As faculty fellows invited to spend the year hosted by the Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History, we’ve joined your community for the year in order participate in the larger system efforts to make what Chancellor McRaven calls a “Quantum Leap” forward in the quality of intellectual life in the state. Since the Institute was established in 2007, it has brought together fellows like us from around the country and the world, building a reputation in a competitive environment as a unique center for creative historical work that enhances the lives of faculty and students on campus. Interaction with the UT community distinguishes this fellowship from opportunities at other universities and centers.
But that distinction is dulled by the recent policy facilitating the ability of individuals to carry handguns onto campus. Each of us hails from public institutions in states that respect citizens’ basic constitutional rights. None of us has to confront colleagues, students or staff carrying guns in our home institutions nor would we at most other sites hosting fellows in the discipline of History.
We wish to add our voice to those of students, faculty, staff and families who oppose any interpretation of Second Amendment rights to extend to carrying arms into classrooms and spaces of learning, and any implementation of campus-carry laws that undermine the maintenance of a safe, free intellectual community, one that continues to attract talented teachers and researchers.
University of Texas at Austin Institute for Historical Studies
Associate Professor of History
Florida International University