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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, 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.

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  1. A permit holder in attendance should have said, “I am a permit holder and I am carrying. And I highly disagree with your baseless claims. I believe your projectionist accusations are incredibly inethical and immoral. Even so, I have no wish to shoot you. Obviously, your argument is null and void.”
    Would outting themselves have been against keeping their weapon concealed or could that be construed as “brandishing” or some such thing?

    • That is a really good question..
      Given it was a forum specifically designed as such, I probably would have asked first, but would think under the circumstances it would be acceptable.

    • Unlike Florida where merely saying that one is armed is a violation of their conceal carry law, Colorado has no such limit. So, one could be wearing a t-shirt that reads “Armed” and you would not be breaking the conceal carry law. (Though they might get you on ‘disturbing the liberals’.)

  2. Well you know I’m not the biggest fan of students with weapons on campus. But at the end of the day if a student has sat down and went though the training and permit process to become a license CCW holder I don’t have a problem with them carrying. OF course, at the same time, I’m not a student anywhere. So I suppose my opinion is kind of moot.

    • I hated being 18. Old enough to vote, old enough to drive, old enough to be ordered to commit war crimes in some far off land for the government. But don’t you dare think you can carry a gun for self-defense.

      I then hated being 21. “Yeah, you can carry a gun for self-defense. Give us 300 bucks or it’s a felony. You wanna be cellmates with Bubba, kid?”

      **** the statists.

      • “Old enough to…be ordered to commit war crimes”

        Anyone can be ordered to commit a war crime. That’s when being an ethical and intelligent adult comes into play and you realize that an unlawful order is unlawful whether given by a military officer, a cop, or you’re your drinking buddy. If you couldn’t recognize that then maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t have a permit at that age.

        • I’m well aware. It was my sarcastic way of conveying that I was old enough to be drafted to go kill people on the government’s behalf but not old enough to legally carry a firearm for self-defense.

  3. It always amazes me when the same statists who trust the police to protect them don’t trust the police to properly vet a carry permit holder. Truly, these people are case studies in cognitive dissonance.

    • They’re too stupid or delusional to even experience cognitive dissonance.

      One can memorize all sorts of things and regurgitate them without being intelligent.

      A ton of my classmates were stupid. College, unless you’re learning something technical, is a scam.

    • You wanna talk about cases in cognitive dissonance then look no further than the Media Matters crew. The vast majority of them believe armed government employees know how to do everything better than any civilian could ever hope to; when the only difference is a badge and uniform. They are a prime example of the infectious “shepherd to his flock” mentality.

      Too many people believe they can close their eyes and pretend that evil doesn’t exist in their little “gun free zones.” They think that if every student were allowed to carry, then everyone would every day of the week with shots fired in every class debate. That notion is preposterous to say the least. Violence at the hands of criminals and psychopaths is a reality to accept, not a problem to fix by punishing everyone else.

  4. By Sam Flaxman’s logic, a small-statured, unathletic student will be afraid to express an opinion if there is a big, strong guy from the football team in the class.

    • Except if the small statured, unathletic student is carrying. Then the football guy with the muscles will be afraid to stifle the little guy. Unless the big guy is packing too, in which case the big guy and the little guy will be friends, compare firearms and go to the range together.

    • Exactly. I’d have told him “Professor, how many times have you seen a student or professor punch a peer while arguing in a heated debate? What about stabbings? How about beating them with a blunt object? Never? Then why do you think having a gun on their person will magically send them into a homicidal rage? You are supposed to be an intelligent person who puts logic and rational thought above emotion – yet due to your fear of an inanimate object, you believe that the mere possession of an object and magically control a person’s brain and turn an otherwise decent person into a mass murderer”.

      • How about how he says he promotes a culture of tolerance but is intolerant of our legal right to self defense? There’s no hypocrisy like collegiate hypocrisy.

      • The projection is broken in the “Professor’s” expressed point of view. It belies the belief and faith we can have in each other as morally-ruled, rational beings, that we reciprocally intend no harm to anyone else, and mutually respect the Rights we believe we are all imbued with by our very existence as Human Beings.

  5. I find Sam’s argument intriguing. Well fist off most of my friends know I am pro second amendment. Second they also know I graduated college, and have moved towards a conservative stance in my life. Yet that doesn’t mean we don’t have debates. Heck we are going back and forth on Facebook with big long posts on varying issues. Polite, passionate, and civil. Nothing wrong with that. Armed self defense has nothing or little to do about debate, and expression of ideas in a class room setting. As heated as a debate could get, in reality it is part of the process.

    I am waiting because eventually one of those professors will be thankful there was an armed student around to save their butt. It is only a matter of time.

  6. Should students fear violence to their grade just because they espouse an opinion contrary to their professor’s? In this case, perhaps yes.

    • No, not really. Old lore around my alma mater, the University of Georgia, says back then the two literary societies, who were about 75 yards across the quad from each other, would trade fire after their debates.

      Wait, maybe that story made it’s way to Colorado….

  7. So if there was a muslim in Sam’s class, or 10 different people of 10 different nationalities and religions, Sam wouldn’t dare to utter a word, because of the fear that he might say something the others are going to disagree with and usher holy jihad upon him. Sammy, poor little Sammy, you’re just a little, scared 40 year old kid.

    Projecting? That’s the understatement of the week.

  8. The challenge we face with the 2nd Amendment and universities is *identical* to what Martin Luther King Jr faced with racial discrimination in the 1960s.

    Don’t believe me? Substitute “Concealed carry permit holders ” with “black people” in Sam Flaxman’s speech and you’ll hear history speaking to you. Discrimination is discrimination, and both carrying a pistol and having the right to eat and sleep in the same places your neighbors do are civil rights issues.

    Much like racism is a cultural artifact handed down from generation to generation, so it is with institutional hoplophobia. I don’t know Sam Flaxman, but ill bet he grew up in a household where guns weren’t allowed. Everything he’s ever known about firearms has been at arms length from someone else telling him they’re a Bad Thing-just like racism. Observe how fast people change their minds about guns when they actually shoot them for real. Unfortunately, we cannot physically force people like our anti-gun professor to a gun range any more than MLK could force people to see the other side of racism.

    As such, the national transition from “institutional discrimination” to “recognition of civil rights” will inevitably be a painful one for a *lot* of people.Some folks just won’t accept change no matter how forceful it is-look at the US Marshalls escorting black students to school in the face of bomb threats. Just like a lot of people were blindly opposed to the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s, we can expect similar resistance to the exercise of the 2nd Amendment in many quarters-including Academia. One advantage of being a person who exercises their 2nd Amendment rights is that you won’t need police protection to do so.

    • Agreed. And instead of being oppressed and having our rights denied in the south it happens in the north, east and west now.

    • Marshals

      Marshall’s was a store from the 80’s, similar to Kohl’s. Also the preferred sound amplification aparatus of Metal Heads the world over.

      • Marshall’s, the store is still around.
        Marshall, the amp company (started by Jim Marshall in England, and a copy of the Fender Bassman amp), provides to more than just metal-heads: Classic rock, hard rock, and even country (Brian Nutter w/ Keith Urban.)

        As a side note, metal heads have also chosen to go with other amps a well, Mesa Boogie, Splawn, Soldano, etc.

  9. For someone who runs a classroom of openeness and tolerance, he sure doesn’t seem very open or tolerant.

  10. Flaxman’s hair makes me refuse to take him seriously.

    But seriously…..

    I laugh when police chiefs talk about how they are committed to supporting anti-ccw measures. I worked for a campus police department when I was a student. The (then) chief was against on campus carry. However, his officers had the exact opposite view (at least every one I talked to). One even helped me build my Cali-legal AR 15.

    Interesting enough, California allows CCW holders to carry on campus. It’s in the PC as an exemption to the GFC. One of the few things California got right, though probably by accident.

    • You’re right about the accident part. California’s relatively relaxed posture towards CCW restrictions is predicated on it being extraordinarily difficult to obtain a CCW permit.

      If we ever get a shall-issue CCW state law (not holding my breath) I’m pretty sure the Yee crowd will be right there to screw it up with plenty of restrictions. I seriously dislike that smug bastard and would very much like to see him out of office.

      • I seriously dislike that smug bastard and would very much like to see him out of office.

        Then do everything legally in your power to marshal the votes against him.

  11. I attended a university in a mid to large sized city. Regular city streets run through our campus. I drive to and from campus, work, and home and all hours. I have several reasons why I disagree with my campus saying that I risk expulsion for carrying a gun that I am legally allowed to carry in my state. Reason 1: Your campus may be safe, but my commutes are not, I drive through known crime zones regularly. Reason 2: Thousands of non-campus affiliated individuals drive through my campus on a daily basis. University rules do not apply to them. Reason 3: If you cannot guarantee that no one else is packing, then you cannot guarantee my safety. I will disarm in locations where there are guards and metal detectors. I won’t be happy about it, but at least I know there is a pretty good chance that no one else is packing.
    Or how about a compromise. Make me go through additional training to carry to class. Or provide a location at the campus police to allow me to lock up my weapon while I am on campus. That way at least I can defend myself coming and going.

  12. The real irony with Flaxman is that professors like him RARELY
    accept disagreements especially from students. If you don’t adhere
    to his word in class you can forget passing.

    Definitions of concealed carry aside, if a person sees a CCW or
    suspects one (specifically if under legal possession) and calls
    the cavalry, could they themselves be cited for public endangerment?
    I could see some of these nuts calling SWAT for the sole purpose
    of harassing a CCW holder. You could file the law right beside
    shouting “fire” in a packed theater.

  13. As someone who has taught college English for over a decade, I can say that I’ve only once or twice been concerned about a student becoming violent. It wasn’t over a grade, and it wasn’t over a position. The students in question had personal problems yet to be resolved and got angry when others didn’t just accept what they had to say. Those two are the kind who are likely to bring a gun without asking permission first. At no other time have I seen a discussion threaten to turn into violence. Perhaps English is a calmer field than biology.

    By contrast, those of us with licenses have been checked. We have clean records. It’s also likely that it will be professors who can carry. The students with licenses will be older and (let’s hope) wiser.

  14. In the interest of promoting justness and fairness among students, teachers and admin., one should think it only reasonable to expect Miss Martone be monetarily awarded an amount at least equal to the cost of one new concealable firearm, as a minimum of compensation for the invaluable lesson in common sense she otherwise so freely provided.

  15. The only concern I ever had when teaching at a university about a student carrying a pistol in class was a police officer student who kept wanting to take his gun out and play with it. I had him ejected from my class.

  16. May I see your First, Fourth, Thirteenth and Twenty-Fourth Amendment permits, please?

    Seriously, what is this obsession with “permits”? We do not need permission from the government to exercise our Constitutional Rights in public.

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