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Professor goes to work in body armor after concealed weapons allowed on campus

Charles K. Smith, a geography instructor at San Antonio College in Texas, wore protective gear to class on Tuesday to protest the state’s new Campus Carry law.
Charles K. Smith, a geography instructor at San Antonio College in Texas, wore protective gear to class on Tuesday to protest the state’s new Campus Carry law. Facebook

A college instructor at a community college in Texas wore a helmet and bulletproof vest to class to protest the new Texas law allowing concealed carry on campus.

One of the teacher’s students posted a photo of him on Facebook, and the photo quickly made the rounds among gun-rights advocates, who are mocking him.

“I was just saying I don’t feel safe,” Charles K. Smith, adjunct instructor of geography at San Antonio College, told the San Antonio Express-News last week.

“It definitely makes me feel uneasy that there are more firearms on campus than there really should be. (Dressing this way) was just a statement on how I felt.”

Campus Carry, allowing individuals with a license to carry a concealed handgun at Texas colleges, went into effect at four-year institutions last year and at community colleges on Aug. 1.

On July 1, Kansas university campuses began allowing students 21 and older to carry concealed handguns.

Smith told the newspaper he had no beef with the school, which is just “following the law.” He told administrators and police about his protest before he did it. “Some of them were OK, and some of them weren’t, but it’s freedom of speech,” he said.

Smith, who has been at the school for 10 years, told the Express-News he’s been threatened over grades but never with a gun.

“Used to, when they got mad at me, they had to go home to get the gun and had time to cool off, now they will have it with them,” he said.

James “Hot Mustard” Velten, the student who posted Smith’s photo on Facebook, told the newspaper he wasn’t surprised by “the horrible things” people have said about Smith given how controversial guns can be.

Velten, who works for the campus radio station, said his fellow students didn’t seem to object to the way Smith was dressed for class.

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