Arizona is considering a “controversial” bill that would prevent state-run colleges from restricting students’ Second Amendment rights. Only not really. SB1474 will allow in-state campuses to ban guns within buildings—provided the campus has gun lockers and posts signage informing gun owners of the policy. The first thought in my mind: what good is concealed carry if you have to check your gun at the door of every class you attend? I’ve got three words for the bill’s framers: target rich environment. Further, creating a single storage space where a pile of weapons are just a crowbar away strikes me as an exceptionally bad idea. And here’s the big question: how do you get to college without learning about the United States Constitution? How do you get to be a professor–-a law teacher— without understanding its basic tenets? azcentral.com:
Flagstaff Mayor Sara Presler [above], an attorney who has taught at Northern Arizona University, asked legislators to vote down the bill.
She said she supports the Second Amendment, but said college is not the place for weapons.
“It’s (hard) to imagine encouraging a free marketplace of ideas and intellectual growth developed in an environment with a Colt 45 strapped to the hip of a student or professor,” Presler wrote in a letter. “Bring a book to class, not a Colt 45.”
“I support the Second Amendment.” Words. The same (first) words that came out of the mouths of Mayors Menino and Bloomberg during their pro-gun control Superbowl ad (aired in the New England market). Note to gun control advocates: words have meaning. If you think about it . . .
One of my favorite rhetorical tactics when it comes to the Second Amendment: substitute one of the other items in the Bill of Rights for the right to keep and bear arms. It’s why I am no longer a “reasonable restrictions” guy and am now a “the second amendment is my permit” guy.
Imagine if Arizona were considering a bill to restore the right to peaceably assemble on campus. Would student groups form in opposition to the idea (admittedly, such a group would have trouble convincing one another to get together for a protest)?
I’m confident that if a vote were taken on any given college campus to “restore” Second Amendment rights to students while on campus, the vote would fail handily*. Our education system does a horrible job of teaching civics in anything approaching a historic fashion. There is far more fervent support for a “right” found in the emanations and penumbras of the Fourth Amendment than a clearly articulated right such as the second.
The common view of the Bill of Rights is deeply distorted in society and the academy is a chief culprit. I’ve said before that children are ignorant barbarians, born naked and unknowing into the world. It’s up to us to teach them right from wrong. For decades we have sub-contracted the teaching of civics to those who believe that what’s enumerated in Second Amendment isn’t really a right. We need to take upon ourselves the teaching of constitutional government since government-run schools are doing such a piss-poor job of it.
*On the other hand, almost all the college age folks I talked to at the Occupy St. Louis “happening” supported the 2nd Amendment, so long as one had small magazines.