Newsweek: Professors May Inflate Grades to Avoid Offending Students If Campus Carry Passes

campus carry
AP/The Tulsa World/James Gibbard

In the latest round of arguments against the Campus Carry bill now making its way through the Texas legislature, Newsweek magazine suggests allowing law-abiding citizens to carry guns on campus could result in fearful professors giving students higher grades than they otherwise deserve.

In other words–professors may fear that law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits will go off the deep end and start shooting if they get a bad grade.

Here’s how Newsweek put it:

With this proposed law, a question coming up for many academics is whether they would be forced to give A grades to undeserving students, just so they can avoid being shot.

This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. In my five years as a college professor, I have had experiences with a number of emotionally distressed students who resort to intimidation when they receive a lesser grade than what they feel they deserve.

To back this assertion up, the author–Texas Women’s University professor Jessical Smart Gullion–gives an example of when she gave a student a “B” instead of an “A” and later feared the student would shoot her. Gullion wrote that friends of the student “avoided me on campus because, they said, they were afraid of getting caught in the crossfire should she decide to shoot me.”

Missing in Gullion’s recount of this incident is that the student–had she actually carried out that scenario–would have acted against the law and would have brought a gun onto campus for crime before Campus Carry was even being considered.

This actually plays perfectly into the arguments of pro-Second Amendment lawmakers like Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), who points out that those with criminal intent already bring guns on campus when it suits them. Thus, in his assessment, it is only right that law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits have their guns there too, in order to ward off an attack.

The opposition to Campus Carry for fear of grade inflation is ultimately just the latest in a series of random, desperate arguments against law-abiding citizens carrying guns on campus for self-defense.

For example, on February 21 the Houston Chronicle actually presented opposition to Campus Carry by arguing that guns in the hands of law-abiding students could hurt cancer research.

Moreover, the Chronicle quoted state senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston), who suggested allowing concealed carry on campus would lead to increases in the cost of education. He said: “We should be arming our children with a 21st century education, not arming them with handguns. As the cost of higher education continues to grow, it doesn’t make sense to push more unfunded mandates onto the backs of students and their families.”

On March 25, Lubbock Online reported that Texas Tech Student Democrats and Lubbock County Democrats rallied “a group of more than a dozen” to say we need to trust campus police to keep us safe. These Democrats stressed that “the university is a place of learning,” not a place for carrying guns for self-defense.

The bottom line–Whether the opposition to Campus Carry is framed in the language of grade inflation, a reduction in cancer research funds, an increase in the price of education, or a simple let the police take care of us approach, none of these things outweigh fighting the rape culture on college campuses by making it legal for women with concealed carry permits to carry on campus.

The ability to preserve life and stave off an attack by a sexual predator trump any argument against Campus Carry presented thus far.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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