Military-Big Energy-Med-IT-Military-Prison-Legal-Financial Services-Banking-Education-Legal-Surveillance Complex would even make it out of classroom with some gun-totting freak wanting to show me how they disagree with the work I do in the classroom, the journals I direct students toward, the web sites and films I show in class and the topics I come up with as research essay project?

    Texas (but coming to a redneck state near you) where you can shoot someone outside, on your driveway, one hour after sunset and an hour before dawn, if you suspect them of trying to steel your F-150 or the fancy rims on your low-rider Volvo.

    We know who is minding the store – err, college-university! These institutional leadership (sic) freaks, MBAs, and ex-military and ex-economists who despise faculty and see every student as another sucker born every nanosecond.

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