Patricia Somers and Matt Valentine, "Campus Carry: Confronting a Loaded Issue in Higher Education" (Harvard Education Press, 2020)


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In Campus Carry: Confronting a Loaded Issue in Higher Education (Harvard Education Press, 2020), editors Patricia Somers and Matt Valentine lead an examination of the unintended consequences of campus gun policy and showcase voices from the college community who are grappling with the questions, issues, and consequences that have emerged at their respective institutions. While making the case that campus carry legislation is harmful, the book gathers some of the very best thinking around enacting such policies and offers valuable recommendations for mitigating its effects and preserving university values.

The implementation of campus carry is complex and has provoked many questions: How does concealed carry on campus affect the free expression of ideas in the classroom or the safety of faculty holding unpopular or even controversial views? Should students who misplace or leave their weapons unattended be disciplined? How are communities of color impacted by campus carry? Along with the book's contributors, Somers and Valentine provide higher education leaders, administrators, and faculty with a valuable resource that will guide them toward considerations that might otherwise be overlooked, help them avoid pitfalls that have been encountered elsewhere, and protect institutional priorities.

The book features reflection pieces from students, alumni, and faculty to illustrate the complexity and controversy of the campus carry policy. Given that the legal possession of guns in the classroom is now a reality for American educators and students in much of the country, Campus Carry concludes with a passionate call for more university-based original research on gun violence.

Pat Somers is an Associate Professor in the Program of Higher Education Leadership in the Educational Leadership and Policy Department at the University of Texas at Austin. Matt Valentine teaches writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a fellow of the Trice Professorship in the Plan II Honors Program.

Tom Discenna is Professor of Communication at Oakland University whose work examines issues of academic labor and communicative labor more broadly.

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