A Texas college professor claims a coming law that would allowing licensed gun owners to carry firearms on campuses will cause grades to shoot up.
"Will we soon see a new sort of grade inflation, with students earning a 4.0 GPA with their firepower rather than brainpower?"
- Prof. Jessica Gullion, Texas Woman's University
In a recent opinion piece published in Newsweek, Jessica Gullion, an assistant professor of sociology at Texas Woman's University, warns that allowing students to pack heat in the classroom could add a scary dimension to those after-class discussions about grades.
"Will we soon see a new sort of grade inflation, with students earning a 4.0 GPA with their firepower rather than brainpower?" Gullion wrote.
Gullion recounted being intimidated by one student angry about her grade, and said knowing that angry students might be armed and could "resort to any means necessary" to keep their grades up could prompt professors to hand out easy As.
"Allowing students to carry weapons to class strips off a layer of safety," she wrote. "Students are often emotional and can be volatile when it comes to their GPAs," she wrote. "Who would want to give a student a low grade and then get shot for it?"
The National Rifle Association took aim at Gullion's argument, calling it "divorced from reality and logic." The national trend of states easing restrictions on carrying licensed firearms has not spurred the violence some predicted, according to the NRA, and any student willing to threaten a professor with death or injury is likely not waiting for legislation to pass.
"Indeed, aping the irrational fears, paranoid delusions, or cultural biases of one’s teacher is far more likely to prop up one’s GPA than lawfully and unobtrusively carrying a firearm of which the teacher is unaware," the NRA wrote on its website.
The state Legislature passed a measure over the weekend that would repeal a law prohibiting licensed gun holders from having firearms on school grounds. If signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, as expected, the law would go into effect next fall and in 2017 for community and junior colleges. Public school presidents have the right to ban guns in “reasonable” areas of the campus, and private colleges in Texas would be able to completely opt out of campus carry.
Texans with concealed handgun licenses have been able to carry on college campuses for 20 years, but not in buildings.
The campus carry law is one of two controversial gun bills on Abbott's desk. The other, which he is also expected to sign, would allow for licensed gun owners to openly carry handguns in most public spaces.