Department of English

English Faculty and Students Speak Out Against Campus Carry

Sat, October 1, 2016
English Faculty and Students Speak Out Against Campus Carry
Gun policy signage at UT

Campus Carry has kept the English department in the news since the law was instated when the school year began. Read what people are saying: 


"My students were looking at me with saucer eyes,’ Moore recalls. ‘Three of them started to cry. They all had questions. The awareness that that day in that class there may be someone who had a handgun sitting in the room with them was incredibly distracting. We didn’t talk much about Jane Austen that day."

The Telegraph


"We just find that it's impossible to do our jobs with this policy in place. We all teach subject matter that is quite sensitive, and we all use very participatory, you know, pedagogically sound methods of trying to teach students how to state their views on controversial subjects, challenge one another and stand up for what they believe in. And the thing is our classrooms have to be laboratories for experimenting with those kinds of challenging materials and challenging stances that people take."


"I grew up on a ranch, and I can still probably kill a gopher at fair distance, but what we were taught is you don't take your guns to town." - Professor Lisa Moore

The New York Times


"We already have concrete examples of faculty who have declined to apply for jobs here at the university or who, once offered jobs, have turned them down when they realized that this policy would go into effect, students changing their minds about coming to our graduate and undergraduate programs, and invited speakers declining to come when they realized that we couldn't guarantee that they would give their talk in a gun-free space." -Professor Lisa Moore



Now suddenly we have to decide how we teach. Will you be less confrontational? Will you steer away from topics? We’ve been the target of a lot of nasty comments by the gun people, and I think people are scared. It makes me want to not set foot in a classroom.” - Professor Joan Neuberger

The New York Times 


"So strap it on, deal with the discomfort, deal with the weird looks. Wear it loud, wear it proud. And don’t take off your dildos until people take their guns home.” - Jessica Jin, UT student



"I teach gay and lesbian studies. When I first got here in the early ’90s, I had an office on the ground floor of the English building, and I had a lot of posters up advocating for gay rights. One day, someone broke into the office, burned my gay rights posters, and then wrote “depravity kills” all over the windows. It was scary enough for me to know someone was willing to commit a serious act of vandalism. Were it the case that someone could have brought a gun into my office, during office hours, I think I wouldn’t have been able to do my job." -Professor Lisa Moore

The Trace 


"Where other opponents of campus carry have emphasized the risk of accidental shootings and the extreme rarity of mass shootings stopped by concealed carriers, Moore is among those pushing a new and powerful idea into the debate: The worry that allowing guns on campus could disrupt the core spirit of college as a safe place for dissent and free speech." -Professor Lisa Moore
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