Terrence Cole (courtesy mralaska.org)

“The Alaska Legislature has considered some preposterous notions in its 101 years,” Terrence Cole [above] writes at adn.com, “but Sen. John Coghill’s proposal to allow guns on UA campuses, which reportedly came from a student intern in his office, is probably the most ill-informed idea to ever come out of Juneau.” I fail to see what’s preposterous about the idea that an American’s natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms shouldn’t end at the gates of a public university – any more than their right to free speech shouldn’t cease when they set foot on campus. Mr. Cole intends to school me in that regard. But first, what’s up with dissing interns? I mean . . .

Cole is a professor of history at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). Surely Professor Cole wouldn’t want to downplay the intellectual rigor of young people. Especially students. Especially students who go out into the world in an attempt to play a part in political events. That kind of contempt would indicate disdain for the very people he’s entrusted to educate and inspire.

That’s not the half of it. Anyway, in the interest of open discussion, let’s let the scholar have his say about what’s at stake with The Last Frontier’s gun rights bill . . .

The obvious intent of the bill is to protect the Second Amendment rights of students, staff and faculty, but the unintended consequence of this shortsighted scheme is the curtailment of our First Amendment rights.

The famous line that “an armed society is a polite society” goes to the heart of the problem, because a truly free society is most definitely not a polite society. And the college classroom is not and cannot be part of polite society.

In polite society, as our parents taught us, religion and politics are off-limits, because many people get deeply offended when they feel their most cherished views are questioned in any way. For good reason we still prohibit carrying guns into bars in Alaska, because people who have had a few are likely to make liberal use of their First Amendment rights to accidentally or intentionally offend others.

The obvious intent of this polemic: to prove that the First Amendment and Second Amendment are incompatible. To prevent rhteorical push coming to ballistic shove, the First should trump the Second wherever people are bound to be impolite – whether that’s a roadhouse bar or a college classroom.

By Cole’s definition, a free society is one where you can say anything to anyone without any consequences. Because there aren’t any guns to turn conversational confrontation into a potentially lethal altercation (setting aside the existence of fists, knives, bar glasses, etc.). The obvious “model” for this free society: Cole’s workplace. Which he seeks to preserve by maintaining the UAF ban on otherwise legal firearms.

The obvious problem with that line of reasoning: UAF’s record on free speech. Click here for a report on an eight-month UAF “investigation” into the school newspaper’s April Fool’s story (suggesting that the University was going to erect a building in the shape of a vagina). The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) said the University’s actions had “an impermissible chilling effect on campus expression and student journalism.” What’s more . . .

University of Alaska Fairbanks received a yellow light rating from the foundation based on its policies as of February 2013. A yellow light school “maintains policies that could be interpreted to suppress protected speech or policies that, while clearly restricting freedom of speech, restrict only narrow categories of speech,” according to the foundation.”

One wonders about the limits of free speech in Professor Cole’s classroom. How much tolerance does he have for students who profoundly disagree with his thesis that the Second Amendment is incompatible with the First? Judging from this passage, a lot. At least in theory . . .

. . . the college classroom is where sensitive and dangerous topics are often the center of the conversation. Students and faculty must be free to tackle tough questions: gun rights and gay rights, race and religion, immigration, abortion and assisted suicide. On this ground, where the first rule is the right of free speech, sincerity and the search for truth must trump the usual need for insincere superficiality.

The great skill is learning how to disagree in an agreeable manner. During heated and honest debates sometimes students take great offense at the remarks of others. Sometimes it is due to a misunderstanding; sometimes because of genuine philosophical and ideological differences. The whole goal is to have honest discussions of difficult matters, to shed light on fundamental questions of humanity, without anyone ever feeling physically intimidated, no matter how controversial or wrong-headed their ideas, or someone else’s, might be. That would be impossible with guns in the mix.

Did you catch that? Professor Cole believes that conversations outside of academia are both insincere and superficial. In other words, average folks are liars and idiots. Of course it’s not their fault. They have to be that way – or else they’d get shot! I’m sure there are better examples of the know-nothing condescending elitism that typifies gun grabbers’ mindset. I just can’t think of any at the moment.

Another hallmark of people who support civilian disarmament: they consider guns inherently intimidating (e.g., Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America jefe Shannon Watts claiming TTAG writer and concealed carry gun owner Alan Brook was trying to intimidate her with a firearm of which she was completely unaware.) Not to put too fine a point on it, gun grabbers consider firearms in civilian hands – any civilian hands (aside from the police) – to be ticking time bombs.

A student might honestly believe he or she is carrying a gun for defensive purposes. But whether a gun is offensive or defensive depends only on the direction it is pointed; the recent tragic story from Florida where a retired cop killed a father in a movie theater, fearing his life was in danger because of a flying bag of popcorn, should be evidence enough that people are too quick to jump to conclusions in an argument. Classrooms must be protected so students feel free to speak without fear of threats or death at the hands of a fellow student.

Just one student carrying one gun would violate the sanctity of the classroom. If one person decides to come to class every day wearing a sidearm, inevitably others will follow suit. In such an armed camp who would ever feel comfortable bringing up explosive topics for discussion?

Again with the condescension. “A student might honestly believe he or she is carrying a gun for defensive purposes.” You can almost hear Professor Cole shaking his head and saying “in this they are sadly mistaken.” So why are they carrying a gun, then? I bet if we pushed the Prof he’d say something about the gun owners’ feelings of inadequacy and paranoia.

Or, more to the point, their [supposed] emotional volatility. This is the common thread that binds proponents of civilian disarmament. It explains why they’ve replaced the Zimmerman homicide with the “popcorn murder” and the “loud music” shooting as their go-to justifications for banning guns from, well, everywhere.

Gun control advocates can’t grasp the idea that the vast majority of people who own guns do not suddenly “snap” and commit murder. And that the best defense against the ones who do is . . . wait for it . . . a gun. In fact, Professor Cole’s ignorance is ironic. He focuses his “no guns in schools” argument on a sudden loss of control. The spree killers who’ve attacked schools all planned their carnage carefully. There was nothing spontaneous about them.

Those who point to mass shootings as the reason we should all be armed and loaded are living in a comic-book world that denies the complexity of reality. While the threat of an armed lunatic is always present in our open society, the more immediate threat is that an armed person with good intentions, even one with a background in law enforcement, might mistake a round of popcorn for a deadly projectile.

Denial and distortion. Denial that defensive gun uses are an everyday occurrence. Distortion of a risk which, as stated above, is statistically insignificant (I couldn’t find one example of a student losing it during a debate and firing a gun).

Besides, as I’ve pointed out many times before, the right to keep and bear arms does not depend on risk calculation. Although the New Jersey Attorney General counsels the Supreme Court otherwise, Americans don’t have to prove a “justifiable need” to the Powers That Be to exercise their natural, civil and Second Amendment protected gun rights. At least they shouldn’t have to.

We Americans are passionate about our guns, but the simplistic notion that freedom means we must be able to carry a firearm everywhere we go is absurd. Those who say such things demonstrate a shallow understanding of American history. Obviously a gun can be used to destroy free speech just as quickly as it can be used to defend it.

Let’s hope our representatives will simply admit we cannot tolerate loaded guns in the classroom any more than we can tolerate them on an airplane, and urge them to help ensure that the right of free speech at the University of Alaska shall not be infringed.

Not much of an argument is it? The concept of uninfringed gun rights is simplistic, therefore it’s absurd. I suppose one shouldn’t expect a college professor to acknowledge the supremacy of a clear idea expressed economically. But one might expect a professor who wants to encourage debate (albeit by banning guns) to encourage debate – instead of urging politicians to simply admit they’re wrong and drop-kick the Second Amendment.

More than that, I find it hard to believe that a history professor wouldn’t understand the key role the Second Amendment plays in protecting the First Amendment, and the indisputable fact that the safe, gun-free utopia he seeks to defend is nothing more than an intellectual conceit. As Virginia Tech proved, it doesn’t exist.

78 Responses to Inside the Twisted Mind of A Gun Grabber: Terrence Cole Edition

  1. Ah yes, the ivory tower principle.It’s a crock of horse manure, and here’s why.

    In the undergraduate classes I’ve taken at two schools, perhaps two courses were conducted with something approaching academic freedom. The rest were run something like this -” I am the Professor, I am god, and you will pander to my personal and politicial preferences if you expect to attain good marks in my class.”

    They’ll pay lip service to the college core motto of academic integrity, and ensure any student who follows it against the professors stance is rounded down on their exam marks .

    • I beg to differ. As a producer of horse manure (i have horses), there is a big difference. Horse manure has a use and tangible value, particularly when composted.

    • “I am the Professor, I am god, and you will pander to my personal and political preferences if you expect to attain good marks in my class.”

      ^^^THIS^^^

      I know I lost letter grades in various college classes for engaging in debates which my teachers didn’t approve. One of them was a history teacher who must have thought I signed up for a political science class. Oddly enough, my polisci teacher was extremely fair and down the middle and students could never figure out what he really believed.

      Here’s a great article on Reason.com from the President of FIRE.org. This quote sums up my experiences as a college student and teacher:

      “When I talk to professors and administrators of similar age on campus, however, they often focus on how the First Amendment allows the dissemination of ideas they don’t like, as opposed to the thousands of innovations and positive social developments it has made possible.”

      • Really? You saw me? In French class, with 120-year old Mademoiselle Noble? Nobel?

        Or was it Econ, at 8 am? Why weren’t you sleeping?

  2. This guy is a HISTORY professor? Did he get his diploma with a roll of paper towels?

    So liberals are incapable of controlling their own emotions, and cannot be trusted with anything potentially dangerous where “sensitive topics” are discussed? Do they allow cars, sporks, heavy books, laptops, etc….on campus. I know from my time in college that there are plenty of non-firearm deadly objects all over the place.

    He tells us more about his own persona than about people in general when he opines on this topic.

  3. That’s an awfully big ego he has thinking someone would be willing to commit murder and suffer the penalties, just to silence him.

      • If they going to bet tenured – which I’m opposed to – why is there no review every 3-4 years? They should NOT be allowed to become little emperors for the duration of their teaching career.

        • I agree. And, to a point, tenure has started a slow death. Most Universities don’t offer many tenure-track positions anymore. Also, the continual push to move “higher education” to the low cost (for the University, not the student) online model is allowing the University to have a much higher student to teacher ratio. Some “on-line professors” had over 2,000 students for one semester with many of the courses being completely autonomous… and when a student does need clarification or help, a teacher’s aid is usually first to respond. Most tenure positions go to frequently published professors that can bring in the research money. A good portion of these tenured professors are barely in the classroom. Some as little as 1 class per semester depending on the University minimum credit hour requirement. Which isn’t a bad thing as all of the “research professors” I have known, except one biology Professor, are horrible educators.

          There are loads of problems inside the current University system and I’m not just talking about the ideological brainwashing. The current expansion of educational institutions around the country can’t keep pace with the demand. Younger people are starting to realize how the claim of getting a degree (no matter the major) is going to “earn you 1 million dollars more” over the course of your lifetime is bogus. There is no magic degree-accepting ATM to insert your “Fine Arts” or “Literature” Bachelors Degree that just spits out $80k a year. Where this leads is anyones guess, but I think a lot of the brand new, bond-backed University buildings will be dormant within the decade. Those who get left holding the bag of all the unpaid federal and private student loans is pretty much set in stone as well if history is an indicator.

        • Yeah, I foresee hard times, not too far ahead, for colleges in this country. The community college system may scrape by. They may even flourish as a result of the withering of 4-year colleges. I don’t know for sure, but the College Game (and all the high school guidance counselors who sold it) seems destined for a “contraction”. Maybe they can use some of the dorms for low or medium cost housing.

  4. This professor is completely off the wall and insane. The only ones trying to silence people on universities are liberals, it’s well established fact, as well as the established fact that they are incapable of rational thought nor controlling their emotions. They primarily operate at the brainstem level, with little higher function and could arguably turn violent if armed. Fortunately they hate guns and no one is telling them to have them (for the safety of us all). If they feel pressured to no longer try and silence or intimidate people out of having discussion cause of an irrational fear that they could get shot for being an idiot, that’s entirely on themselves but then maybe it means they could shelf their passionate irrational behaviour for a polite discourse, even on touchy subject matter. I really wish these liars would stop citing obvious LIES as their “evidence” to their erroneous claims. The movie theater shooter in Florida, and Michael Dunn are LIARS. They are LYING trying to hijack self-defense laws to get away with murder. Scrapping those laws cause of a few bad apples will result in dozens more deaths of good people at the hands of criminal scum.

  5. So the only logical conclusion is to cut off Mr Coles arms and legs. For he could erupt into a fury of kicks and punches any time somebody disagrees with him.

    • No, that’s barbaric and absurd. Handcuffs and leg irons would work shackled together would do the job almost as well, with no permanent injury.

      • I think the suggestion was that if the professor believed his own Kool-Aid, there must have been many vicious fights in class, since everyone brings weapons every day, fists and feet (not to mention Ninja pens).

  6. Geriatric libtard babyboomer. Creaping senility is sad but and added to the drug addled brains of these dinosaurs and this is the result.

    the college classroom is where sensitive and dangerous topics are often the subjects of indoctrination for the young skulls full of mush.

    • Can you paint with any wider of a brush? A good deal of the people fighting for, contributing money to, and speaking out on the behalf of the 2nd are from the ranks of, in you words, “drug addled brains of (these) dinosaurs”. You are misinformed and insulting.

  7. I find that his idea that a polite society can in no way express free speech or ideas to be horribly incorrect. He is getting the notions that having a right and fighting for rights are the same thing, and they have to be violent and uncivil.

    • Liberals live in a fantasy world where they self-aggrandize so much they not only think the nonsense they spew is edgy and inflammatory (as opposed to narrow-minded and stupid, which is what the rational world sees) but they also ignore the fact that extremely hostile and inflammatory remarks have been made by lunatics from the Westboro Baptist Church and I have, to date, never heard of anyone so much as taking a pot shot at them. Nothing a pinheaded liberal can say will ever amount to the disgusting, insane, intolerant filth coming out of one of those Westboro assholes but no one ever started shooting at them because of the crap they say at the worst possible place to say it.

  8. OK, so it appears it’s time to say it again:

    Do fistfights, or even heated discussions, regularly break out in your calculus, philosophy or history classes? If not (and I’m betting they don’t), a concealed firearm is not going to suddenly change that. It has no psychic force, it’s not going to cause people to be either more confrontational or more aggressive. It simply doesn’t work like that, so Professor Cole’s entire “stifles the free expression of ideas” bullshit is just that. Bullshit.

    Next.

    • The way I understood it was that this prof wants his classroom discussions to be able to escalate to fist-fights, which would have otherwise been a civil discourse because neither student would risk attacking the other since they might be armed. He, in his messed up world, thinks that a violent classroom is somehow more openminded than a polite one.

      I truly think these “educated” individuals really don’t believe anything they’re saying. But they lie to themselves and their community because they so resent the conclusions that those thoughts lead to. Like that guns actually aren’t the problem.

    • I think he implies that if you are carrying a gun, you ARE already over the edge and not just another student. You are exhibiting signs of paranoid mental illness. Therefore it is the reverse Catch-22, if you carry a gun, you are already dangerous and more likely to go ballistic in class. Not that you would “plan” to kill but you would lose your cool and this risk is greater than a mad mass shooter.

      In that regard, the VT shooter killed 33. How long would it take for there to be 33 individual heat of passion killings on campuses around the country to equal just this one mass shooting?

      (Although I find it distasteful to use statistics when peoples lives are involved)

    • When the campus carry bill was making it’s way through the AZ state legislature in 2010 – 11 (which unfortunately was vetoed) I remember the water cooler talk in the teachers lounge went something like this:

      Teacher 1: “I can’t believe this is even being considered.”

      Teacher 2: “I know, I can’t image letting my students carry guns in my classroom. It would be a blood bath!”

      Me: “They already do… and it isn’t.”

    • There is actually 1 incident of a student debating and losing his s&$# and shooting someone, that priviliged little rich debate turd from Colorado. The thing though is he was arguing for civilian disarmament, and when no one bought his crap and he was kicked from the debate team, he went home, bought a legal shotgun from a dealer, methodically built molotov cocktails to burn the school down, and shot an innocent and totally unrelated girl in the face before being stopped within 80 seconds by a good guy with a gun.

  9. I’m going out on a limb here but last time i was in class none of these explosive topics were brought up. then again I was a science major so explosions were discussed.

    • Most science professors have neither the time nor inclination to shove politically correct rubbish down their students’ throats, nor the animus to declare by innuendo that the non-believing student is a pariah.

  10. “(I couldn’t find one example of a student losing it during a debate and firing a gun)”

    A little of topic, but the only one that comes close was Karl Pierson, Arapahoe High School, dedicated socialist and republican hater. He was either demoted or kicked off his debate team, so his socialist enlightened response was to kill the debate coach.

    • He must’ve fancied himself Che Guevara incarnate. It’s funny how liberals project their violent, insane tendencies onto the rest of us then accuse us of being a threat to society.

      • Yep; Most of the mass killers have been leftists/socialist/communist/statists or Muslim usually targeting the most innocent or defenseless.

        I have yet to hear of a dedicated constitutionalist, conservative or libertarian going on a shooting rampage.

  11. It always amazes me that ‘these people’ seem to believe that if people have guns they would all of a sudden turn into mindless killers that open fire at the slightest provocation. That simply doesn’t happen. Why is it that these same students don’t start punching each other or beating each other with pointers or sports equipment when they have a heated discussion?

  12. “The obvious intent of the bill is to protect the Second Amendment rights of students, staff and faculty, but the unintended consequence of this shortsighted scheme is the curtailment of our First Amendment rights.” — Professor Terrence Cole

    And let us read that exact same statement to reflect the current situation Mr. Cole:

    The obvious intent of academia is to protect the First Amendment rights of students, staff and faculty, but the unintended consequence of this shortsighted scheme is the curtailment of our Second Amendment rights.

    So it is okay to use one right to infringe on another right as long as you agree with it … got it.

  13. Sorry Professor, first amendment rights are definitely not respected on college campuses. Any group or invited speakers not touting the progressive line are routinely shouted down. So, trying to claim folks having their civil rights restored in that environment is somehow going to conflict with a non-existent right in the current college environment is rubbish.

    • Well, about half the people have first amendment rights….the right half (in their opinion), by that I mean the left.

  14. I’m surprised he isn’t a professor of mythology with the arguments he presents, does mythology fall under history?

    • I think you’ve got it backwards. History is a largely fictional academic construct — fascinating and often instructive, yet a natural playground for autocratic pedants whose highest aim is asserting mastery over a past that is defenseless to resist.

      Mythology is the mind’s most noble creative endeavor. Myth — in the grand sense — is the endless, shifting domain of people who have dared to confront and try (despite their human limits) to tell the inexplicable truth of our existence.

      (Been listening to Aleph Null nonstop since 6:36 this morning; I guess this is what happens.)

  15. I never had a professor that give a sh!t about my ability to express opinion. I believe that these professors sense that there will be shift in power from them holding all the cards to now fearing they might cross the wrong person. Which if you go by the statistics, a licensed ccw holder would be the last person to fear. BTW what classes are we talking about? As an undergrad in business, I can’t remember one situation where the was the kind a exchange he’s describing. Smoke and mirrors much?

  16. As long as he’s quoting Heinlein, let’s look at the full quote, shall we?

    “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”

  17. Free speech can be just as dangerous as irresponsible or criminal use of a gun.

    Don’t believe me?
    Watch an Adolph Hitler speech some time. The man used speech to convince an entire nation to send millions of people to death camps. Sounds pretty dangerous to me.

  18. “… the college classroom is where sensitive and dangerous topics are often the center of the conversation. Students and faculty must be free to tackle tough questions …” — Professor Cole

    Once again let me use Mr. Cole’s argument to reflect the actual reality:

    … the college classroom is where sensitive and dangerous spree killers are occasionally the center of the activity. Students and faculty must be free to effectively defend themselves

    Furthermore, Professor Cole totally fails to recognize that many students want effective tools to defend themselves from predators outside the classroom but there is no way to be armed outside and unarmed inside.

    Oh well. If all else fails, Professor Cole can play the elitist card and tell us underlings how it is going to be.

  19. It’s galling when people, especially PhDs who should know better, misinterpret basic English words. A “polite society” is not one where everyone agrees and plays nice. It is a Roman civic ideal where debate is encouraged and individuals consider the needs of the body politic. Cincinnatus for one certainly promoted the idea of the citizen soldier (militia) which would obviate the need for an army.

    Even if we ignore the classical origins of the phrase, his definition of “polite” is off. Then again, in the postmodern era, Alan Brooks can be as polite, civil and agreeable as can be. But when it comes out he was carrying, it is not the prejudice against gun people that changes; rather, the reality of the encounter. Now, in retrospect, Alan was a duplicitous lying jerk who made SW feel uncomfortable. In other words, “polite” must retroactively exclude Mr. Brooks.

  20. A small vocabulary quibble: the concept of uninfringed gun rights is simple, not simplistic.

    Professor Numbskull’s argument is simplistic: simple-minded, reductive, relying on unexamined assumptions and dogmatic assertions in lieu of reason and evidence.

    My eighth-grader could rip this guy to shreds rhetorically. “The sanctity of the classroom” indeed….

  21. “….any more than their right to free speech shouldn’t cease when they set foot on campus. ”

    Well, since free speech and thought are virtually nonexistent on many university campuses today, then RKBA is right on par.

  22. The person going by the name “ST” could not be more correct in his description of college courses. His post says it all and that has been my exact experience as well; a one-way (liberal professor to the students he shows complete distain for) street of information to be later regurgitated on an exam. Failure to answer questions in the profs way of thinking will result in poor grades.

  23. Free speech my @ss. Throughout my education, from grade school through college, I had exactly one teacher with whom I was permitted to disagree without my grades suffering as a result (law school was different — free thinking and disagreement was encouraged by most of the professors).

    I doubt that Cole is that one-in-a-million prof who tolerates dissent. His position is more reflective of a little tin god, the emperor of his classroom, than a true educator.

  24. I think Terrence Cole here is like most gun grabbers I’ve met in real life.
    His feeling that someone could get in an emotional debate and wish harm on the other person is something he himself has felt, and so he feels that everyone must feel this hatred toward a person they’re debating. These are people who often feel massive amounts of hatred toward other people to the point that they’re convinced that they’d do harm on others if they were armed, where I have very rarely met an armed person who wasn’t perfectly polite. How many times have you heard a gun grabber make some comment about shooting people as if it would fix their problems or even just an acceptable thing to do?

    My personal college experience has been filled with some great debates with emotion but I’ve never had someone so much as stand up (short of the teacher who is already standing up) in a debate, much less show anything mildly threatening. Any intelligent teacher surely knows how to stop a debate before it gets too emotional, and I’d even say the vast majority of people are the same way. I’ve seen when pressing a debate could get more emotional than I’m willing to deal with (though never to a threatening degree) and simply ended it, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think other people are capable of the same thing.

  25. “because many people get deeply offended when they feel their most cherished views are questioned in any way”

    Complete and total lack of insight and self-awareness. Liberals are fun-loving and tolerant until you hold a different opinion than theirs. Then you’re a neanderthalic sub-human worthy of elimination for the greater good.

  26. Many years ago, I taught nursing in a community college out in the So. Calif. desert. I had graduated from a wonderful university, and found the state approved “cookbook” approach to teaching at the college both seriously inadequate and frustrating. I tried many ways to include rational discussion and critical, analytical thinking, but was targeted by the administration endlessly in opposition. I left there and took up a whole different career in nursing and only regret leaving the students to their fate.

    Free speech and open discussion are only part of the necessary educational process. The students need to have the skills to discuss and debate, and those are only obtained from critical thinking and acceptance of individual responsibility for their thoughts, words and actions. The sooner that is learned, the better the outcome.

    I live now in a relatively crime free, truly polite society where many people carry a gun and almost everyone owns them. I never leave home without mine, and have not seen even a shouting match in a very long time.

    • My view is similar. Most of my college courses were rote memorization of facts and concepts to be regurgitated on exams. We learned how to learn, but and were fed reams of information, but we were not taught how to think critically. I can recall only a single class where critical thinking was fundamental. Strangely enough, it was a class about the rise and fall of the Athenian Empire; but the class focused on learning the history then debating the course of action the Athenian Senate should take in response to issues. Great class, great debates.

      • I’m fairly good at history, but once flunked – FLUNKED – an American History class in college. While the professor’s knowledge of American History was beyond rebuke, the way he taught it was not. The tests consisted of minute details from his lectures. Like what time of the morning something had occurred.

        I couldn’t, and can’t, learn history that way, and in fact I gave up midway through the course. The forest was ignored, for insignificant details about the nature of the bark on the trees.

        He moved on to become a director at Monticello. Go figure.

  27. How many times has the professor been assaulted in an intellectual conversation? If the answer is “none” I don’t see wtf he’s worried about.

    It the answer is more than none, maybe he’s such a jerk he SHOULD moderate how he talks.

  28. As an academic, this guy is full of it. Tone is strictly policed in the classroom and in professional discussion. Get too aggressive and you will get called out on it.

  29. “but the unintended consequence of this shortsighted scheme is the curtailment of our First Amendment rights.”

    BULLSHIT. So the exercising of the RKBA prohibits others from exercising their right to free speech? Complete and utter horseshit. You can moderate this comment all you want. I can’t believe this person is actually considered an academic. I suppose just about any fool who is capable of writing a term papar can self apply the title of scholar these days.

  30. I’m with Matt. I cannot recall any heated debate in a classroom erupting in fisticuffs, brawls, or knife fights, either when I was in school or in the news. Why would anyone assume that they would result in gun battles if the carrying of handguns was allowed? And if we are talking concealed carry, why would anyone be intimidated by a gun he/she does not know exists? Is Cole projecting his own fear and feelings of intimidation by his interactions with armed police officers?

    • Close, but not quite. He is projecting his own feelings of barely-controlled violence upon members of the classroom, and he assumes they must be ruled by the same violent fantasies that he is.

  31. I would hazard a guess this man lives in a gated community to be so naive as to how the world really works. I live next to a jerk that gets confrontational over anything he can. Doesn’t own a gun, but is plenty willing to fight anyone at a drop of a dime. I own several guns and have never been in a fight in my life and tend to avoid any situation where any confrontation could happen, but yeah…. as a gun own I’m the problem.

  32. Is there a way to contact this fine, upstanding gentleman for one of those debates he mentions in the article (but doesn’t seem to welcome)?

  33. While the threat of an armed lunatic is always present in our open society, the more immediate threat is that an armed person with good intentions, even one with a background in law enforcement, might mistake a round of popcorn for a deadly projectile.

    Note the deference to ex-law enforcement as supposed examplars of safe gun handling, even when twenty years past retirement and apparently slipping into dementia. “If that old demented guy with high blood pressure could do it, we must expect our 21-year-old students to do much worse! Except statistics.

    I believe the main fear is that universities will lose their attraction as places on the grounds of which drunk frat boys and football players can start punch-ups without fear of serious harm to themselves. “It’s a marketing feature, not a drawback!” Am I alone it that suspicion?

    • It is an axiom of the gun control lobby that the bad behavior of a law enforcement officer, current or former, can be offered as evidence of the worse behavior of non-LEOs, without any need to examine the actual behavior of said non-LEOs.

  34. I wonder how many of the dead from Virginia Tech, Columbine, Northern Illinois University and Sandy Hook, if they had it to do over again, have chosen to take a weapon to school with them that day so they could have had a fighting chance? If they could testify to Congress, would they argue for more or fewer gun free zones? If they could look Shannon and Mayor B. in the eye, would they say “keep fighting” or say “shut up and let me tell you about reality.

  35. Crime on America’s college campuses is rampant. To suggest that you should not have a right to defend yourself against a lethal force attack there is asinine. Frankly, I’m surprised that any mindful college student wouldn’t be carrying anyway – whether legally or not.

    Obviously, the right to free speech cannot ever trump right to life. You cannot speak freely when you’re dead.

  36. Cole is a good teacher. I went back to school as a middle-aged man, and I took his baccalaureate core history class. There weren’t maybe 5 people in the class who could legally carry a pistol. You have to be 21 or older. I don’t believe for a moment that he’s a gun grabber. He just doesn’t think sanctioning having them in class is a good idea. No conceal-carry permit is necessary in Alaska. If you are legal to own a pistol, you can carry it concealed legally.
    What makes me laugh to myself is he hates these comments at the end of news articles. Everybody shooting his mouth off like a big dog. I carry concealed, and I got a permit, even though I don’t need one. I like Cole. He is interesting to talk to, and he’s a thoughtful and engaging teacher. I didn’t agree with him on everything when he was my teacher, and I still don’t. But I can’t just let people run him down without speaking up. He doesn’t deserve that. He’s only standing up for his beliefs. So can we all.

    • I appreciate your input and point of view. And I understand where you’re coming from. But when the beliefs he’s standing up for are predicated on a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation, he needs to be called on them. The tripe he’s vomiting out about how concealed weapons on campus would somehow stifle debate is pure FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), and that’s the anti-gunner’s stock-in-trade. When the facts aren’t on their side (and they aren’t), they try to scare people into agreeing with them. If you polled everyone here who’s ever spent any real time on a college campus, I bet you’d be lucky to find 1 in 50 who has ever witnessed even a heated argument in one of their classes, and if you increase the stakes to some sort of physical confrontation, it wouldn’t surprise me if that number was more along the lines of one in several hundred. Yet somehow this guy ignores all that and wants us to believe that the presence of a concealed weapon, known only to its owner, is somehow going to reverse all of that experience and result in mass pandelirium. It’s nonsensical, and it doesn’t stand up to even a cursory rational examination.

  37. I see a lot of comments here regarding liberal professors.

    I’m a registered Republican, lifelong Alaskan, gun owner, and recent UAF graduate.

    During my entire tenure as a student, I was only given a poor mark by a professor on one occasion because of my political views, because I had the audacity to disagree with them. The professor was even more far right than I was (the professor started every class talking about how great Bill O’Reilly was, and largely modeled the class topics around what had been said on Bill O’Reilly’s show that morning. I’m not even joking).

    I’m not saying that there aren’t liberal professors that don’t do the same thing, but I never seemed to have had any (I never had Cole). The diehard conservative professor was the only one, in my experience, that clearly let their political views influence their grading system. I still think the whole situation was BS, but I simply wanted to pass the class and graduate, and I didn’t want to lose scholarships, so I never said anything.

    In terms of the gun debate on college campuses; I suspect the reason that there aren’t reasonable gun laws is because both sides are too extreme one way or the other. The rabid gun nuts feel they should have the right to clean their AK-47 in the campus cafeteria, while the rabid anti-gun nuts act like guns don’t deter crimes whatsoever. I think that concealed carry for those over 21, and have taken a class, is the most viable solution. If a girl has a deringer in her purse for when she walks to her car at night, or if a guy has a .45 hidden under his shirt, I don’t really care. Guns are a tool though whose only purpose is to kill things, and I don’t think anyone needs to be walking down the sidewalk with their AR-15 and bandoliers. The recent legislation put forward in Alaska probably would have succeeded if it had initially been framed in terms of concealed carry for those over 21. Instead they framed the legislation in such a way that it let the anti-gun lobby resort to rhetoric that puts a terrifying image in people’s minds (18 year old freshman with .50 cal’s in their room).

    • “The rabid gun nuts feel they should have the right to clean their AK-47 in the campus cafeteria, ”

      Would you care for some more straw for that giant man you’re building?

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