When states enact campus carry, college professors are typically the ones who scream about how it will affect safety. To hear them tell it, the concept that someone might be armed will stifle classroom discussions with everyone afraid that disagreement will lead to a mass shooting or something.
Of course, these same professors tend to support policies on their campuses that punish people for having the wrong opinions, which we know for a fact stifles discussion and is designed to do so, but that’s a completely different topic.
Back to the point of campus carry, those professors spelled out doom and gloom for the impact of such a law. Now, they don’t really want to talk about it.
The legislature overrode the veto so almost all students can legally conceal carry on campus this upcoming semester. Eighteen-year-olds can conceal carry in the state generally — they were already allowed to open carry.
The concerns about safety on campus are similar to those made by Texas professors and academic associations in 2015 after the state expanded concealed carry on campus.
However, six year later, none of the opponents contacted by The College Fix seemed willing to examine their past concerns, nor would they provide any research showing violence on campus linked to the legislation.
None of those contacted would connect The Fix to someone who had self-censored out of fear of a debate in class with an armed student, a concern raised in 2015. Nor would they provide research on violence on college campuses related to concealed carry.
“We are swamped right now and are going to have to pass on this one. Our position remain[s] the same,” said Gwendolyn Bradley with the American Association of University Professors in an email to The College Fix.
It’s unsurprising that Bradley would say that, but it should be noted that there have been zero incidents where someone carrying a firearm lawfully on a Texas college campus has used that firearm illegally reported, so far as I’ve heard. I know, we’d have damn sure heard about them.
Let’s not forget in 2017, gun control supporters tried to blame the campus carry law for a shooting, only for it to turn out the law played no role in the incident.
Since then, there’s been pretty much nothing happening. There have been no cases of classroom discussions getting so heated that an armed student pulled out a gun and open fire. There have been no reported incidents of threats made by armed students to professors or classmates so far as I’ve been able to find.
In other words, their concerns had no basis in fact.
Hell, even some of the people who still oppose it seem to get that.
Economics Professor Daniel Hamermesh resigned from his position at University of Texas-Austin in 2015.
“With a huge group of students,” Hamermesh said, “my perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed-carry law.”
Hamermesh, a labor economist, has never published any work relating to guns. Most of his research and teaching revolves around the use of time, work productivity and unemployment, according to a review of his curriculum vitae.
Nor does he have any plans to do so or even investigate the accuracy of his predictions.
“I’ve not seen any examples on this–but I haven’t looked/inquired,” Hamermesh told The Fix when asked if he could point to any examples of students shooting inside a classroom.
“I have not and don’t plan to do research,” on crime after the institution of campus carry, the professor said. He confirmed he has never conducted research on guns in general, either.
Hamermesh argued that the chance for low-probability events still remains. On this, sure, he’s probably right. There will always be a chance of this happening.
However, doesn’t that same probability exist even if guns are banned from campus? It’s not difficult to imagine someone inclined to shoot their professor or classmates for disagreement might also be someone who figures carrying a gun on campus regardless of the law?
The thing is, though, now there’s a probability of an armed student being available to stop such an incident from happening. If we’re going to talk about low-probability events, shouldn’t that be on the table as well? I’d argue there’s a potentially higher probability of being protected by an armed student than killed by one.
Truthfully, the relative silence regarding just how unfounded those concerns turned out to be is hilarious. Especially since they can’t bring themselves to admit they might have been wrong.