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By TTAG reader girlswithguns

In their never-ending effort to serve the community and examine the tough issues, the Denver Post ran a point-counterpoint on campus carry yesterday. Never mind the fact that, thanks to the Colorado supreme court, the issue is now settled law in The Centennial State. But be that as it may, they ran opinions from two members of the UC-Boulder community, one a professor and the other a student. Guess which one makes the more logical argument?

CU prof Dan Liston takes the pro carry ban position with a few well-worn gems:

The only rationale for concealed guns I’ve heard depend on dubious, rights-based claims and fear-driven, gunfight logic.

The presence of concealed weapons in the classroom exacerbates these classroom risks to potentially deadly levels and destroys instructional trust.

The gunfight rationale claims that if an enraged student were to attack, the concealed-gun carriers would ‘save the day.’

Guns in the classroom threaten lives and damage learning. The promise of education should not be denied by the presence of guns.

Here’s a news flash for Prof. Liston: there are already guns on campus, they’re just not there legally, mkay? His argument is based on some old straw men and the tried and true debating tactic of trying to instill a little fear. Pretty much the stock in trade for anyone opposing “rights-based claims” in favor of fostering an atmosphere of “instructional trust.”

The pro carry flag is taken up by CU student Elisa Dahlberg:

Over the last decade, concealed carry has been allowed on more than 200 campuses in six states. Not once has a student threatened a teacher or other students over an academic debate, grades or a belief system — not over anything. Not once.

Concealed carry is one of the best advantages a person can have when faced with violence. Individuals who carry concealed handguns are not afraid — they are prepared.

It may be argued that preventing students from carrying concealed handguns keeps campuses safe. Yet history tells us gun bans don’t work. Virginia Tech’s gun ban certainly didn’t protect its students — instead, it left them vulnerable and defenseless.

Permit holders are some of the most law-abiding citizens I know. To be issued a permit, an individual must be at least 21 years old, pass federal and state background checks, be fingerprinted, and demonstrate competence with a firearm before being issued a permit.

As a veteran, a petite woman, a law-abiding American, and most certainly a student, I wish to understand why any faculty member would argue that I should sacrifice my right to self-defense in pursuit of a college degree.

Or in other words, “Is a woman lying on the ground – raped and strangled – morally superior to a woman holding a smoking gun with a dead rapist at her feet?” Perhaps Prof. Liston could answer that one. Ms. Dahlberg manages to make her case with facts (although she doesn’t state her sources), offering the best reason for concealed carry, something Prof. Liston conveniently sidestepped – self defense.

Bonus: here’s a little background on the commentators…Elisa Dahlberg is an Air Force veteran and a UC-Boulder senior. She worked for a short time with the Aurora Police Department before enrolling in the university and she’s an outspoken advocate for campus carry.

Dan Liston is a Professor in the School of Education. Per the site,

By invitation and in collaboration with the Center for Courage and Renewal, Dan Liston planned, designed and led a recent four-day “Global Gathering” that included 120 educators, ministers, social workers, civic leaders, doctors, and lawyers.

The Center for Courage and Renewal website carries this welcome message:

Courage & Renewal programs and retreats are unique opportunities to align your inner truth with your outer life. We help you reconnect who you are with what you do. You will return to your life and work with renewed passion, commitment, and integrity.  Our programs offer a profound experience of our Circles of Trust® approach.

So I’ll leave it to you — which author do you think is more connected to the reality-based community and stated their case more effectively?

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  1. As a student, I’m insulted by the implication of people like the CU professor who say that at the first sign of academic challenge legal permit holders will whip out their pistols.

    What do these administrators termed ” educators” think is going to happen, that say at a classroom abortion debate a law abiding gun owner is just going to pull out their Glock and say “debate’s over cause im armed?”

  2. Further proof that you only need to be an expert in a niche science to be regarded as an outstanding citizen, while you can be a completely out of touch kook on everything else, mostly on basic logic and human psychology.

      • You’re most welcome.

        I can’t help but put myself in the place of the fellow peacefully going about his business open-carrying. If someone used physical force on me and tried to remove my weapon my only thought would be to protect myself. The end result would be some idiot dead for no good reason and me having to forever deal with taking a life. People like him need serious counseling.

  3. Anti gun zealots tend to be middle to upper class white men for whom the possibility of being mugged may be a once in a lifetime event, and being raped is inconceivable.

  4. A student vastly smarter, more logical, and morally superior to the ‘professor’ doing the educating.

    Just another day in bizarro America.

  5. To expand upon a popular saying:
    Those that can (think), do. Those that can’t (think), teach (at universities all over America).

  6. Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with these professors saying students carrying concealed will destroy the classroom’s environment of trust. For one thing…CONCEALED. Prof won’t see any guns, students won’t see any either, so it’s business as usual. Except in the minds of some professors who apparently already live in fear of their students.

    Well, yes I do know what’s up with these professorial ninnyhammers. I went to grad school with a lot of people exactly like them. They’re unable to live with the possibility of rational conflict, unable to accept that other people don’t think like them, and believe everyone who disagrees with them is filled with hatred. For these people, “diversity” is code for “agree with us or else.” Teaching their way of ordering the universe to their liking, and the possible presence of guns is a frightening reminder that everything in their classroom/kingdom is not always in their control and that they just might (gasp!) be…wrong…about something.

  7. As a certified secondary teacher, I can assure you that Miss Dalhberg is in a battle of wits with an unarmed man. Long before Bill Bennett said, “ would only improve if every College of Education was razed.” I saw what a waste of time these outfits are. Every one I’ve ever heard of was held by its students to be an intellectual playpen. Except for my student teaching and one exceptional teacher’s class,I learned zero about how to get what was
    in my head into the student’s. Classes were so candy that if any of the Ed. majors got a”C” they’d retake the class. Moreover, the coopting of education by the NEA and their big payoff, the Fed. Dept. of Ed., means that all emphasis is toward dependence on government and denial of individual responsibility.

  8. I work at a University that doesn’t have CC (thanks to state law) and I can tell you that more than a few of the faculty (mostly retired veterans) carry firearms themselves into the classroom. While the students in their classroom might be running around in condition White (because we’re all here for the education!) some of the faculty have seen action (Vietnam/Gulf) and know that any thing can happen at any time. Not all faculty are clueless like Prof Liston…

  9. I’ll take the word of the student. The Professor is mentally in sequined leotards, leaping about on puffy pink unicorn clouds. How does this “guy” even get to his car or go shopping or do any of the daily things necessary to life?

  10. As a resident of Colorado, and a former university faculty member (though not at CU), I am very pleased that the CO Supreme Court has given the smackdown to CU’s campus carry ban. For one, it is a win for what I believe to be the more defensible position on purely philosophical grounds – as I believe is well displayed by the excerpts from the debate between Ms. Dahlberg and Prof. Liston.

    Naturally, prior to the ruling eliminating CU’s prohibition on campus concealed carry, the pointy heads in Boulder were crowing about the imminent threat of unhinged students and blood in the streets. The lack of events, of any type, at any campus in Colorado should be resulting in stories of the “Why did everyone make such a fuss?” variety but I’m not holding my breath. The bulk of my friends and colleagues in academia here in Colorado and elsewhere continue to predict mayhem, horror, death, destruction … dogs and cats living together …

    I’ve actually revealed my pro-carry position to a few of these former colleagues during the evolution of this story and been amused at their horrified reactions. One even asked, “Have you ever carried around ME?”. An interesting revelation of this person’s attitude: “Don’t endanger ME, I’m too valuable, you being unarmed, however, means nothing. It is perfectly acceptable for the masses to be endangered by their lack of defenses so that I might FEEL safe.” Hmmm, yep that’s about par for the course in much of Academe.

    Liston is typical, not just in Boulder but in academia. In my experience, faculty and administrators like him feel that they are just a bit more evolved than the rest of us. They figure they are a bit better than we gun toting, slack jawed morons. When it turns out that someone who is their student, or even worse, their colleague (and, therefore, more difficult to dismiss as intellectually inferior), is an advocate for or participant in activities that involve guns, well, their whole artificial world starts to shake. Personally, I love it when that earthquake visits them right there in their ivory towers.

    As an aside, a little nit to pick with the author: It is CU-Boulder not UC. I know we call it the University of Colorado and that other schools in the system (UCCS) put the U ahead of the C but the correct abbreviation is CU.


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