UT professor to leave because of campus carry law

A University of Texas professor says he is leaving the school before the new campus carry law takes effect next fall.

Daniel Hamermesh is an economics professor. He retired back in 2014 but has since become a professor emeritus, teaching just a large class in the fall. He says he was planning on only teaching for another two semesters anyway, but this new law, pushed him out faster.

“It's 50 years to the day when this law becomes effective, when the Charles Whitman murders occurred on this campus,” Hamermesh said.

In the wake of campus carry passing this year, economics professor Daniel Hamermesh remembers and reflects on the 90-minute massacre in 1966 on the UT campus.

“This is how we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of this massacre, by putting this law into effect,” Hamermesh said.

The professor is not welcoming the law and says he plans to withdraw from the university once this fall semester ends. He says he would fear for his safety.

“I just don't want to take the risk of teaching a very large class, where students do get disgruntled because of the grading and how they perceive they should be doing,”

Hamermesh believes the school may run into some recruiting troubles somewhere down the line.

“The fear even if perhaps wrong, of having someone shoot at you, can deter a lot of people from coming,” Hamermesh said.

He is not alone. Students like Jacques Pewwetier feel the same way.

“It is written that you may defend yourself or you may have a gun, but i don't think that should apply to a university,” Pewwetier said.

Some who are for gun rights say the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with one.

“Campus carry would allow some others to respond accordingly and be the hero and save someone, but no-one's going to guarantee that. The only guarantee is there will be more guns,” Pewwetier said.

Hamermesh says he may not get a large following of professors who will leave their jobs as well, but he feels confident with his choice.

“Creating more of a gun culture on campus in my view, gives risk to security in a large class,”  Hamermesh said.

As for his future, well, he says he will spend two months at the University of Sydney next fall. He has been with UT since 1993.

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