Reader Richard A. writes:

The question of whether to allow guns on state-funded campuses has become quite the divisive issue here in Idaho. Thankfully for those of us who live in Eastern Idaho we have the Idaho State Journal to keep us informed of how dangerous firearms are, especially if they were allowed on campus. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, most of the media coverage concerning this law has portrayed this bill in a negative manner . . .

I was at a Q&A on Friday in which Governor Otter was in attendance. A “concerned” citizen asked the Governor if he was also concerned that this bill would cause home values in the surrounding area to drop like a rock. Governor Otter responded much more politely than I would have. He informed the oh-so-concerned citizen that the majority of Idaho homes already have a gun in them, so he didn’t see a correlation. However, the next morning the Journal and other Idaho newspapers thought the headline ‘Guns may kill nuke research’ was much more enticing and didn’t mention the high gun ownership rate in the state.

I don’t doubt that there may be some challenges in instituting this law and it may cause some people and institutions some temporary heartache. However, the arguments put up by those who oppose the legislation seem asinine and absurd. I don’t like any kind of fruit, therefor I don’t eat it. I can’t seem to understand why people who dislike guns (for whatever reason, many of which may be valid by their way of thinking) can’t treat them the same way I do fruit. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, eat it, use it, etc.

The Journal loves to print anti-gun editorials. I sent a letter to the editor at the Journal last week which I’m sure will never make it into print. In it I asked why most liberals/anti-gun folk are all about the freedom to choose. We must have the freedom to choose and express ourselves as we see fit. Legalized marijuana is a great way to do that. People should be free to choose who/what they want to marry. Women must have the freedom to choose what they do with their bodies. They argue these freedoms are a must and if you disagree you are a bigot who loves to discriminate against everyone else.

So freedom to choose is wonderful right up until it involves the use of a gun and protecting my family. I’m no rocket scientist, but that seems like discrimination to me. Then again what do I know? I only grew up in Los Angeles so freedom and guns are a fairly new concepts to me.

53 Responses to Of Colleges, Guns and Nukes in the Land of the Potato

  1. Just drives me up a wall.

    A person determined to do harm to others will bring a firearm on campus to do so, no matter what “policy” or “sign” or “regulation” or “law” is in place.

    On the other hand, a law-abiding person is told, “No, you can not carry a concealed firearm that, you know, is concealed which means we will never see it unless you absolutely have to use it to defend your life.”

    Arggggghhhhhhh

  2. I won’t state which university or college this happened at, but in my state a debate arose when a proposal to modify the CCW law was offered. In that proposal, it included verbiage revoking a colleges power to regulate firearms on their premesis. As one can imagine, it made the College Board of Trustees incensed that they’d lose their power to deny the staff and students their RKbA.

    So, said Board ordered the Student Body class president and the student government executive team to stump for them at the State Capitol. It wasn’t like it was a realistic choice- sure they could go ahead and stand up to the Board of Trustees ,but they’d better have papers for a different college on file.

    Half the party supported the ban on guns, and the other half would have risked tens of thousands of dollars and their academic futures if they said no. The state legislature voted to keep the campus ban in place- “so as to provide a safe education environment.”

    Unfortunately, I think college carry will be harder then even the NFA to accomplish.Not only because of stunts like that, but because parents lose rational composure when it comes to their kids. People who understand the need to carry on MLK Avenue default to raw emotion when considering the notion of lawful guns around their kids.

    O, how often I’ve heard parents around here in passing say they’re glad the College has a localized ban. It’s a perfect example of “one law for me, but not for thee.” Guns are cool on the street and in the car, but not next to their precious 18 year old snowflake in math class.Anything but THAT.

    It’s a social problem well need to solve artfully.

    • No parent who has trained their kids in shooting, self-defense and US history would want this ivory tower environment you speak of. Nor would these young people let themselves be bullied by the board. College students buck college administrations all the time. If they can take a stand against GMOs in the dining hall, they can stand up for the Constitution.

    • Students need to be informed on the laws around recording such conversations, and posting those recordings on-line and taking them to appropriate authorities and media organisations.

    • I wouldn’t agree that college carry would be NFA-difficult to accomplish. After all, Colorado and Utah have attained college carry. Texas came close in last year’s legislative session, but settled for allowing firearms in vehicles on college campuses. Not perfect, but a step in the right direction.

      I would agree that it’ll be a long, hard fight for our entire lives. The other side has devoted their lives to depriving people their rights and to imposing their will on others. We’ll just keep fighting and keep moving the needle toward more and more freedom for all.

      One day, we will die, and our successors will take up the fight for the next generation. This is why it’s important both to instill liberty-based values in our children and to honor those who’ve come before us. These two concepts equip our heirs to continue the fight and fuel them with the motivation to do so.

  3. Isolate, marginalize, disenfranchise, attack, destroy. If one can just murder enough people the Worker’s Utopia can be achieved in their lifetime
    Every Leftist memorizes the teachings of Dear Leader in school then goes out in the world to further the Marxist Utopia

  4. “Freedom to choose” ends at the point where it “infringes on others’ freedoms.” This is a great way to fence off freedoms you don’t like. So you can’t smoke because I might get secondhand fumes, you can’t have a soda because it infringes on my healthcare costs, and you can’t have a gun because you might shoot me. Q.E.D. (Exception made for abortion)

    • ” it infringes on my healthcare costs”. Lets get the government out of things it should have never gotten involved in, we can reduce this.

  5. “Women must have the freedom to choose what they do with their bodies. ”

    Women have a right over their bodies and theirs alone, a parent gives up certain freedoms when he and she decide to have a child. Imo, when a woman decides to be a mother for whatever reason, she now shares her body with a dude who didn’t choose to be born. Now if only we could come up with a date, heartbeat, brain activity or w/e it be simpler.

    She has the right to choose over her body not over the kid’s…unless of course she didn’t chose to have one in the first place which is a different issue all together.

    Sorry for the side comment but, supposedly my rights stop when you rights begin, that should apply to everyone.

    • Did that woman force you to have an abortion? If not, I don’t think you or anyone else has a right to say. It is her body. Also, if you think about the “greater good,” what good does it do to bring a child in the world that is unwanted? If you think of children as a product, social services currently proves their is a surplus of unwanted children in America, let alone the world.

      • So if a baby is just a “product” then that means everyone is just a “product” fit to be used by whomever is in control. A baby is a human from the moment of conception and is a completely distinct life from the life of the mother. The placenta keeps the mother’s immune system from killing the baby every time a woman gets pregnant. And it doesn’t always work. Aborting the pregnancy is just a fancy way of saying murder the baby. There are plenty of childless couples that would be happy to adopt if the govt. didn’t make it so difficult and costly bartering human lives. That’s why many couples adopt from outside our own country. Because it’s cheaper. The baby is at no fault and doesn’t deserve a death sentence because of the bad/sinful acts of the adults who created him/her. Even rape is not an excuse to murder a baby. Don’t hire a hit man/abortionist. It is compounding the problem not solving it.

  6. “I’m no rocket scientist, but that seems like discrimination to me.” That may be the case, yet anti-2A types have never had a problem with irony.(sarc)

  7. It is discrimination, legal discrimination as Ralph said. BTW Otter was supposed to flanked by representatives Perch & Bluegill but alas they were nowhere to be seen.

  8. Articles like this make me feel extremely blessed to live in a state where our right to carry a firearm on our school’s public campus is enshrined in our state’s constitution. On occasion Oregon shines through the mire of liberalism

  9. I am an actual rocket scientist and yes, you’re absolutely correct.

    Would that more people would agree with the entirety of your final paragraph.

  10. IMO, modern liberals are extremely inconsistent when it comes to the freedom of choice. In some cases they favor it a lot. In many other cases, they are absolutely against it.

    But I would say that more often than not, they are against freedom of choice. While on some issues (marijuana, marriage, abortion, etc.) they are pro-choice, they are generally anti-choice on health care, education, labor, retirement, most “economic issues,” and a fair number of “personal issues.”0

    As for the specific “guns on campus” issue, I suspect that those who oppose guns on campus have one or both of these beliefs:

    * Criminals will obey the signs, and/or
    * Good guys with guns are going to be incompetent, careless, and/or stupid with them.

    The first belief is absurd. The second one is occasionally but rarely correct; most responsible folks who carry guns rarely – if ever – take them out of the holster while in public.

    Basically, it’s more prejudice against gun owners. Par for the course.

    • There is a great Steven Crowder clip where he’s on a college campus asking folks their opinion on the short lived NYC ban on large sodas contrasted with thoughts on legalizing pot. He asked a few other questions as well. One student in particular predictably believed that pot should be legal because “you can do whatever you want with your own body.” To which Crowder replied “except a big gulp.” I have to give the kid credit for acknowledging the inconsistency.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dv4x2pRMamE#t=0m49s

    • The inconsistencies are only there if you take leftists at their word, i.e., that they have constructive social goals. This may be true for the rank and file useful idiot, who takes emotion-based positions on pet issues without ever thinking things through. But none of these issue really matter to the leftist movement as a whole.

      No, the leftist movement as a whole was born to oppose American (and Western, more generally) values and institutions. Remember, the issue is never the issue. This issue is always the revolution. War is bad (when the US fights to protect it’s interests), but noble (when communists stage a bloody coupe and kill millions). Children must be protected (when a particular measure will give the central government more control), unless they are late-term fetuses (in which case it’s fine to kill them, so that Judeo-Christian ethics are undermined and the value of individual life is cheapened). The simple act of carrying a gun makes a man inherently dangerous to those around him (when he isn’t directly under the command of local officials), but not when the man is charged with enforcing the will of the state. Wealth and success are sure signs that a woman is evil, except when said woman is a Hollywood star who supports leftism. Seems totally inconsistent on the surface, but it’s perfectly consistent.

  11. I checked the source article in the IdahoStateJournal, whose motto is empowering the community. Apparently use of proper capitalization and spaces is not part of their empowerment activity. But I digress.

    I moved on to the cited article, and got no further than the entire headline: Guns may kill nuke research: NRC license a potential college concealed-carry bill victim at ISU.
    Is it just me, or does that make no sense?

    I didn’t waste my time on the article itself after that display. Is that some sort of high school paper or something?

  12. Yep, guns on college campuses sure are terrible. In fact, I go to a school in Colorado (one of the only states on the nation where CC is legal on campus and the universities can’t ban it), and every time I go to class, I hear gunfire… Or not. I just love how people act like allowing CC on campus is a new thing and no one knows what will happen.

  13. My apologies to all, but I have seldom run across a college student I would trust to have a refillable pen, much less a refillable firearm. Security is needed, yes, professional security is not cheap, and is subjective at that. “My brother-in-law was a ninja master” does not cut it.

    • So your reasoning behind denying law abiding adults their constitutionally protected RKBA is that, well golly, you just don’t trust ’em? I wonder what other groups of people one could substitute into your little annectdote…

    • You do realize that in most states the required age to carry a firearm is 21, right? As an almost overwhelming rule, these aren’t 18 year old kids right out of high school we’re talking about.

      Furthermore, I’ve been out of school longer than I was in it, but the moment I pay tuition, I also become a “college student.”

    • Fortunately, God-given rights aren’t filtered through the prism of your own personal and limited experience. One’s trust in strangers isn’t at issue here. Rather, the right of men and women to keep and bear arms unmolested by the biases and pre-crime fantasies of others is.

  14. I live in eastern Idaho as well, but didn’t get to attend Butch Otter’s Q&A. I have, however, followed the Idaho State Journal’s reporting of this bill, and Richard A. is right, it’s sensationalistic and rife with hoplophobia. The AP newswires coming out of Boise aren’t much better.

    A few of things worth noting about the bill:

    1. Concealed carriers on campus would have to be over the age of 21.
    2. Concealed carriers would have to have the “enhanced” carry permit. This requires an eight-hour training course featuring both legal discussions and range time firing no less than 98 rounds. The enhanced permit also requires a full FBI background check, and authorization from a local police officer and a licensed attorney. All together, to pay for the class and the permit, you’re going to shell out just under $200.
    3. Firearms would still be prohibited in university-owned housing/dorms.

    The Idaho State Journal hasn’t discussed ANY of these provisions at all. In fact, they’ve inferred that it would facilitate campus shootings and encourage other criminal behavior. Not only that, readers are left with the impression that virtually anyone would be allowed to carry firearms on campus, which is, of course, total bullsh*t. Commenters on the Journal’s articles on Facebook clearly illustrate the ignorance. There are dozens of people who think that disgruntled drunk frat boys are going to shoot up classrooms if this passes.

    I speak as someone who was formerly employed by the university where the Journal is based as a part-time faculty member. I’ve seen firsthand the utter fear that some of my co-workers felt when they were intimidated and threatened by students. I’ve personally experienced it, which has played a factor in my decision to change jobs (for now). The campus security team is made up of great people, but they’ll be the first to tell you that they can’t be everywhere at once. I know of a faculty member who had a student trying to break down her door, and it took almost a half-hour for campus security team to get there (the ironic thing is, at the time of the emergency call, they told the teacher they couldn’t get there quickly because they were practicing a student/teacher standoffs). In my own experience, campus security never came when I had a student throwing a fit in my office and threatening me because I’d caught him plagiarizing.

    I know of faculty members who have carried on campus in the past, primarily because they had actual restraining orders against former students. I personally carried a knife for the last year I worked there in the event that I was in a situation where I needed to defend myself. I’m glad I never needed to use it. The campus is a highly volatile environment filled with unstable and wholly unqualified students free-riding their way into school until they flunk out. The would-be people carrying on campus aren’t in that crowd.

  15. The people who voted for the pols who create the gun free zones and who support the schools that push for them are most likely to have their progeny removed from the gene pool by a school shooter.

    I can live with that. It’s positively Darwinian.

    • OK but you’re forgetting their progeny will likely rebel against mommy and daddy and come to our side because we have cookies. I ain’t OK with anybody’s kids getting hurt, Charles Darwin notwithstanding.

  16. I went about that wrong, there is no way to go about it right. Anything is enough to set you people off. I said “college students” as in kids that have no sense of reality. You are as bad as liberals, jump first. Damn college kids have no education, no responsibility, and damn sure have no business having fire arms. Hate to have to depend on any of you.

    • That doesn’t negate the point I was making. College kids will not be the students carrying. So that makes your observation, that “college kids have no business having firearms,” irrelevant to the point of this story. This story is about adults.

      Now, if you want to have a conversation about weapons on campus in general, then your point would be relevant, although I’d still disagree. If I’m old enough to own a firearm legally (i.e. 18 in most jurisdictions), and legally I can keep a firearm in my home (pretty much everywhere), and my home is on campus (because I’m a student), then by the transitive property I should be able to legally have a firearm on campus. But as I said, that’s a different conversation.

      • I think we just said the same thing. But, the article was campus carry. Some of you are looking for a fight, give it up, the internet is not bruising. I said, college “students” have no business having firearms on campus. I meant it. Those of you that do have some training and responsibility beyond saying “like and duh” every few words and think f**k is something you just invented may be qualified. Son, this is not my first rodeo.

        • It hasn’t been an issue on college campuses that have been forced to allow it. I can understand your reluctance to allow the practice, however it’s been tried and the results would seem to allay your fears. Having made a few goes at college I’ve noticed that most of the students who would be hard pressed to make responsible use of a firearm seem to be the generic progressive pupae who wouldn’t want to carry a firearm in the first place. Unfortunately I live in California so I have not had the pleasure of observing a campus that has had to allow concealed carry, however from what’s been reported it seems that the practice is limited to students who have either grown up around firearms and were taught to be responsible with them, students who have newly discovered firearms and liberty (constitutional libertarian types rather than pothead libertarian types) or adults pursuing a higher paying career.

          Your concerns certainly seem reasonable, however the practice has simply failed to produce a tragedy in the real world.

        • I’ll play:

          I’ve been carrying a pistol openly or concealed almost everyday for the last 20 years. I spend years shooting IDPA and IPSC competitions, I’m a certified basic pistol instructor . . .Can I safely carry onto the campus I visit weekly? In over 7000 days none of my guns has ever hopped out of it’s holster and shot anyone, anywhere, and I don’t think the guns would even know they were on a campus so I doubt they’ll act up there.

          Or, here is a thought (WARNING: logic and facts ahead!) lets look at shootings on campus in those states where it is allowed, lets see, Oh! There are none.
          This leave me to wonder whether you think the students in the states where it isn’t legal to carry on campus are less mature than those in the states where it is legal, or if you don’t care about facts and reality and are arguing purely from emotion.

  17. The Idaho State Journal has no interest in fair reporting when it comes to guns. A few years ago I started keeping track of the anti-gun opinions published on the editorial page. Last year alone they had 24 anti-gun opinions, with only 4 pro-rights opinions.

    The story about the NRC pulling the license to conduct nuclear research is just the last ditch effort to scuttle the guns on campus bill. The NRC story, I believe, was put out to deliberately mislead the public. Two universities within 175 miles of ISU, with nuclear engineering programs larger than ISU’s, allow guns on campus. The University of Utah nuclear engineering department has an operating research reactor and conducts more engineering research than ISU. Utah State University also has a nuclear engineering program. President Vailas certainly knows that, as ISU competes with those universities for research grants from the NRC.

    • Having dealt with President Vailas directly, I can assure you that preserving the integrity, reputation, and safety of a fairly mediocre nuclear engineering program is the LAST thing on his mind.

      I wonder what he considers more of a danger…a few dozen (at most) well-trained, responsible, licensed concealed carriers, or nearly a thousand Mustang-driving Saudi Wahhabists demanding Sharia Law on campus? The Saudis have Vailas bought and paid for quite literally, along with the entire state Board of Education. Any measure which promotes the ability of non-Muslims to further practice their natural, civil, and Constitutional rights will not get the support of Vailas.

  18. Hell, Matt, I wanted to make you feel better. Sometimes this gets convoluted, I am not a pro here. I only fought in one war, excuse me, I only fought in one era. What do I know? Get a beer.

  19. I’ve never personally been searched, or been required to pass through a metal detctor, while on a college campus, nor do I personally know anyone that has… Take that for what you will.

  20. Expecting unbiased reporting on guns from any news media source is sort of like trying to pee up a rope. Fortunately, Idaho’s 81% Republican legislature is going to pass this bill, and Gov. Otter (who is facing a conservative GOP challenger in this year’s primary) is going to sign it – he knows where the votes are in Idaho, and they are NOT at the lib colleges.

    My favorite “total gibberish” quote from a leftist anti-gun editorial was in the Boise “Idaho Statesman”, from an Education Dept. associate professor at Boise State U:

    “As a faculty member at Boise State University, I am convinced that SB1254 is an unwarranted annulment of the authority of public institutions’ leadership to uphold an important provision that helps us define our unique context. … Institutions of higher education continue to be special places where we engage in learning and exploration together – in community. Legislation that celebrates the cult of the individual ready only for self-preservation is antithetical to our mission and should therefore be summarily dismissed.”

    “…the cult of the individual ready only for self-preservation…” that would be the right of self-defense, correct? As far as I can tell, a real-world translation of this academic gibberish would be as follows: “We are a really special socialist fantasy world, and we don’t want no stinkin’ laws telling us that we have to give students any civil rights. Plus, we think college students should be willing to die like sheep, and not try to defend themselves. So there!”

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