There’s been much sturm und drang on the idyllic CU-Boulder campus ever since Colorado’s Supremes ruled that the school can’t prevent its students (or anyone else, for that matter) from lawfully carrying a concealed weapon in its halls of academe. And, shockingly, the ruling wasn’t warmly greeted by members of CU’s professoriate. Some even threatened to cancel classes if a known packer was among his assigned skulls full of mush. So the the administration — opposed to the ruling though they were — explained the new lay of the land. But it’s been hard for a campus of real and wanna-be intellectuals to process the fact that an individual legally carrying a concealed weapon doesn’t go hand-in-hand with a psychotic desire to blow away anyone with whom they disagree . . .
Make no mistake, CU’s poobahs aren’t happy about the law either, but they’re stuck with it. So they did what any modern institution of higher learning would under the circumstances: they organized an encounter group session to let some of the anguished voices of the academy do a little emoting and express the inner conflict they’re feeling in the brave new world of Second Amendment compliance.
Robert Axmacher, CU’s police commander, told the group that “university has fought hard to control our campus…to uphold our authority.” It’s so damned frustrating when annoying details like the law and individual rights get in the way of running an institution of higher learning.
But shockingly, dailycamera.com reports that about a half dozen actual gun-owning students attended and — gasp — identified themselves as such.
Student Amanda Martone rose to make the case that, legal or not, anyone can (and probably does) carry on campus whenever they want. So allowing law-abiding CCW holders won’t change much — other than allowing them the opportunity to protect themselves.
If you’re crazy enough to want to kill a bunch of people, you’re gonna do it regardless of the law. I think that’s the point of breaking the law, you don’t care what it is.”
From the mouths of babes. And she wasn’t the only one to speak.
“As a permit holder, I don’t feel that the university has a unified message. I almost feel like there’s a harsh reaction towards me,” said Steve Ojala, an MBA student. “I’m here to protect. I’m not a criminal. I don’t have a background record. But I feel like I’m a criminal.”
Get used to it, Steve. It’s not always easy exercising an unpopular Constitutional right.
But assurances provided by the gun owners weren’t enough for assistant professor Sam Flaxman. You’d think an expert in predator-prey interactions would be more a little more sympathetic to a young scholar wanting the ability to defend herself. But you’d be wrong.
Operating in an irony-free zone, Sam sees a contradiction in having people exercise their right to armed self defense in a setting where the free expression and exchange of ideas is (nominally) the reason they’re all there.
Part of what I am charged with and that I take very seriously is cultivating a classroom culture of openness and tolerance where people with a diversity of ideas can say whatever it is they want to say. And so, I think that that is antithetical to a culture that says, on any given day in this classroom, you might need a gun so that you can shoot someone.
You know, just to bring that home, we’re sitting here in this forum, and it could be the case — perhaps it likely is the case — that some people here are concealed weapon holders and have their conceiled weapons on them. And, you know, in this kind of environment, those of us that are opposed to that, doesn’t that in some ways diminish our voices? Because some of us might be afraid to say what we think.
Project much, Sam? Because that’s clearly the basis of your argument. Sam’s committed the thoughtcrime of wanting to blow away the dolts in his class who’ve expressed opinions with which he disagreed more times that he can count. He just hasn’t had the means to do it and doesn’t trust himself not to if, by some miracle, he ever acquired a heater. And because the troglodytes who actually jump the hurdles to legally pack heat must, by definition, be inferior, how can they possibly be expected to control their primitive emotions when confronted with an opposing viewpoint?
It’s going to be hard for Sam and the others like him at CU to learn to live under the yoke of Constitutional originalism.