Responses to the report of the Campus Carry Working Group at UT Austin

GunFreeUT, December 10, 2015

Responses to the report of the Campus Carry Working Group at UT Austin

We categorically reject the recommendation that guns should be allowed in classrooms  This recommendation is based on the concern that gun carriers attending class would need to store their weapons and the act of storing them could pose a hazard  If gun carriers feel unsafe in storing their weapons, they should leave them at home.

The purpose of the university is education and the creation of new knowledge  Allowing guns in the classroom undermines that purpose by chilling free speech and infringing on academic freedom  The report has utterly failed to recommend policies that will protect these treasured traditions  We will defend our first amendment rights by every legal means possible.

The piecemeal introduction of guns into offices, dormitory public spaces, and married student housing is unwise and unworkable  Guns will inevitably make their way into inappropriate locations and will be impossible to control.

We maintain our original stance and we support the position of the Faculty Council:  Guns do not belong in “classrooms, laboratories, residence halls, university offices, and other spaces of education.”

Finally, we would like to move this discussion to a deeper and more profound level  The purported purpose of “campus carry” is for people to feel safe—they could defend themselves if necessary  This is a false idea  We need to foster research into ways to reduce gun violence and to make people feel safe without having to carry guns  That means establishing trust between the police and the public, and between the government and the public, so that we are doing the best that we can to protect all citizens.

Link to Campus Carry Policy Working Group Final Report December 2015