In 2015, the conservative grassroots celebrated the passage of campus carry in the Texas Legislature. The legislation prevents public colleges and universities in Texas from restricting students, otherwise eligible to conceal-carry a handgun, to carry their firearms on campus property.
Higher-ed bureaucrats picked apart the measures after passage, finding every loophole possible in order to continue restricting students’ constitutional right. Despite their efforts, the bill remains intact, with some onerous exceptions to campus-carry such as student dorms.
However, liberal professors at the University of Texas at Austin are relentless in their pursuit against the principles of the American founding, as evidenced by an ongoing lawsuit that will be argued at the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week.
The lawsuit, filed last year, claims that the possibility of a concealed firearm in the classroom creates a “chilling” effect on freedom of speech. Their suggestion is that a student who disagrees with a topic of discussion during class could begin firing their weapon on professors and students alike. For this reason, they claim, campus carry is a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech.
In an exclusive interview with Texas Scorecard, the Southwest Regional Director of Students for Concealed Carry, Quinn Cox, pushed back on this narrative:
“To say that there is an apparent “chilling effect” on the free speech of college professors is entirely baseless. With campus carry’s over 10-year history and hundreds of semesters combined between various campuses across the US, there has yet to be a single reported instance of an LTC holder or its out-of-state equivalent assaulting anyone on a college campus with his or her firearm. Additionally, in their classrooms, college professors are 719 times as likely to be the victim of an armed assault by a non LTC holding adult than by an LTC holding adult. It is clearly without merit to make the claims that one is forced to self-censor and that campus carry stifles debate.”
UT’s campus is still home to many visibly decaying “Gun Free UT” signs. Three years after campus carry’s passage, leftists on Texas college campuses continue attempts to subvert the will of Texas voters. Everyday, Texans who value their right to defend themselves should insist that tax-funded colleges and universities protect students’ constitutional rights, especially since gun-free zones continue to be a preferred target of mass shooters.