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Texas Professor Takes Stand On Campus Carry Law (Photo)

| by Jonathan Constante

A photo of a Texas professor wearing a camouflaged bulletproof vest and helmet while teaching class is going viral.

The photo of San Antonio College professor Charles K. Smith was shared on Facebook by James Velten under the moniker "Hot Mustard," My San Antonio reported. It shows Smith wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet while standing in front of his class.

The professor said he wore the military attire to make a statement on the Campus Carry law. The law allows individuals with a conceal license to carry a handgun on college campuses. The legislation became law in 2015, but was officially implemented into Texas community colleges on Aug. 1.

"It definitely makes me feel uneasy that there are more firearms on campus than there should be," Smith told My San Antonio. "Dressing this way was just a statement on how I felt.

"I realize students were carrying guns on campus illegally, but now it's legal to do so, it increases the chances of something happening."

Smith said he had been teaching at the school for a decade, and admitted that he's seen occasional fist fights, arguments and threats over grades, but never a gun.

"They used to, when they got mad at me, they had to go home to get the gun and had time to cool off," Smith explained. "Now they will have it with them."

Smith said he is concerned at what could potentially happen if two gun carriers were to engage each other during an argument.

"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."

The photo was shared more than 1,000 times and received hundreds of comments since being uploaded to Facebook on Aug. 1. Several Facebook users taunted the professor, calling him a "typical liberal wacko" and "leftard."

"I'm not one bit surprised on the horrible things people have said," Velten told My San Antonio of the photo comments. "You have guns. The Second Amendment. It has to do with a community college. There's so many messages that haven't made it on the thread."

Velten is a student of Smith's. He described him as a smart professor who is passionate about his work.

"Around people like that, you tend to listen a bit more," Velten said, adding that there were no objections from students in the class regarding the professor's combat gear.

Smith said his statement had nothing to do with the school, saying "they are following the law." He also added that he notified the administration of his plan beforehand.  

"Some of them were okay and some of them weren't, but it's freedom of speech," Smith said.

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