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This Nobel Laureate Became an Unlikely Force in Texas' Campus Carry Debate

Weinberg photo via Flickr/Larry D. Moore (CC BY-SA 3.0), Protest photos credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News
Left: University of Texas professor Steven Weinberg says he will ban guns from his classroom. RIght: Protesters at a mock mass shooting last December.

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, University of Texas at Austin professor Steven Weinberg said a faculty meeting that despite campus carry legislation, he would not be allowing guns in his classroom when the law takes effect in August.

Since then, he's become something of an unlikely leader in the campus carry debate, the Texas Tribune reports.

Weinbergspoke to the Standard about his opposition to campus carry and how he's willing to fight it.


On what transpired at that UT Faculty Council meeting:

"I urged a compromise in one respect. That instead of banning guns altogether from classrooms, as the faculty council had urged, or admitting entirely to all classrooms as the Goode Committee reluctantly recommended, I urged that we leave it up to the individual faculty member. And I said for my own part, I would exclude guns from the classroom."

On the potential of a lawsuit against him:

"I think, and some members of the law school at UT think, that a law that requires faculty to admit guns into the classroom where controversial matters may be discussed, does put an undue burden on the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. ... I am urging that the university adopt a policy of faculty choice, which would avoid the conflict with the First Amendment. I think that if I did wind up in court, that's the argument I would make. And no federal court has heard this issue. This is, at the moment, an open issue."

On what he'll do if he's forced to allow guns:

"You know, it's a difficult position. I love the University of Texas and I hate to be in a position of violating its regulations. I think I will probably do what I did this time and put a line into the syllabus of my course saying that guns are not allowed in the class, and then leave it up to their sense of honor to comply with the statement."

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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