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By Louis K. Bonham

As reported earlier, University of Texas-Austin President Gregory Fenves announced last week that despite all the angst and outrage from various campus quarters, UT would follow state law and permit the licensed carry of concealed handguns in campus buildings, albeit with some restrictions (including a general ban on residents carrying in on-campus dorms and a requirement that semiautomatic weapons be carried without a round in the chamber). And given that less than 500 UT students even have a license to carry, all the hoopla should largely be “much ado about nothing.” Matter settled, right? Hardly. Pass the popcorn, the show’s just starting . . .

Neither side is happy with UT’s decision. Asked for comment last week, campus carry law sponsor (and former Houston police officer) Rep. Allen Fletcher characterized UT’s proposed rules as a “half-hearted effort to comply” with the law. He called UT’s requirement of carrying without a round in the chamber “ludicrous.”

Students for Concealed Carry is similarly unsatisfied with UT’s restrictions. They’ve indicated that their next move may be to challenge the rules in court. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxson has weighed in as well, issuing an opinion that strongly suggests that some of UT’s proposed restrictions wouldn’t pass muster under the law.

Conversely, opponents of campus carry have argued that a law that permits the lawful carrying of weapons in classrooms somehow violates their free speech rights; open expression would be impermissibly “chilled” for fear that an armed student might do them harm. Previously, some members of the UT faculty issued a manifesto opining that the campus carry law was impermissibly motivated by racial animus. They were “looking forward to going to court” to resist the law. (After this manifesto received widespread publicity and derision, one of its authors removed it from where it had been posted. However, as we all know, the Internet is forever.)

Reached for comment, UCLA constitutional law professor (and Volokh Conspiracy lawblog founder) Eugene Volokh dismissed such arguments:

Whether or not allowing law-abiding students to carry concealed guns is a good idea, it certainly doesn’t violate the First Amendment. Public university professors have no constitutional rights to have certain people, or certain devices, excluded from their classrooms. Nor is there any race discrimination in allowing all law-abiding people, without regard to race, to have the tools needed for self-defense, both in the classroom and, especially, on the way to and from university buildings.

Writing at his megablog Instapundit, University of Tennessee constitutional law professor Glenn Reynolds was more direct, calling the free speech challenge to the law an “embarrassingly stupid argument.” But the real showdown may be whether some UT faculty carry out threats to defy both the campus carry law and UT’s implementation.

According to the Daily Texan newspaper, several hundred UT professors have signed a petition stating that they will refuse to have guns in their classrooms. In response, Governor Greg Abbott’s office issued a statement last year making clear that “[w]e expect that everyone at our universities—including the professors who signed the petition—to follow the law.” More recently, UT professor and Nobel Laureate Stephen Weinberg announced with great fanfare that “I will put it into my syllabus that the class is not open to students carrying guns.” Professor Weinberg declared that he was “willing to accept” the possibility that he may wind up in court over his pronouncement.

The sponsors of the campus carry law don’t appear amused by such threats. Reached by telephone, Rep. Allen Fletcher stated that faculty “do not have the right” to refuse to follow the law. Such refusals are “not going to be allowed.” Sen. Brian Birdwell’s office forwarded an earlier public statement by the Senator:

The Legislature will very appropriately be watching to make sure that our legislative intent is properly followed, and if not, I assume there will be consequences associated with that.

Both Rep. Fletcher’s and Sen. Birdwell’s office indicated that there would be legislative hearings this fall on the implementation of the campus carry. Asked to comment about faculty threats of defiance and the university’s response to them, UT Director of Media Outreach J.B. Bird e-mailed the following statement:

Like the other public universities in Texas, UT Austin is overseeing the complexities of implementing this new law. We will work to educate faculty, staff and students about the new rules. President Fenves has appointed a task force to implement the policies and it will review the types of questions you are raising.

We’ll see whether or not any UT faculty actually carry out their threatened defiance of the law, and what UT does in response. Of course, if the results aren’t satisfactory, the legislature could always consider a certain modest proposal.

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  1. I say that if those scumbags don’t want to follow the law, throw them in jail. A few liberal professors cooling their heels in gen pop alongside the “persecuted minorities” the keep advocating for will send a clear message.

    Better yet, arrest and expel/fire everyone who is encouraging people to break the law. Incitement is not protected by the 1st amendment.

    • I say give them just enough rope to hang themselves…

      The only way to enforce “bans”, on the prof’s part, would be searching and frisking students.

      A bunch of old crazies patting down and asking to see underneath the clothes of late teens and early twenties young adults…

      I’ll give you a clue as to the possible the result – it rhymes with “hex pretender.”

  2. I would love to have a professor put it in the syllabus that I’m not allowed in his class. I walk up first day and tell him I’m a licensed concealed carrier. He proceeds to ruin my grade, I make it public he is abusing his authority and attacking my civil rights. Automatic A for me and no more job for him.

    • Until next semester when the other professors, in retribution for their comrade, put the screws to you.

      • That’s fine. Keep records, document the abuse, and bring this to the attention of the head of their departments, or deans, as necessary. Document those interactions as well, in case they also try to screw you. Keep going up and up until you are treated fairly.

        Every battle is a war of attrition, be prepared.

      • Many professors, confronted outside their area of expertise, simply aren’t that bright. Much has been made of the idiotic statements made by the “highly educated” academic elites on these pages. I’ve called doctors and professors out on their lack of knowledge regarding firearms since I started college at UW-Madison back in 1995. All it took at the time was NRA articles, my basic experience with firearms in the USMC as an 0311, and a rudimentary understanding of history.

        If I discussed a contrary opinion that was subsequently met with condescension and / or hostility, I’d ace the class out of spite. My wife is an adjunct professor, my mother retired as a nursing professor, and my father and stepmother are retired psychology and education professors. My stepfather is currently an anatomy professor. I’m grateful for their exceptional minds. Thankfully all of them are relatively open-minded.

        Unfortunately, many aren’t moved by facts which don’t align with their worldview. I believe such people should be tactfully challenged, even if they are standing in front of a classroom.

    • I put a few kids through college and I somehow don’t think it’ll work out the way you think . Not a lot of democracy in college in those bastions of higher indoctrination . You raise your children to be good hearted servants of God and there fellow man and then comes university time and $60,000.00 and four years later they believe man is depraved , God doesn’t exist and Bernie Sanders is our best hope for the future . These professors have these tenure clauses that protect them from just about everything but preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and they aren’t about to be fired over gun laws . What will happen though and probably quite soon is a little spoiled punk kid , more than likely from a middle to upper income politically progressive family , will pull their new toy out and threaten some frizzy haired Einstein want to be for not giving them an A on their simple minded term paper and mommy and daddy won’t give him the 2016 Mustang now .
      I don’t think you’ll have to worry about this issue for long because some dip for brain twerp will see to it that all those scared for brains professors will have a case to cry about on main stream media outlets that will be more than eager to exclaim epidemic of gun violence is now in our schools .
      I can only hope that when little Jeffy doesn’t get his car because he didn’t get his A and pulls out his big new
      ‘ I’m mister bad ass ‘ toy on his frizzy haired , God denying , progressive agenda indoctrinating , professor , that Mike , the mild mannered Christian student that carry’s a firearm for all the right reasons and sits quietly in class , stands up and orders little Jeffy to his face .
      It seems as though nobody is thinking straight anymore , that is why we have a fascist progressive right wing nationalist wining the GOP and the left is running an outed Socialist and a closet Socialist neck and neck and the only thing that will get Hillary the nod is a bunch of Super Delegates that have already committed to her .
      I really believe if America doesn’t elect Ted Cruz , we’re done .

  3. The idiots in that faculty have no clue now how many students carry… and never will unless they start strip searching each student at the door. That would go over well… They still seem deluded into thinking that merely prohibiting something will stop the activity.

    Students could, however, at least give these professors acute discomfort by presenting them with a contract where the professor assumes complete responsibility for the safety of the disarmed student, along with a suitable performance bond. Make it literal and personal…

  4. I’m so beyond glad campus carry is pissing off all this anti-gun folks.

    My hope is that a large group will leave the university, or even better, the state of Texas altogether. But, sadly, I do not believe they are as fearfu as they let on to be.

    It’s just fear-mongering to achieve a political goal, or ideology. They will complain, yell, and moan, but will eventually, shut-up and carry on with life.

    A man can hope, though, can’t he.

    • I remember much of the same angst in WI prior to the mass issuance of CCW permits. Shootouts over parking spaces! Blood in the streets! It’ll be the Wild West all over again!!

      And when that didn’t happen, I fail to recall the anti-gunners issuing any sort of apology for being panic-stricken idiots.

  5. A tail of two schools. I’m at UNT in Denton, and our proposed carry rules are actually very reasonable. In addition, we have student group that focuses on marksmenship, and pistol and rifle competitions. We host a free LTC class each semester, and this semester’s class has the highest enrollment yet. The sign up on facebook had 999 people express interest, close to 400 saying they wanted to go, and we only had enough seats for 150 people. Everyone on the final list has already paid their range fees, (the class is free, we have to rent a range out). We have UNT Faculty/staff and students signed up, as well as a lot of residents both in and outside of the Denton County. One teacher in McKinney contacted us and said she was referred to us by someone in McKinney PD. I held no special loyalty to UNT, I’m a transfer student from another school, but I’m pretty proud of how my school is handling it.

    • Denton (UNT) is of full hippie/hipster liberals, but surprisingly, there is a general laissez faire attitude towards guns.

      My wife graduated from there. And even her friends, the ones I know of anyways, who don’t like guns are not against gun ownership.

      There are some rabid gun hating outliers, of course. But, on the whole, everyone was very “meh.”

  6. Would Weinberg have to post a 30.06 sign in his syllabus? I would think that a ban informed in that way would be unenforceable by law. And if the Prof posted a compliant sign at the doors of his class room and office, could that be upheld by law, or would that be like a convenience store employee taking it upon himself to post a sign when the store’s manager hadn’t given permission nor authority to do so? Wouldn’t the employee be fired if he refuses to serve a customer because he doesn’t like what’s under the customer’s clothes? What can a tenured faculty member be fired for? I would think that not complying with university rules, or at least breaking the law, could get a faculty member fired, tenure or no tenure.

    If I were a student with a CCW in Weinberg’s, I think I’d wait until after final grades have been assigned and inform this bigot that I had been exercising my rights all through out the year, with a big smile and walk out with my head high.

    • They aren’t even trying to change it, they are simply saying they aren’t going to follow it.

      If gun people acted like most liberals do we would all be carrying select fire M4s low ready through Manhattan.

      • Speak for yourself, bub.

        I’d have a select fire AK-74 at the low, ready.

        I’m not a Commie, but I love a good Commie gun.

        • Under President Sanders, all guns will be AK-47s.

          Because variety and choice frightens and confuses Grampa Simpson.

          Oh, and all restaurants will be Taco Bell.

        • Ah, Grandpa Bernie and his hordes of “gimme mah free sh*t” voters…

          Speaking of the Bern, what happened to all those folks who came on here long ago touting Pee-Paw Sanders as a “friend to gun owners…”

          I guess, they’ll just have to sell us on the free sh*t angle, now.

    • “Campus Carry is the law. Liberals should stop trying to change that.”

      Let’s try some word substitution…

      “Roe V. Wade is the law. Conservatives should stop trying to change that.”

      “Obamacare is the law. Republicans should stop trying to change that.”

      “Slavery is the law. Abolitionists should stop trying to change that.”

      “King George is the law. Rebels should stop trying to change that.”

      “The Assault Weapons Ban is the law. Gun-lovers should stop trying to change that.”

      Look, I agree that campus carry is the law, and that they should either abide by it, or get it repealed. To tell ’em to stop trying to change it… well, seems rather disingenuous with the American spirit.

      In my opinion, these professors and administrators should absolutely be held to the provisions of the law. If they refuse to comply, they should be arrested and charged in accordance with the law. If they get the law overturned, their side wins. If they can’t get it overturned, then it should be made very clear to them they have only two choices: comply, or leave.

      Who knows, maybe the campus carry law will turn out to be the single greatest thing for 2A supporters in history — if it drives out the gun-hating professors, and allows them to be replaced with 2A-respecting professors, then whole generations of students might get an honest education about the 2A rather than the twisted interpretation the gun-hating profs espouse. At least, a man can hope…

      • I think you missed the irony there. I was specifically targeting the “ACA is the law now” quote from Our Fearless Leader.

      • “Roe V. Wade is the law. Conservatives should stop trying to change that.”

        “Obamacare is the law. Republicans should stop trying to change that.”

        “Slavery is the law. Abolitionists should stop trying to change that.”

        “King George is the law. Rebels should stop trying to change that.”

        “The Assault Weapons Ban is the law. Gun-lovers should stop trying to change that.”

        With the exception (barely) of Roe v Wade, which is a “discovered” right that SCOTUS squeezed out of the 14th amendment somehow, none of those things you listed are Constitutionally protected rights, they are legislatively manufactured. And even things that are in the Constitution are subject o opposition and change, even the Bill of Rights, although so far none of those rights have been modified or repealed through the proper Constitutional amendment process.

        The process is the method (Read Article V of The Constitution of the United States of America). The Second Amendment is the fall-back option when all other means of protecting that document and the Republican form of government it established fail. AFTER those means fail.

  7. We’ll see whether or not any UT faculty actually carry out their threatened defiance of the law

    Of course they will. University faculties have been a law unto themselves ever since the Marxists took over the American university system, starting in the ’60s. They rule and dominate students and responsible teachers with fear of bad grades or no tenure. It’s despicable.

    Those little tin gods deserve a damn good whacking, and maybe now they’ll get what they deserve.

    • If a professor flunked (or kicked out of class) one of my kids for carrying , my lawyer would explain to them that their salary will simply not support what would happen to them next.

  8. This is what happens when a *real* “compromise” is reached. A real compromise being that neither side is happy, which is totally counter to the liberal version of compromise, where we give up something but not everything, and get nothing in return. (repeat until we are out of cake) Inevitably the antis throw a fit because they didn’t get their way without budging. They scream and whine and vow to blatantly disobey the law.

    Stay classy.

    • “Inevitably the antis throw a fit because they didn’t get their way without budging. They scream and whine and vow to blatantly disobey the law.”

      Sounds EXACTLY like the “constitutional carry” advocates in the various Texas firearms forums. Heck, Kory Watkins threatened the legislators that they were committing “treason punishable by death” if they passed any law that was anything less than full-hog constitutional carry.

      I agree with your statement about the antis. I’m just pointing out — they don’t have a monopoly on that type of behavior. In fact, don’t we have a whole lot of noncompliance going on with the NY SAFE act and AR-15 registration right now?

      Back to the topic at hand – maybe all the Texans on this board should be calling their legislators, demanding that the faculty either put up or shut up. Noncompliance should be met with prison time, and the aspiring noncompliants should be offered a choice: jail, or a bus ticket out of town. Academia could use a good spring cleaning.

      • I’d have to say there is a difference between the two, by my measure, at least – one seeks to take something away and the other seeks to gain something back.

        I could see how the latter might tend to be more aggressive.

      • It’s hard to equate some dude on a farm in upstate New York quietly not registering his modern rifle with a deliberate attempt by a professor (i.e. a public employee) to deny another person’s ability to exercise his RKBA.

      • You missed the main distinction:

        The antis are throwing a fit because they can’t take something away.

        The advocates throw a fit because they can’t get something back that was taken away.

        It’s a big difference.

  9. If I was a student at UT I’d be seeing a pay day on the horizon with this. I think 1 semester free for each professor who refuses to teach me because I carry is fair; hell a 4.0 for that semester is OK as an alternative.

    These professors also don’t offer too many details on how they plan to determine if someone is carrying, what they will actually do if they determine someone is carrying, and what they will do if said person carrying refuses their orders to vacate the premises etc.

    The best would be if someone walks up to the professor and makes the point of saying “I’m carrying now legally, how do you know I wasn’t carrying before?”

    • If I lived in austin, I’d give serious consideration to becoming a student at UT, specifically to register in these hyperventilating professors’ classes, specifically so I could legally, lawfully exercise my rights. No confrontations, no picking fights, just — being present. Kind of like how Tyler did with Shannon. I’d just want to find some absolutely non-threatening way to anonymously let the professor know that somewhere, in his classroom, that right was being exercised legally, by someone, and he didn’t know who. It would have to be carefully worded to avoid any appearance of a threat of course, but if that were possible, it’d be very interesting to see how it develops. If I was absolutely innocent of any wrongdoing, would the professor still react? Would he demand “papers please”? Would he search the students? Would he quit? What would happen?

      • I’d do it, if I lived there.

        Just take a few classes here and there. Not really intending to complete a degree.

        Totally troll the professors. Everyday wear a new 2nd Amendment themed shirt.

        I wonder if UT Arlington or UT Dallas are having the same problem as UT Austin – they are closer, I might have to check that out come 2017.

        • My understanding is that UT-Arlington also strongly opposed/opposes campus carry, but I don’t have any details to hand.

        • I’m not really looking for general opposing the law. I’m looking for specific professors who voice intent to outright “prohibit” it, in defiance of the law.

          Otherwise, it’s just shooting in the dark (no pun.)

      • Most likely, the professor wouldn’t do shit, because academics tend to be long on talk and very, very short on action.

  10. More recently, UT professor and Nobel Laureate Stephen Weinberg announced with great fanfare that “I will put it into my syllabus that the class is not open to students carrying guns.” Professor Weinberg declared that he was “willing to accept” the possibility that he may wind up in court over his pronouncement.

    Too bad, Dr. Weinberg. I used to like you. Now I see you as a malignant tumor, from head to toe.

  11. Nice sign – “Most of the World is a Gun Free Zone”. Schools, Fed buildings, courts, etc. count for less than 1 % of land mass in my county. Syria is not a Gun Free Zone.

    • It says “Most of the Developed World is a Gun Free Zone.”

      Although I disagree with these people, same as you do, your argument citing Syria is not a rebuttal of this sign.

  12. Conversely, opponents of campus carry have argued that a law that permits the lawful carrying of weapons in classrooms somehow violates their free speech rights; open expression would be impermissibly “chilled” for fear that an armed student might do them harm.

    Are you kidding? They do this to each other anyway, armed or unarmed, over fears of violating safe spaces and microaggressions. They’ve already censored themselves out of free speech.

  13. The fear is not that “something” will happen. The fear is that “nothing” will happen, thus rendering their talking point moot. Nothing makes a liberal more angry then having their ideas nullified right before their eyes. They considered it a personal attack.

  14. What a bunch of hypocrites. The faculty say they don’t like the law so they don’t have to follow it and there will be no guns in the classroom. But if they had their way the law would not allow guns and they expect the students to follow it. Either way there will be guns in the classrooms and they can’t stop it.

  15. “Reached by telephone, Rep. Allen Fletcher stated that faculty ‘do not have the right’ to refuse to follow the law.”

    No no no. The faculty (or any citizen) has the absolute right to refuse to follow the law.

    And then the university has the right to fire them for their criminality and for violating their job policies.

    And the police have a right to arrest them for refusing to follow the law.

    And the courts have the right to prosecute them for refusing to follow the law…

    None of which removes the citizen’s inherent right to refuse to follow what they believe to be an unjust law. Going to jail for your beliefs is an inherent part of the risks of civil disobedience.

    I disapprove of the professors viewpoints and actions, but they have a perfect right to those views and actions (and a right to dealing with the repercussions stemming from them.) But while the reactions of the two quoted politicians are understandable, Allen Fletcher is wrong.

  16. “According to the Daily Texan newspaper, several hundred UT professors have signed a petition stating that they will refuse to have guns in their classrooms.”

    Are they trying to drive up the percentage of students in their classrooms actually bring weapons? I’d be signing up for their classes just to prove the point, and I suspect a lot of other carriers would too.

    Here I am, come and take them.

  17. You’re calling that developed ? Don’t look now but the EU is burning the rest of the world where it is not a totalitarian state rival factions are armed to the teeth and murdering at will, so what was that again about developed ?

  18. I bet Tenure doesn’t protect them from violating the law.
    This may be a great way to quickly rid UT of almost 1,000 useless parasites.

  19. I didn’t read the post, all I saw was the picture, and wow, those people are handicapped. Those posters are some of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen and they’re coming from a place of “higher learner”.

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