Roland, The Campus Thomson Gunner

Add any Colorado public university as a place I do not wish to teach:

Jerry Peterson, a professor of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder and chair of the Boulder Faculty Assembly, said he would cancel classes if he found that someone had brought a firearm to class, according to the Daily Camera.

Although Peterson said he was only speaking for himself, Philip P. DiStefano, the chancellor at UC-Boulder, sent out an e-mail Tuesday to faculty members that they could not shut down a class if a student with a concealed carry permit brought a gun.Uh.

I really don’t know what to say.
I’m just not sure how it improves the educational environment if during a discussion session, a student might hesitate to criticize an idea from someone packing a Glock.
How about having to decide which kevlar print went best with my slacks on days I was handing back papers?  A “C” can powerfully irritate some folks, I know…
Of course, any constraint on the pedagogical process is secondary to the exercise of Founder-given rights, right?  So said the Colorado Supreme Court last March, thus ensuring that all Colorado public higher ed students can go to class every day secure in the knowledge that if a psycho shooter does show up, they can expect defense in the form of fellow students with much less firearm and incident training than, say, the New York Police Department offers its officers.
I mean, seriously.  What the F**k, America.  You don’t think that there is any zone in which the imminent threat of deadly force might be, you know, inappropriate.
Not to mention the inherent badness of the idea of putting young folks, stress and all the powerful emotion and mood swings that college can evoke in close proximity with firearms.
Holy FSM, am I glad I live in the great pagan-pinko-commie-health-care-providing-gay-marriage-pioneering non-gun-fetishizing Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The winters may suck here, but sweet baby Jeezus and his dumber younger brother,* at least I don’t have to check my students for holster bulges.
I’d make a crack about Darwin awards and all that, but this really is too damn depressing to think about.
PS — Other states are crazy this way too.  It’s not going to be that long before I’m actually going to check on each institution’s policy before deciding whether it’s prudent to accept speaking invitations. Consider this bit of woe:

More than 200 campuses in six states currently allow concealed carry in some form, Burnett said, be it campuswide or only in certain areas.

*The one who turned wine into water.
Image: Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps, The Suicide, c. 1836
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5 Comments on “Roland, The Campus Thomson Gunner”

  1. onkelbob Says:

    I recommend staying out of Mombassa, especially if you drink gin… In Ireland, Lebanon, Palestine, and… Berkeley!

  2. Don Atkinson Says:

    Just so you know, the Utah legislature made it abundantly clear that it is perfectly legal to concealed carry on any state controlled campus. Univ of Utah, Utah State, all the smaller schools. Anyone, visitor, student, staff or faculty with a cc permit can carry on campus, to their class or in their lab or office. The schools have absolutely no right to place any restrictions on carrying a conceal weapon anywhere on campus. Also in Utah getting a concealed carry permit is as simple as filling out a form and taking a 45 minute class. Everyone and their dog has one.

  3. Min Says:

    In the ante-bellum South, students at Ole Miss were not allowed to bring their guns to class. How far we have come since then!

  4. ajhil13 Says:

    This is the debased state of our “culture”: that in any discussion of gun control we must defer to people who kill animals for the fun of it. Hunting is slowly withering as a popular pass time, but it still commands a disproportionate and wholely inappropriate level of respect. People who enjoy killing are mentally sick, whether they do it secretly in their basements or openly in our woods and fields. The fact that these psychotic individuals hamper effective action on our national disease of gun violence is an absolute disgrace.

    • Tom Says:

      I don’t think it is the hunters who are driving this bus anymore. See this from TPM — it captures my sense of the way the gun world has changed: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/12/tactical_reality.php?ref=fpblg

      Gun nuttery is a feature of right wing politics in this country. Until leading right political and cultural figures weigh in on the side of some kind of gun control, then we aren’t going to see change. But it’s not the folks with bolt action .30-06s going after their winter meat that make the difference.


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