To the Editor,
I am writing in response to a few issues raised in The Lariat’s excellent coverage of the controversy over the petition my colleague Dr. Blake Burleson and I wrote opposing Sen. Brian Birdwell’s Campus Personal Protection Act.
It is stated in the article “Students’ take” from the February 26 issue of the Lariat, that “Baylor professors expressed concern for their safety in a classroom that permitted concealed carry.” My personal safety is not the issue. As a professor and the father of two Baylor students, I am concerned first and foremost for the safety of my students.
In the article “Professors’ perspective,” from the same issue, my colleague Dr. Earl Grinols suggests that Dr. Burleson and I are “engaging in emotionalism.” It is hard for me to imagine a more emotionally motivated response than the idea that more and more weapons will keep our campus safe. In arguing that fewer, not more, weapons will make us safer, I believe that Dr. Burleson and I have both reason and evidence on our side.
Finally, I understand that when I was hired to teach at Baylor, I was expected not only to teach students but to provide a witness to my Christian faith. In refusing to succumb to the kind of emotionally driven thinking that has led our society at large to embrace weapons of violence, I believe that I am witnessing to that faith by example and am teaching the most important lesson I will ever convey.
Professor of Musicology