One of my favorite entertainments is watching college professors in Texas gasping for air on their fainting couches over a new Texas law that will allow people with concealed-carry licenses to take their guns into builidings on the campuses of public four-year colleges.
The latest panicked pearl-clutching comes from Jonathan Snow, president of the faculty senate at the University of Houston, who crafted a PowerPoint presentation for his fellow professors outlining how terrified teachers can "alter their behavior" in the classroom under the new law, which goes into effect August 1.
One PowerPoint page captured on Twitter is headlined: "You may want to," followed by four bullet points:
* Be careful discussing sensitive topics
* Drop certain topics from your curriculum
* Not "go there if you sense anger
* Limit student access off hours
Opponents of the law, which will allow people with concealed-handgun permits to carry their weapons into public-university buildings, seized on the image as proof that many professors will feel they need to change their curricula or tiptoe around emotionally volatile students for fear of attack….
"It’s a terrible state of affairs," Mr. Snow, a professor of isotope geochemistry, said in an interview with The Chronicle. "It’s an invasion of gun culture into campus life. We are worried that we have to change the way we teach to accommodate this minority of potentially dangerous students."
Mr. Snow’s presentation, available here in full, covered the finer points of the campus-carry law — including information about what professors can and cannot say about guns in their classrooms, a timeline of the state’s law governing concealed carry on campuses, and different approaches to firearms for faculty members to take in their course syllabi.
Since outright forbidding Texas students to bring their licensed guns to class is a no-no, Snow's presentation seemed to suggest that professors subtly get their fellow-students to bully them into leaving the guns back in the dorm:
"Ask for a show of hands who would prefer that people leave their guns home," reads a slide advertised as a "more aggressive" classroom approach. "Ask that licensees understand and abide by the will of their peers."
You're also supposed to keep saying, "Guns have no place in the academic life of the university"–and post signs saying that under current law concealed-carry is forbidden on campus–with the hopes that your students won't realize that the law will have changed after August 1.
Not surprisingly, the University of Houston has declined to endorse Snow's slide show. But I like the idea of dropping "certain topics from your curriculum" because you feer shoot-em-ups from your sophomores. Maybe the university will drop its brand-new major in "women's, gender and sexuality studies" after the major's first cohort of graduates discovers they're unemployable and return to campus twirling six-guns.