On the first day Texas' campus carry law took effect at community colleges last week, Charles K. Smith — a geography instructor at San Antonio College — offered a visual protest against the fact that guns now are allowed on campus.
Smith showed up to class Aug. 1 dressed in a bulletproof vest and helmet.
"I was just saying I don't feel safe," he told the San Antonio Express-News.
"It definitely makes me feel uneasy that there are more firearms on campus than there really should be," Smith added to the paper. "[Dressing this way] was just a statement on how I felt."
Smith — who's been at the college for a decade, the Express-News said — said the campus carry law "increases the chances of something happening."
"Used to, when they got mad at me, they had to go home to get the gun and had time to cool off," he told the paper. "Now they will have it with them."
“What if a student gets an F in my class?" he asked the Ranger. "It is automatically my fault."
Smith — who told the Ranger he borrowed the vest and helmet from his son who retired from the Army — said he's concerned about what could happen with guns in the hands of college kids.
“I had a fistfight break out in class over seating two years ago,” he told the Ranger.
He acknowledged to the Ranger that a shooting "can happen with or without the concealed carry, but you have got the person who has the gun, and they do not have to drive home to get the gun or have time to think about it. They have a weapon on the spot. It is intimidating.”
Smith told the Express-News that more people carrying guns "will lead to problems. It always has. There is nothing on this planet worth a human life."
The Facebook photo of Smith in the helmet and bulletproof vest led to a wide range of reactions.
"If you're that big of a puss, quit your job," Rickey Gile commented. "... dude, they have always had them, against the rules or not. Now that it is OK for the good guys to carry, be sure to thank one of them for saving your ass one day."
Robyn Lowry disagreed: "This is a SAD commentary on our country. We are all being forced to blindly trust random armed strangers in public while there are dozens and dozens of daily news stories showing us why we shouldn't trust them!"
James Velten — a student of Smith's and a school employee who posted the Facebook photo — told the Express-News there were no real objections from students during last week's class.
Smith told the Express-News that he understands the school is simply "following the law" and even ran his plans by police and administrators.
"Some of them were OK and some of them weren't," Smith told the paper, "but it's freedom of speech."
(H/T: Campus Reform)