Adjunct wears bulletproof vest to protest campus carry

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Science Adjunct Charles Keith Smith teaches GEOG 1301, Physical Geography, in a bulletproof vest Aug. 1 in chemistry and geology. Smith wore the vest as a statement about campus carry and to reference the University of Texas at Austin tower shooting Aug. 1, 1966. Smith says he doesn’t own a firearm and doesn’t plan to. The carry of licensed concealed handguns is permitted at the Alamo Colleges effective Aug. 1. Photo by Deandra Gonzalez

Two-year colleges have begun allowing Concealed Handgun License holders to bring handguns on campus.

By Sasha D. Robinson

Geography Adjunct Charles Keith Smith wore a bulletproof vest and Army helmet to teach his summer school class on Aug. 1 as a visual statement of his opposition to the campus carry law as it went into effect in two-year colleges in Texas.

“This is me making a statement that I do not approve of it, and I feel threatened,” Smith said in an interview after his class, GEOG 1301, Physical Geography.

He said he borrowed the vest and helmet from his son who retired from the Army.

“In Texas, there has only been one active shooter on any college campus on Aug. 1, 1966, at 11 a.m.,” Smith said

Smith referred to the University of Texas at Austin tower shooting when Charles Whitman used a rifle to kill 15 people and wound 31.

Smith said that with the campus carry law, he does not know who has guns and worries that the mental state of a student who carries a gun might increase the risk of a shooting.

“I had a fistfight break out in class over seating two years ago,” he said.

“These guys have guns,” he said. He said he cannot imagine what goes on in the thinking of students 21, 22 and 23 years old who may not be mature enough to carry a handgun.

President Trump signed a measure into law in February that allows mentally impaired people to purchase firearms, he said. Smith said he fears he does not know the mental state of someone carrying a handgun in his class.

Trump signed into law on Feb. 28 a measure that revoked an Obama Administration regulation requiring the Social Security Administration to report to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System names of recipients who were unable to work because of mental issues and could not manage their finances. These individuals then could not pass the background check required to buy firearms.

 Smith said that if he does not know someone’s mental state and the student receives a bad grade, he does not know how the student will react if they are carrying a weapon.

“What if a student gets an F in my class? It is automatically my fault,” Smith said.

“A shooting can happen with or without the concealed carry, but you have got the person who has the gun, and they do not have to drive home to get the gun or have time to think about it. They have a weapon on the spot. It is intimidating.”

Campus carry refers to legislation passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015 that became effective at two-year institutions of higher education Aug. 1.

The law allows individuals with a concealed handgun license to carry a concealed handgun on college premises.

To obtain a license, a person must be 21 years of age, meet state and federal qualifications to own a handgun and receive Concealed Handgun License training from an instructor certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to

The state will no longer require continuing education for renewal.

Guns will be prohibited at Scobee Planetarium; Candler Physical Education Center; the empowerment center; the early childhood studies building; the nursing and allied health complex; the testing and assessment center in Rooms 103, 112 and 113 of Fletcher Administration Center; Rooms 236C and 242 of Nail Technical Center; Rooms 339 and 354 of Chance Academic Center; and the science annex in Room 104 and Rooms 010C, 011A and 115 and Room 213 of the chemistry and geology building.

Smith said some students were not surprised about him wearing the vest because he told them he was going to wear it in protest.

He said some of his other students were not aware of the campus carry law.

Smith said he would wear the vest and helmet for only a couple of days.

Go to for additional information.



  1. “This is me making a statement that I do not approve of it, and I feel threatened[.]”

    Translation: “This is me stomping my feet and squalling and holding my breath ’til I turn blue because my ‘feelings’ are more important than anyone else’s fundamental rights, and I’m ENTITLED to be afraid whether that fear is irrational or not.”

    • It is indeed ironic that Universities, the one place on the planet that SHOULD be allowed to implement EVIDENCE based policy – are denied the right to prevent guns from being on campus.

      This is despite overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence from around the world that gun controls (such as mandatory background checks), and not least of all “Gun free zones” (many countries such as Australia and Japan with a minute fraction of the firearms deaths of the US are in effect GFZs) are incredibly effective.

      Your right to threaten others should not over ride the rights of others to actually be safe.

      • There have been several studies conducted about the beneficial aspects of allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons for self-protection. Here is a recent one.

        Crime Prevention Research Center: Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States (PDF)

        Quote from the Summary:

        During President Obama’s administration, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared to over 14.5 million – a 215% increase since 2007

        Between 2007 and 2015, murder rates fell from 5.6 to 4.7 (preliminary estimate) per 100,000. This represents a 16% drop. Overall violent crime fell by 18 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of adults with permits has soared by 190%.

        Regression estimates show that even after accounting for the per capita number of police and people admitted to prison and demographics, the adult population with permits is significantly associated with a drop in murder and violent crime rates.

        Concealed handgun permit holders are extremely law-abiding. In Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at one-sixth the rate that police officers are convicted.

    • Barry: Are you aware that there are other equally important amendments to the Constitution besides the 2nd Amendment? This professor is exercising his FIRST AMENDMENT rights to free speech. What this man is ENTITLED to is HIS RIGHT TO PROTEST a law he didn’t agree with. Pro-gun/gun-rights people are the BIGGEST WHINERS—even when you WIN, you WHINE that everyone doesn’t agree with you.You GOT your conceal & carry on cam[us. Stop being such a fragile snowflake that you can’t stand othe3r people DISAGREEING with you.

    • Isn’t that the premise behind “stand your ground” laws, but without the lethal results? Everybody has a threshold of fear. Who has the right to kill another who has created that fear in them… only the gun owners.

      • You might want to go brush up on your understanding of the law. Killing someone just because they hurt your feelings (no actual fear is involved here as the good professor is obviously still doing his job) will land you on death row.

  2. Poor pathetic snowflake. Given that statistically CHL holders have a crime rate lower than off-duty police and FAR lower than the general public, he should be afraid of his own shadow.

  3. I call B.S. on this libtard. Study of the photo shows that he is wearing nothing more than a plate carrier vest AD it does not have any armor plates in it as it laying too flat. It also looks like a cheap knock-off that airsoft gamers would wear, not milsurp.

  4. I’m sure he is. While I am not a psychologist, I did take a few psych courses, what he’s doing looks like he’s projecting his tendency to violence on others. Just a personal opinion, I am in no way trying to make a diagnosis.

  5. What, no bodies in piles, no rivers of blood in the hallways, no shootouts over parking spaces? All those like Smith who opposed campus carry assured us that, and more, would surely happen.

  6. This guy. He has a problem with folks age 21 carrying a gun. Read the story and you’ll find that he borrowed the helmet and vest from his son… who retired from the Army. You know… the Army… the folks that carry guns at 18ish. Yeah… he’s that much of a tool bag.

  7. He is welcome to wear his tacticool vest and helmet 24/7 for the rest of his life since it is high blood pressure and stress that is much more likely to kill him. He is afraid of the most law abiding 8% of the population, that should tell you right away that he is a poster boy for Regressives. How many years has he been “working” at schools that pretend they are “gun free” because they have a paper sign but zero active measures to keep illegal guns out? But now that they have to stop pretending he is concerned. Do you really want to be “taught” by an idiot like this?

  8. You know, I had the experience of meeting a Dallas Couple searching for a High School for their child in Sydney, Australia.After the third school failed their needs, they finally asked where they could find a school with armed guards and metal detectors.When informed no such school existed in Australia, they could not believe it at first.Imagine living in A Nation where there 8% of people having guns, no mass shootings, no

    killings over parking disputes,no school shootings and no children dying in gun accidents since
    2014.But you do not want to live in that kind of Hell hole do you?

    • Yeah… pity about the astronomical home invasion and forcible rape rates. If you’re not a gangbanger, you are safer in the US than in any part of the world our “crime problem” is mostly criminals killing other criminals. It’s what sane people call a win-win.

  9. I would be dropping his class and demanding a refund, as he is patently incapable of being an effective, rational educator, and is not actually knowledgeable about anything to do with science.

    • PhDProfessor on

      He’s actually a very well-liked, effective professor according to student evaluations. Your comments illustrate consumerist student epistemologies that have no place in public higher education. That way of thinking is better suited for for-profit colleges.

      • “consumerist student epistemologies” … can you explain what you think you mean by that?

        And how is it exactly that “public higher education” has become separated from for-profit colleges? Do private schools teach different knowledge and skills from public universities?

  10. Irrational fear of weapons is a sign of emotional and sexual immaturity. Maybe his wife/girfriend was only funnin him when she said “you have a son”. Maybe a DNA test is in order.

  11. There’s no way I would go to college in Texas because of this ridiculous gun law. I teach students ages 17 to 21, and we have some spirited debates. If I thought some of them were carrying guns I would think twice about anyone getting upset or angry. I live in Wisconsin, where hunting is a strong tradition. I don’t know any Democrat that wants to take away any guns, but there need to be wise regulations. Would these Texas lawmakers be equally happy with gun toting Muslims, Mexicans, African Americans……? This is so White Privileged, it stinks.

    • You’re addorable. What you don’t get is that a sizable chunk of your student body is already carrying. You just don’t know about it. Nice race baiting though. A for effort.

    • In Texas you have to be at least 21 years old to get a concealed handgun license (or 18 if you’re active duty military). All available Texas Department of Public Safety statistics, which are freely available online if you care to look, reveal that CHL holders are among the most law-abiding subset of the Texas population, and some of the people least likely to commit a crime, much less a violent crime. The statistics even suggest that CHL holders are convicted of crimes at a lesser rate than even sworn peace officers. CHL holders practically embody the phrase “card-carrying good guy.” Also, I hope you realize that every state in the country, and the District of Columbia, allows some form of concealed carry. Some do not even require a license! So you are in the presence of good people carrying concealed, defensive handguns whenever you are in public, whether you realize it or not. I’d be willing to bet that you’ve never even given it a second thought.

      To put it bluntly, the same licensed individuals who are not shooting up mall parking lots over parking space disputes, or shooting up the grocery store over who gets the last box of Lucky Charms are not going to be shooting up college classrooms over “spirited debates.”

  12. Far from a protest. He is wearing a plate carrier, not a bullet proof vest.
    He looks like he’s supporting the tactical look community more than protesting.

  13. Chip in Florida on

    “…., he does not know who has guns”

    You didn’t know that before the law took effect either so why the theatrics now?

    ” and worries that the mental state of a student who carries a gun might increase the risk of a shooting.”


    It’s been a year now, your condescending attitude towards your students and their mental state seems to be nothing more than you projecting your fear of others. That makes you kind of a biggot, doesn’t it?

  14. If he’s truly that concerned about being surrounded by licensed concealed carriers, then he should wear that body armor and helmet whenever he steps foot outside his front door. I’d be willing to bet that he’s probably never given a second thought to the fact that he’s surrounded by good people with concealed handguns whenever he’s at a mall, grocery store, church, theater, restaurant, or most other public places in the State of Texas.

    Did he wear body armor and a helmet BEFORE the campus carry law went into effect? If not he’s a damn hypocrite, because he had no way of knowing who was carrying a gun in his class (illegally) before the law was passed! Why is he only afraid now that licensed individuals are allowed to carry? The anti-gunners are proving themselves to be more and more ridiculous every day.

  15. He may have a right to protest but the classroom is not the place to do it! Students didn’t go to class to witness his rage and paranoia.

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