Does Texas Tech's 'Guns Up' Glorify the Use of Firearms?

Samantha Hyde/FOX Sports Southwest
Samantha Hyde/FOX Sports Southwest
Samantha Hyde/FOX Sports Southwest

Every college has a saying that surrounds the school’s mascot and there’s usually a song or hand gesture that accompanies that saying as well.


At Texas Tech, the mascot is the Masked Rider, a live horse rider, and because it’s Texas, the saying is “Guns Up!” accompanied with a hand gesture with fully automatic finger gun. The proud saying has been used throughout academia and sporting events to instill pride and excitement, and has not claimed the lives, or academic career of, any students in all the years it’s been used.

“It’s something that we’re all really proud of and support of here on campus,” said current Texas Tech student James Bethke.

But leave it to the gun control liberals to ruin a good thing.

On Thursday, Texas Tech University released open records showing a previous dispute between a Tech alumnus and the school’s administration concerning the phrase ‘Guns up.’

Anti-gunners, including a Texas Tech alumni, Michael Grant, Ph.D., spoke out against the tradition, saying the phrase and symbol is “inappropriate” and claiming the university’s continual use of “Guns Up!”…. glorifies the use of firearms.

When Grant received a letter from the college in 2013 bearing the threatening phrase, he wrote a sternly worded letter to President M. Duane Nellis, Ph.D.

“The romantic ‘Wild West’ context of gun violence continues to cause great harm to a great number of individuals, especially children (Guns Up, kids!),” Grant wrote. “I find it quite embarrassing to admit that I earned two degrees from an institution that employs the offensive sloan [sic] ‘Guns Up’.”


Nellis responded to Grant’s letter, saying the use of the phrase was “in no way calling for violence”, but in the September 5, 2013 weekly email, the Tech’s tag line was changed to “Wreck ‘Em!”

Grant wrote back to Nellis again in September 2013, and said, “While still couched in the language of violence, I’m delighted to see the tagline signature ‘Guns Up’ not present.”

This time, however, Grant received an unprompted response from then Interim President Lawrence Schovanec, Ph.D.

“The ‘guns up’ gesture to which you refer is in no way a glorification of hand guns or indicative of a culture of gun advocacy,” Schovanec succinctly stated.

Despite the criticism of a few squeaky wheels, a poll on KAMC’s Facebook page reveals Lubbock is showing an overwhelming support for their local team and students:

‪Grant insists he will not contribute to his alma mater until Texas Tech abolishes their proud tradition, banning the finger guns and discontinuing the use of the ‘offensive slogan’.

Sounds like somebody needs a hobby.


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