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townhall (1)

Reader JT writes:

There was a town hall meeting today at the University of North Texas, Discovery Park campus (location of the College of Engineering and Computer Science) over the topic of campus carry. It’s meant to allow students and faculty to have input before the Campus Carry Taskforce makes its decision on what rules and restrictions they will have in place. It is the second of seven townhall meetings that are planned. I didn’t even know about the first that happened on the main campus, but I was tipped off by a fellow pro-gun student who knows me that it was taking place today . . .

He mentioned that the main campus townhall was lively, and most of the people were ignorant of the fact that campus carry is already on the books, that it’s not a proposal, it’s already law. Anyway, I attended this meeting not knowing what to expect, but I prepared for the possibility of having a vigorous debate. As you can see in the crappy picture I provided (sorry, I broke my main cell a couple days ago), TTAG was not without representation at that meeting.

I was pleasantly surprised, however, by how the meeting went. The speaker was the dean of the criminal justice department, and he was VERY impartial, and made it very clear in his presentation what the law expects of CHL holders, and provided statistics on just how law abiding they are. In addition, he said that they want to be sure that any restrictions they put in place are for a very good reason, and do not violate the spirit of the law, or impede students and faculty from using their right. I give him high marks.

All-in-all, there were about nine students that attended, all pro-Second Amendment (one was kind of Fudd-ish), about 15+ faculty members, 2 Denton/UNT PD officers, and a local news station (local CBS news through a subcontractor). Only one faculty member was openly, and outspokenly anti-gun. Another faculty member/professor, was outspokenly pro-campus carry, and he had all of us exchanging looks with big smiles. I’ve got his name here, and I’d like to nominate him as today’s Gun Hero: Jeff M. Allen, Ph.D.   Professor, Director of the College of Information, Department of Learning Technologies, and boy was he informed/prepared.

I’m no stenographer, but I typed up notes from the meeting as it was going (on a laptop w/ a large SIG SAUER logo on the back). I’ve got to go through my notes and clean it up before I feel comfortable sharing. The news guy interviewed me and another (pro-gun) student. I think he said it was on a local CBS-news segment called FixNews, or something like that… I was kind of rushed. I’ve never heard of them before, but I gave a statement and the camera man seemed to like everything I was saying.

Anyway, I’ll stay in touch.

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    • Story is, there will soon be a lot of openings. I doubt it, just as I doubted all the people who claimed they would move out of the country if so-and-so was elected. All mouth, no balls. And even if I am incorrect, well, good riddance, enjoy flipping burgers.

    • No, what even mildly conservative prof in his or her right mind would leave DFW (OK, NTU is in Denton, but DFW is about an hour away) for Austin?

      • I went to a wedding last weekend outside of Denton. I’m not sure what happened to I35, maybe it was stolen or something, but its more than an hour drive right now. I’m pretty sure the drive back to Dallas took 3 days.

      • “…what even mildly conservative prof in his or her right mind would leave DFW…”

        An ex-spouse they want to be miles away from?


  1. Its the engineering campus. Of COURSE they’re pro gun, they actually have to use their brains once or twice before they can graduate. I know at my undergraduate college at least one professor admitted he carried off campus.

  2. 9 students?


    Campus carry is all about students (protecting them from mass shootings, right?), and only 9 showed-up?


    Or is it maybe all about the faculty and admin, trying to come-up with a way to implement campus carry that prevents guns on campus?

    • It would have been 8 had someone in my Fluid Dynamics class not told me mere minutes before. There were 3 people from my fluids class that attended that meeting, and we sacrificed time from doing assignments (I had a Thermodynamics 2 assignment that was due at 5:00PM) and attending class. People that came in the room after we finished didn’t even know what was going on. UNT did NOT do a good job making sure that everyone knew there would be a campus carry townhall, or in fact, that they were having Campus Carry Townhalls. In addition, it was held mid-day when most people still on campus were having class, and those that had finished for the day had already left for the weekend. Regardless, all of the students that attended were pro-campus carry.

      • Might be unfair to conclude (but I do, anyway) from your response that the power team at NTSU didn’t want much attendance, but to just be able to claim, “Hey, we gave students a chance for input, and they didn’t care”.

        • LOL, I went to NTSU for a semester… back in 1987 when they were changing the name to UNT. Sorry, I just had to be “That Guy.”

          • way before 1987, we wanted the name change to be the central university. we were also young, insipid, older adolescents. the change to unt was designed to make people (faculty and admin) feel more prestigious, as if after the name change the school was no longer a regional state-run college. have noted that up in colorado, people there are so muddled that they continually refer to the university of colorado as colorado university, or cu. but then, colorado is no more than an eastern suburb of california, so…..

    • Yes! Thank you. I was in a hurry because I had assignments that demanded my time. I figured out what station it was later. I emailed TTAG about the correction, but I guess it was missed. I saw the spot last night. It was brief, but good. They acknowledged that nearly every student that attended was pro-campus carry, and interviewed two of us, myself included. They hacked my interview to bits though. They made it sound like my conversion to pro-gun was a rushed, jerked reaction to Sandy Hook and Colorado.

  3. The people at this particular school met, were advised of changes, how they were advised is what makes the difference. When faculty,students and staff are informed of facts as opposed to manipulative fear mongering, they can have reasoned adult debates, and then make the choices which affect them personally/collectively. It is striking how many wish to equate adults in higher learning with school children.

  4. I am currently a UNT student and can tell you that all students/faculty were informed of the town hall meetings. All students/faculty were notified via e-mail (provided below) a week prior to the first meeting. They have also set up a website for comments regarding campus carry and will be posting the videos of the meetings for everyone (not just UNT students) to watch. I attended the Town Hall meeting that was held on Oct. 13 and that meeting had approximately 100 students in attendance.

    (Copy of e-mail notification sent 10/06/15 @ 1:33 pm)
    Oct. 6, 2015

    Dear UNT community,

    UNT recognizes that maintaining a safe campus environment is essential to making sure that our campus community feels protected and welcome.

    Since the passage of Senate Bill 11, also known as campus carry, campus safety has become an even more discussed topic. The law, which takes effect August 1, 2016, allows licensed holders to carry concealed handguns on Texas university campuses.

    The new law allows universities some regulation of when and where a licensed holder can carry a concealed handgun on campus. President Neal Smatresk has convened a task force to develop a policy for UNT that will outline these regulations while adhering to the spirit of the law.

    The 23-member Campus Carry Task Force made up of students, faculty, staff and administrators began working in early September to review the regulations and expectations of the law. This review has included consulting with the universitys legal office, and discussions with other Texas universities about the approaches they are taking. The task force will also solicit campus input to recommend a policy and guidelines. The policy will be send to the UNT System Board of Regents for review in February 2016. A final approved policy will be in place in time to educate the campus about the policy before the law takes effect.

    Throughout the policy development process, well maintain open dialogue with the campus community and the public. Weve launched the website to keep you informed about our work, allow you to share your thoughts and get facts about the new law.

    Starting in October, the task force will hold town hall meetings to gather input, answer questions and discuss the impact of the law on UNT. There will be separate meetings for students, faculty and staff so we can gather input by group, as well as a town hall at Discovery Park that is open to everyone. The town halls will be streamed lived and recorded so you can watch even if you cant attend. Please mark your calendars now. Comments can also at the website under the Share Your Thoughts section.

    Student Town Hall Meetings
    Tuesday October 13 at 5 p.m. Gateway Center Room 035
    Tuesday October 20 at 12 p.m. Gateway Center Room 035

    Faculty Town Hall Meetings
    Wednesday October 21 at 2 p.m. Gateway Center Room 035
    Thursday October 22 at 9 a.m. Willis Library Room 140

    Staff Town Hall Meetings
    Wednesday October 14 at 2 p.m. Bruce Hall Concert Room D250
    Monday October 19 at 8:30 a.m. – Gateway Center Room 035

    Discovery Park Town Hall Meeting
    Friday October 16 at 12:30 p.m. Room B155

    After the policy is adopted next year, the university will provide training to ensure our community members know how to respond to emergencies in an environment that allows licensed holders to carry concealed handguns.

    We will work hard to create a UNT campus carry policy that adheres to the law and continues to put the safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors first.

    UNT Campus Carry Task Force

    • I went through my emails for that day, and your’re right, there was an email sent. One email. Do you know how many emails I got that day alone? Seventeen. Eight or nine of them were from either the school, my professors or other students in a lab group discussing assignments. A couple more were work related.

      Most of the correspondence I get from the school usually consists of “Learn how to take control of your finances!”, “Psychology department needs people to take part in a study!”, “Sale at the University Bookstore!”, “Parking situation for tomorrow’s home game!”, and a bunch of other stuff that apply exclusively to the main campus, where I don’t spend very much time. So, most of the time I ignore emails from the school. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I do, and I’m clearly not the only one, and especially not at the Discovery Park campus.

      I never said the school didn’t notify people that there would be an event, only that they didn’t do a good job letting people that it was taking place. One email 10 days prior shouldn’t be the only communication that the school has about such an important meeting. The speaker himself said that the Taskforce would create rules and establish Gun Free Zones that would be enforceable by law, and once the plan has been drafted and submitted to the state there would be no further revisions. So, if we don’t provide our input, we could wind up in a bad spot. After that meeting let out, another class came in and the professor asked what we were meeting about. When I told him that it was about campus carry, he was aghast, and said, “That would have been nice to know about.”

      Beyond that, I made no other criticisms of the townhall meeting or the organization. In fact, I praised how impartial the speaker was. It was good meeting, even if it didn’t have a very high attendance. Save for one man who kept snickering and twice interrupted a speaker that he didn’t agree with, the staff were very respectful of everyone, and everything that was said. There was no attempt made by the faculty to cause any fear mongering or push an agenda, and in this day, that’s something to be praised.

      Just because the main campus had a good turn out doesn’t mean anything. There are a lot more student organizations and departments at the main campus that have stronger opinions, and would be eager to remind people that there would be a meeting than at Discovery Park. There should have been a much higher turn out. Instead there were only 9 students, and a little over a dozen faculty, most of whom I’ve never seen at Discovery Park before, though I could be wrong.

      Clearly, I’m not the only one who missed the memo. I stand by my assertion: UNT did not do a good job informing people that there would be a meeting.

  5. I’m a master’s student and part time employee at UT Tyler. Our town hall meeting was last Thursday. Most of the working group, including the campus police, and Student Government are venomately opposed to campus carry.

    Somehow the paper has avoided printing anything pro gun. The working group specifically excluded pro gun students.

    Thankfully the law has monetary fines for violating the campus carry law. Or it would never be implimented.

    There was o e professor on the working group who while biased against campus carry, tried to be impartial during the meeting. Or as impartial as you can be when you only accept written questions that you choose to answer. Not sure how that counts as a town hall meeting.

    Opponents fail to talk about the actual numbers. UT Tyler has about 8500 students, 60% are over 21, based on the state average of 3% only about 153 students would even have permits.

    So these people are panicking about the 153 people who are law abiding. And fail to understand that they can’t stop the other 8347 students if the choose to carry illegally

  6. Forgot to add UT Tyler’s Student Government president made it perfectly clear that the student population was not going to have any input into the gun free zones. Only the cherry picked members of the working group.

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