A University of Texas professor contended on CNN Friday night that allowing students to carry a concealed firearm would lead to lenient and unfair grading because instructors would fear being shot by students upset over poor grades.
The argument came from economics professor Daniel Hamermesh who announced he would resign from his post at the university because of a state law that will soon expand gun rights for students.
"Why were you scared of your safety when it became clear this law was going to become the law of Texas?" CNN host Erin Burnett asked.
"I have 500 students of a large class and most of them are wonderful people, almost all are. Occasionally a student comes into my office, disgruntled about a grade or something. The worst they are going to do is throw a wastebasket around. With a concealed gun in their pocket they could have a break and pull out and shoot at me and I don't want to take that risk," he said.
Burnett asked how the professor would respond to pro-gun advocates who argue that students should be allowed to defend themselves.
"First of all, I don't want to turn my classroom into the gunfight at the economics corral," Hamermesh said. "Secondly, some kid comes in and pull a gun suddenly — I'm not going to react. I don't expect most students to behave that way. And I know I would be the victim."
He added, "It will lead to much higher grades for students because who wants to give a student a bad grade if they are afraid they'll shoot at you?"
"Do you think other professors feel this way? That literally it will affect grades? That there is a fear that someone could kill a professor over something like that? A grade on a paper?" Burnett pressed.
"Yes," the professor insisted. "I've got a couple people emailing me that just today."
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