A Texas professor is making waves on social media after protesting the state's campus carry law by wearing protective combat gear to class.
San Antonio College geography instructor Charles K. Smith went to his class last week sporting a camouflaged bulletproof vest and helmet. He said he wore it because he doesn’t feel safe.
“It definitely makes me feel uneasy that there are more firearms on campus than there should be,” Smith told mySA.com. “[Dressing this way] was just a statement on how I felt.”
Campus Carry, which was signed into state law in 2015 and officially implemented into Texas community colleges on Aug. 1, allows individuals with a conceal license to carry a handgun on college premises. The law went into effect at 4-year institutions in 2016.
A photo of Smith wearing the combat gear was shared on Facebook, which generated a flurry of comments in favor of and against the professor.
“I realize students were carrying guns on campus illegally, but now it’s legal to do so. It increases the chances of something happening,” said Smith, who also acknowledged that no one had pulled a gun on him in his 10 years at the college.
“Used to, when they got mad at me, they had to go home to get the gun and had time to cool off. Now they will have it with them,” he added.
Smith said he’s concerned about an argument breaking out and one of the participants having a gun.
“My assumption is that you will have more people carrying guns – that will lead to problems. It always has,” he said. “There is nothing on this planet worth a human life.”
James “Hot Mustard” Velten, who posted the photo on Facebook, told Fox News on Tuesday that response on campus has been mostly positive.
"Many professors admire his statement about campus carry," he said. "Many professors don't feel safe because of the law."
Velten also told mySA.com that Smith was a passionate professor.
“Around people like that, you tend to listen a bit more,” he said.
Smith said his protest has nothing to do with San Antonio College, as they are following the law. He said he ran his plans by local police and the administration beforehand.
“Some of them were okay and some of them weren’t, but it's freedom of speech,” he said.