A professor emeritus at the University of Texas-Austin (UT) has announced that he is resigning his post in protest against a recent law allowing students to carry concealed weapons on campus, saying the law drastically increases his chances of being murdered.
“As much as I have loved the experience of teaching and introducing these students to economics at the university, I have decided not to continue,” economics professor Daniel Hamermesh said in a letter to university administrators this week. “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.”
Starting next August, Texas’s new “campus carry” law will allow those with concealed carry licenses to bring guns into the buildings and dormitories of Texas colleges. Several hundred UT professors have signed a petition of protest against it, though Hamermesh is the first to quit over the matter.
Hamermesh’s economics course currently has some 475 students, which he cited as putting him in particular danger of being gunned down.
Instead of UT, Hamermesh plans to teach at the University of Sydney in Australia starting next year out of “self-protection.”
Hamermesh predicted that he won’t be the first faculty member to avoid Texas because of its new tolerance for concealed carry.
“My guess is somebody thinking about coming to Texas is going to think twice about being a professor here,” he said in his letter. “It’s going to make it more difficult for Texas to compete in the market for faculty.” Texas isn’t the first state to legalize campus carry, though, as it’s already legal in several states, including Utah, Colorado, Oregon, and more.
Hamermesh does not make clear in his resignation letter how a campus gun-free zone would prevent a disgruntled student from killing him.
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