I'm off to the state capitol today to protest HB 1893, authored by Rep. Joe Driver (R- Garland), which would allow students and faculty with the proper concealed carry permits to carry their weapons on campus. My favorite part of the bill, perhaps showing where our priorities are, would bar concealed weapons from campus sporting events. But not our classrooms?
The idea put forward by some supporters is that just one person with a gun in a classroom could prevent a Columbine or Virginia Tech-type massacre. Last week ABC News all but refuted that claim on 20/20. Watch "If I Only Had a Gun" here; it's well worth it. I hope a copy makes it to the Texas Lege.
Campuses and classrooms should be places of diverse, open, supportive discourse. Several professors, though prevented as state employees from commenting officially for or against the bill, have admitted it would likely change the way they grade and teach. Fellow students have talked about how they simply would be as comfortable engaging in debate or speaking out in class. I hope enough students take part in today's walk out to send the message that guns and fear have no place on campus.