On a sweltering day last August at the University of Texas at Austin, a flock of 30 undergrads are settling into a frigid lecture hall when teaching assistant Nick Roland enters with his crimson-red tee hugging a holstered Glock 23. Three weeks earlier, Senate Bill 11, also known as “campus carry,” went into effect in Texas, allowing students on 38 public campuses to carry concealed, loaded handguns to class. Roland, 32, is pursuing a Ph.D. in history after a tour in Iraq. Before that, he was an undergraduate at Virginia Tech in 2007, during the deadliest school shooting in modern history; among the 32 students killed was Roland’s hallmate. “l’ll never forget that day,” he says. Lean and handsome, with a crop of boyish brown hair, Roland says his gun has led to some tense discussions with grad students, a phone call from a parent and near-unanimous opposition from his colleagues. His class lecturer, Robert Icenhauer-Ramirez, told me, “I just hope someday the legislature allows guns to be carried into their offices.” (Handguns actually are allowed in the capital building.) But none of this has kept Roland from carrying his gun most days to class, where the title of the course… Read full this story
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