The Corner


Sorry, Profs — Your Worries about Guns on Campus Don’t Make the Law Invalid

Snowflake students? Yes, but we also have snowflake professors.

Last year, a law duly enacted in Texas made it legal for people who have concealed-carry permits to bring their weapons on the state’s college campuses. Naturally, a great deal of wailing accompanied that, driven by the usual “Guns are too scary!” crowd. Three professors at UT–Austin filed suit in an effort at blocking the law, claiming that it would interfere with their rights under the First Amendment. How so? Well, because if professors know that some student might have a gun in his backpack and start shooting if he gets upset over some discussion in class, they will self-censor and avoid potentially dangerous topics, thus interfering with their free-speech rights.

Fortunately, the case was assigned to one of the federal judges in the state who isn’t interested in far-fetched theories of constitutional harm and he recently dismissed the suit. I write about the case in my latest Forbes article.

The really silly thing about this case is that people can bring guns on college campuses all the time and those who do so illegally are at least as (and probably far more) likely to use a gun as is someone who has a concealed carry permit.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.