Guns Are Already In College Classrooms

If you work at a Texas college and are worried by the prospect of having guns in your classroom, relax. The new campus-carry law changes your risk of gun violence very little. I can almost guarantee that if you have a few semesters of teaching under your belt, at some point there have been students with guns in your classroom. If those illegally armed students were not moved to violence by the content of your course or the statements of their fellow students, it seems highly improbable that a new group of legally armed students will prove to be more volatile or violence-prone than their scofflaw peers.

If you really think that there are no guns on college campuses in Texas, or elsewhere, because there is a law that forbids having guns on campus, you are mistaken. On my own campus in Arkansas, despite a strict prohibition on guns, in the last decade there has been at least one accidental discharge of a gun in a dorm room, several students who have been found to have guns in their cars, and at least one faculty member who was caught with a gun in on-campus faculty housing. And those are just people in “casual” possession of guns with no intention of causing harm or mischief who ran afoul of the campus police because they were foolish or indiscreet with them.

So, if you have been teaching for a while, some of your students (and possibly your colleagues) have probably been illegally bringing guns onto campus and into classrooms. So far, despite the presence of firearms, no one has shot you or any of your students intentionally or unintentionally, no matter how controversial the content of your course. What will change when legal concealed-carry permit holders bring guns into your classroom? Not much. Because permit holders’ guns will be concealed, any guns in your classroom will remain invisible, just as they were before.

Are concealed-carry permit holders a violent lot? No. In Texas they commit crimes at about the same rate as cops and at a lower rate than the general public. Texas requires that concealed-carry permit holders be at least 21, so most undergrads will not be eligible for a permit, and those who are will be a little more mature than the average student. Texas requires concealed-carry permit holders to submit photos and fingerprints with their applications, and the Department of Public Safety has up to 60 days to conduct a background check on applicants.

Read the rest of Mr. Gilbert’s well written article:

One thought on “Guns Are Already In College Classrooms

  1. I always find it amusing when people complain that they laid off the invisible unicorns that used to stop people from bringing guns into “gun free” zones.

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