Texas Profs Told To Chill On Controversy, Because Guns
February 25, 2016

This is the time of year when colleges send out their acceptances to prospective students, and those students then choose where they will attend.

An extra issue is factoring into their decision this year, at least in Texas. Students are turning down the pleasure of attending Texas campuses where concealed carry is now part of campus policy, thanks to wingnuts in the legislature passing campus carry laws.

Admissions aren't the only casualty either. Kiss free speech goodbye, along with some measure of academic freedom.

Students and academics have warned of a chilling effect on freedom of expression ever since Texas became the latest state to pass a “campus carry” law last year. It compels public universities to allow license holders aged 21 and over to bring concealed handguns on to most areas of campus.

The faculty senate at the University of Houston prepared a slideshow for recent faculty forums warning that academics may want to “be careful discussing sensitive topics; drop certain topics from your curriculum; not ‘go there’ if you sense anger; limit student access off hours; go to appointment-only office hours; only meet ‘that student’ in controlled circumstances.”

A slide provides potential arguments against the policy, such as “most parents don’t want their underage children to attend a gun-enabled campus” and “The MILITARY doesn’t allow guns in barracks and classrooms (outside of weapons training), why should there be guns in dorms and classrooms?”

Shorter message: Be careful, profs, because if some nut in your class doesn't care for what you're teaching, they can just whip out that concealed weapon and blow you away.

Charlie Pierce has some notes about how the effective date of the law coincides with certain ignominious occurrences on Texas campuses, too.

Freedom. Ain't it grand?

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