About the Episode
The media are downright giddy to report that a University of Texas professor plans to resign over the state’s new “campus carry” law. Economics professor emeritus Daniel Hamermesh officially retired in 2014, but for the past two years he has continued teaching one class each fall semester. He says he had planned to keep teaching this class for the next two falls, until the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 11, which allows concealed handgun license holders to carry handguns on the campuses of Texas colleges.
However, none of that reporting has yet to ask why a professor who teaches only first-semester freshmen is concerned about a law affecting licensed individuals over the age of 21.
In his resignation letter to UT-Austin President Gregory Fenves, Hamermesh writes, “With a huge group of students, my perception is that the risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed-carry law.”
Speaking to the unusual size (as many as 500 students) of Hamermesh’s annual class, his letter notes, “In some semesters these groups of 18-year-olds constituted the largest single course on campus.”
Given that Professor Hamermesh tendered his resignation only two semesters earlier than planned and now intends to take a job at an elite university halfway around the world, his decision to publicly blame a law that would not have impacted his classes reeks of political opportunism. Opponents of campus carry needed a martyr, and they found one in a professor who was on his way out anyway.
This kind of politics is exhausting. It’s also woefully ignorant of the facts, which are these:
- Guns are used 80x more in this country for self-defense than for murder.
- The FBI reports that CHL reduced crime, rather than increased it.
- There is a strong positive correlation between gun ownership and crime reduction.
That means more guns, less crime. Go out and buy yourself a gun!