No guns in my classroom No. 4: More killings with a legal gun now in Roanoke, more reason to stop ‘campus carry’


This week the mass gun shooting — two dead, one wounded — was in Roanoke, Virginia — another gun killer, again shooting with a legal gun.

Another hater who bought a gun legally and killed two unsuspecting young journalists in the street.

Another legally owned gun carried by its purchaser to a public place and used to shoot to death reporter Alison Parker,24, and photographer Adam Ward, 27, on a pretty morning as people just like us went about their business.

That is why I don’t want any guns, legal or not, in my classroom.  Anybody in America can get a gun and we are all targets.

That’s why the “campus carry” gun law passed by the Texas State Legislature this year, which allows guns to be carried on public university campuses is  a travesty and a violation of our civil rights, a danger to my students as they attend class and to me as I lecture.

The  Texas “campus carry” law just goes one gun too far.

The chancellor of the University of Texas system and every university president in Texas should go to court immediately and file for an injunction to stop this law from going into effect and then pursue its repeal from court to court if necessary all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Ultimately it will take a constitutional amendment to bring sanity to American gun laws, but for now I just don’t want guns in my classroom.

Most Americans can buy guns legally at a store just like this week’s shooter did. The criminal background check on him at the time of purchase proved worthless because he was just an ordinary American with no criminal past or record of mental problems, just like most people in Texas who can buy guns.

The predictable questions from the press that we have heard time after time, shooting after shooting, were disheartening as Parker’s distraught father bravely choked back tears, facing journalists to honor his daughter’s profession.

How to spot symptoms of mental illness in gun buyers, they ask. How to spot the crazy people before they kill us, they ask.

And the suffering man cannot answer those questions.

Nobody can because at any given moment any one of tens of millions of ordinary citizens without criminal backgrounds or a record of psychiatric problems can snap and reach for the easy gun, the available gun, and start firing at us. I don’t want that to happen in my classroom.

The shooting deaths of these two young journalists brought the terror close to home for me because I teach multimedia journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso and they could have been my students. I see their faces glowing with enthusiasm  in my classroom ever day

Parker and Ward were on the air when they were shot to death. Ward kept recording as he fell and the last image he captured was the shooter aiming his new  Glock pistol at the camera.


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