An upcoming PBS “documentary” titled “Guns on Campus” examines campus-carry laws through the markedly anti-gun opinions of a Students Against Campus Carry leader, an anti-campus carry English professor, and a former law enforcement official who is outspoken in his opposition to campus carry.
The documentary will be released in conjunction with a PBS special on the sniper attack that took place on the University of Texas (UT) campus Aug. 1, 1966.
“Guns on Campus” features UT professor Lisa Moore, saying:
The campus-carry law makes it really hard for us to do our job as instructors. Students are allowed to bring guns to my classroom. I really consider that interchange of teaching and learning that happens in a college classroom to be something of a sacred vocation. [But campus carry] has introduced a level of tension, a level of weariness into the classroom setting that I just find kind of heartbreaking, frankly.
The documentary ends with former Austin police officer Ramiro Martinez talking about taking out the sniper in 1966. He stands where the sniper was finally killed and says, “Right here is where he died.”PBS does not mention that Martinez literally praised private citizens who retrieved personal guns from their vehicles and returned fire against the sniper in 1966.
Martinez then talks about his opposition to campus carry, saying:
I have been asked about my opinion about concealed handgun campus carry, and I’m against it. We don’t need young people, who are just a little over 21, probably a little bit immature, to be carrying guns on the campus.
PBS does not mention that Martinez literally praised private citizens who retrieved personal guns from their vehicles and returned fire against the sniper in 1966. In fact, as recently as 2005 Martinez expressed his frustration that private citizens had not received “more recognition” for the way they used their own guns to fight back when the sniper opened fire.
Ammoland quotes Martinez’s 2005 autobiography, where the former officer says:
I was and am still upset that more recognition has not been given to the citizens who pulled out their hunting rifles and returned the sniper’s fire. The city of Austin and the state of Texas should be forever thankful and grateful to them because of the many lives they saved that day.
In much the same way, PBS did not mention that Professor Moore was not simply an English professor who disagreed with campus carry, but one of three professors who filed a suit to block campus carry from taking effect.
KHOU reported that Moore was part of a suit which claimed that “First Amendment rights to academic freedom” are chilled by “compelling professors at a public university to allow, without any limitation or restriction, students to carry concealed guns in their classrooms.” Of course there are limitations and restrictions, chief among them the fact that persons who carry a gun must have a concealed-carry permit. This means the persons who carry have been thoroughly vetted.
But the PBS documentary passes right over these things, presenting Moore as just another random professor who opposes guns in the classroom.There is no back-and-forth discussion of how armed, private citizens actually helped police get the sniper …
To be fair, there are short segments in which the pro-campus carry view is presented. This is done by commentary from Virginia Tech shooting survivor Nick Roland and Central Texas Gun Works owner Michael Cargill. But the documentary uses comments from Students Against Campus Carry’s Ana Lopez to blot out much of the pro-gun commenters’ statements.
I’ve debated with Nick like, a couple months ago and I get it. And I can’t put myself in his situation. But causing everyone else to live in fear … is counter production.
People often forget that my university was the site for the first recorded mass shooting in U.S. history. And that’s usually brushed under the rug.
There is no back-and-forth discussion of how armed, private citizens actually helped police get the sniper, no discussion on the lunacy of creating gun-free campuses where the sniper or people like the Virginia Tech attacker or the Sandy Hook gunman are the only ones who are armed.
Michael Cargill summed up how underemphasized the pro-gun position was in the program, saying, “They really didn’t show our position the way we presented it. They only used a small snippet of our position.”