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Professor Greg Hampikian of Idaho’s Boise State University recently penned a piece for the New York Times asking When May I Shoot a Student? Given that his thumbnail bio at the bottom of the page states that he is a professor of Criminal Justice (in addition to the Biology professorship he claims in the essay) I must assume that the piece is satirical, but since I am sure that he has colleagues as clueless as he is pretending to be, I am going to address his points as if they weren’t . . .

Greg starts out:

In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?

Well Greg, since Idaho’s self-defense laws will remain unchanged regardless of whether campus carry passes and since with you being a CrimJu prof and all you probably should be familiar with deadly force laws in general and Idaho’s in particular. In a nutshell, like so many other states, Idaho limits the use of deadly force to those times when you reasonably believe that you are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, or to resist a forcible felony. Really, it’s not that hard.

I am a biology professor, not a lawyer, and I had never considered bringing a gun to work until now. But since many of my students are likely to be armed, I thought it would be a good idea to even the playing field.

First things first; I would certainly hope that you hadn’t ever considered bringing a gun to campus because ‘just a biology prof’ or not you must have known that Idaho Statutes 18-3302 (C) makes it unlawful to carry “in a courthouse, juvenile detention facility or jail, public or private school”. Furthermore BSU policy # 12080 prohibits students, faculty and the public from carrying on campus on pain of “[e]xclusion or dismissal from employment, in the case of faculty and staff” (unless you were able to unscrew “prior written authorization from the Executive Director of Campus Security and Police Services” of course).

Second, I must take exception to your use of the word “many” in reference to the number of students likely to be carrying on campus. As of 12/18/12 The Inquisitr states there are 77,000 carriers in the state, and the Census says there are about 1.6 million residents in 2012/12. Again, according to the Census Bureau, in 2010 68.3% were 21 and over, so assuming that proportion remained unchanged and crunching these numbers we have about 7% of those 21+ have a permit. I can’t find any specific breakdown for ages of permit-holders, nor can I find how many of those are enhanced licenses, but let’s go conservative and say that permits are evenly distributed across ages and two-thirds of them are enhanced. This means that we will have at most about 4.70% of the population being eligible to carry on campus.

Now, according to BSU’s Facts and Figures brochure, in the fall of 2013 there were 22,003 students enrolled, with 65.5% of them being 21 and over. Only 79% of those are from in-state, and I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the number of out-of-state student willing to go through the hassle of getting an enhanced permit is low enough to get lost in the rounding errors of these calculations. Putting everything together we get about 535 students allowed to carry. Taking one more S.W.A.G. let’s say that a whopping 85% of those will actually be carrying at any given time and you are looking at 455 armed students out of 22,000. I hardly think this qualifies as “many”.

In his next paragraph Greg continues his theme of being an idiotic, panty-soiling hysteric:

I have had encounters with disgruntled students over the years, some of whom seemed quite upset, but I always assumed that when they reached into their backpacks they were going for a pencil. Since I carry a pen to lecture, I did not feel outgunned …

So Greg, in any of these encounters did you ever feel that you were in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm[1]? If so, really? Seriously? Why weren’t you secure in the knowledge that BSU policy # 12080 prohibited students from carrying weapons on campus and therefore your notional “aggressive student” could only have been armed with a pencil? And if you never have felt in IDD-GBH why would that change with the new law? Are you perhaps one of those simple-minded individuals who believe that an inanimate object like a gun or a knife can somehow, Svengali-like, exert a malign influence, bending the will of lesser mortals so that they become ravening homicidal maniacs? If so, you might want to go back through your Biology 101 texts and figure out the difference between “animate” and “inanimate”.

But now that we’ll all be packing heat, I would like legal instruction in the rules of classroom engagement.

Again with the omg OMG OMG! everyone’s gonna have a gun! vapors. Go back up and do the math, I’ll wait.

At present, the harshest penalty available here at Boise State is expulsion, used only for the most heinous crimes, like cheating on Scantron exams. But now that lethal force is an option, I need to know which infractions may be treated as de facto capital crimes.

Greg is obviously working hard at being a moron, so we’ll break it down for him again. Since Idaho limits the use of deadly force when IDD-GBH or to resist a forcible felony, cheating on the Scantron exams doesn’t qualify. Really, it’s not that hard.

I assume that if a student shoots first, I am allowed to empty my clip …

First off it is a magazine not a clip, but putting that aside ABSOLUTELY NOT! You may only shoot to stop the threat; if you keep shooting once the student is no longer a threat then you are committing homicide.

but given the velocity of firearms, and my aging reflexes, I’d like to be proactive. For example, if I am working out a long equation on the board and several students try to correct me using their laser sights, am I allowed to fire a warning shot?

I have said it before elsewhere, and I will say it again here: In many jurisdictions merely firing a weapon is considered using deadly force, and if you have enough time to draw your weapon, aim deliberately enough to ensure you miss the target (and any innocent bystanders) and fire then your “reasonable fear” of D-GBH was not “imminent”. Trust me on this one Greg, you do not want your “warning shot” case to be the DA’s political springboard to higher office.

Second, since ID Statute 18-3304 Aiming Firearms At Others makes the behavior you are describing a misdemeanor, you could call the cops on those students (note that it is a misdemeanor and not a forcible felony, so no, you can’t shoot them).

Third, since the University’s laser safety program requires that Class 3R (the class most civilian laser aiming systems fall under) require that the operator to be trained on laser safety, you could call Campus Security and have the lasers confiscated until the miscreants can get training.

Or, what I would consider the optimal response, you could decline to be a jackhole and politely ask your students to put their pointers away and hold their questions.

Greg’s final scenario:

If two armed students are arguing over who should be served next at the coffee bar and I sense escalating hostility, should I aim for the legs …

First I would ask how it is that Greg knows that both students are armed (given the small chance of encountering even a single concealed carrier (see above) much less two) but, like so much else in this essay we shall pass lightly over that.

Second, how likely is it that a couple of permit holders would get into a shootout over coffee? If only there were some sort of factual, statistical answer to this question … Oh wait, there is! Up until early 2012, the state of Florida posted detailed statistics on permit applications and revocations. The most recent I can find comes courtesy of the Wayback Machine and shows that between 10/1/87 and 7/31/11, out of the 2,031,106 permits issued there were 168 revocations for use of a firearm in a crime. That works out to just a hair over 7 permit holders who committed a crime with a gun each year. Seven a year. Seven. Hardly sounds like a bunch of people who would get into a shootout over queue jumping at the coffee bar.

Third, Idaho and other state law is pretty clear on the subject of using deadly force. You can’t use it in response to cheating on an exam, or “proactively” if someone lases you, or if you “sense escalating hostility”, you can only use it to protect yourself or others from IDD-GBH or to prevent a forcible felony.

Really, it’s not that hard, but since Greg seem to want to make it hard I will give him some examples of when he may (in fact, should) shoot a student:

If, like the Columbine faculty you see a couple of kids wandering through the library shooting their classmates huddled under a table feel free to execute the miscreants.

If, like the Red Lake Senior High faculty, you hear gunshots and then see a former student in the doorway of your classroom carrying a pistol and a shotgun and shooting into the classroom, by all means return fire.

If like the VA Tech profs you hear shots in Norris 206 and then someone with a gun or two comes to your classroom and starts shooting, drop the sonofabitch.

If you are at Sandy Hook Elementary teaching a roomful of first-graders and hear shooting over the intercom, and then a man wearing black clothing, a green utility vest, carrying a Bushmaster XM15 and spare mags forces his way into the classroom, ventilate the scum.

Does this answer your question Greg?


[1] Hereinafter to be referred to as IDD-GBH

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  1. Dude is a tool. Armed students are not an issue. People with drawn weapons and actively attacking are an issue. Tool can’t differentiate between drawn and holstered weapons?

    • I wonder, if this guy found out that some percentage of students were trained martial artists, would he be spending time writing an article entitled, “when may I judo chop a student”? – probably not. Another one filed under Asshat.

      • That’s a great point. A lot of college students are ex-military attending on their G.I. benefits. Many have advanced hand-to-hand combat skills, as well as battlefield experience using them. OMG! Veterans! With combat experience! OMG!

        Maybe the good professor here just needs to lay off the high caf coffee, himself. Maybe switch to chai tea; possibly with an oolong or green tea base? Or just enjoy a cup of Swiss Miss, focus on the little marshmallows, and quit obsessing over other people exercising their God-given rights.

    • And yet he continues to draw a salary…probably a sizable one, with tenure…to TEACH.

      It boggles the mind, really.

      • Look at his CV – Tool has little relevance and is just trying to get media attention.

        Tool has a Ph. D in genetics and hasn’t published anything relevant (an academic’s JOB is to get published), so he pronounces wisdom about things criminal justice. To be fair, he does have an association with the Innocence project (just don’t know if he’s done anything other than doing beaurocraric things)

        • I looked at his CV and it’s actually pretty impressive. He publishes in peer review on a regular basis and also has a patent. If he got the patent while at Boise State and it’s generating money for the University you better believe his bosses are happy with him. As for his association with the Innocence Project (he’s the Director of the Idaho chapter), it’s probably because his specialty is Forensic Genetics.

          I didn’t personally care for his attempt at satire, but that doesn’t mean he’s not good at his chosen profession.

        • @scott – not sure i agree with you. What is shown at the bottom is over the course of 22 years. Items in it appear to be writings based on opportunity rather than pure reasearch (opinion or byproduct of non academic work) or is not a primary author. Perhaps my expectations are a little high. If so, I’ll concede.

          And, yes, I’m cranky and crotchety today lol

    • When I was at a medium sized school the campus court tried one rape case that I know of. Is the prof sure that the horrid thing that happens on his campus is exam cheating?

      Take extra careful note: this is a university professor, claims to be a science professor. This is one of the smart ones, people.

  2. maybe i shouldn’t laugh, but the examples of “when to shoot” that you enumerated at the end of this article tickled me.

    nah, piss on it – i’m laughing. at the jokes, at Hampikian, at the “blood in the streets!” argument. all of it.

  3. Don’t hold your breath expecting critical thinking at a university. It’s probably less than the estimated 2.068% population of students (and faculty) that he is in fear of (or part of).

  4. Nice job, Krafft. The response was well-structured, provided a good dose of serious reality within a camouflage of humor, and finished with a hard-hitting in-your-face reminder to the silly professor that indeed, schools can be deadly, by using notorious examples of no-gun-zone massacres.

    You get an ‘A,’ and there will be no homework tonight.

  5. Greg, if you are sincere just don’t own a gun. Not everyone can handle an unlicensed nuclear partical accelerator.

  6. Fun read. One thing. If someone I don’t know paints me with a laser sight clearly attached to a weapon, and I don’t know their intentions, I’m thinking that’s a credible threat of imminent D/GBH. Not that drawing would be my first thought. No, my first thought would be to get something solid between me and the weapon. But generally, if aiming a gun at someone doesn’t constitute an immediate and credible threat of D/GBH, what would?

    • To be clear, this doesn’t make the Prof’s example of students using their laser sights as pointers any less absurd. Only a blithering idiot who deserves to be shot would do that. Or high level NY officials. But I repeat myself.

  7. I’ve talked to a few professors who didn’t like the idea of campus carry, and most do think they will just know if someone was carrying. They always ask, “how will we know who are the good guys with the guns, and who is here to do harm with a gun if they let them on campus.” My response is always that, “nothing stops them from doing that now, and even if you could tell who was carrying, you distinguish the good guys from the bad guys by whether or not they are shooting up the place.”

  8. (Meant to reply to Old Ben turning in his grave …)

    Technically, he did not explicitly say the lasers were attached to a gun. He’s KINDA trying to ping that emotional tripwire in people that might believe folks are going to start shooting at folks using simple pointers.

    The premise of his scenario is absurd anyway. The jackass that I know about using their firearm laser sight as a pointer like he describes is that emergency services guy in NY…not a CCW carrying private, law abiding citizen.

    It’s a major league straw man, because CCW-ers simply don’t act this way and stay CCW-ers for very long. There’s some brandishing problems, etc.

    So, he’s setting up the straw man by painting the “law abiding” CCW-er as a gun-happy criminal (likely violating the CCW laws).

    • No to mention, laser sights are battery operated and may be important for the purpose they were mounted on the pistol. How many people are going to risk a dead battery at an inopportune moment because they randomly use their Crimson Trace as a classroom laser pointer?

      While this obviously doesn’t apply to University professors, university students are supposed to be smarter than average.

  9. Those last 6 paragraphs . . . wow. That is really the only response that should be given to his question. That covers it completely without even getting into the IDD-GBH issue.

    If only . . . someone was at those locations with the proper tools and mindset.

  10. I just worked a successful perimeter on a stabbing case near the LA convention center. We found the suspect, and helped the victim get rushed to the hospital. Funny thing, the suspect didn’t have a *stabbing permit.* That’s cause criminals don’t give a sh!t about the law. So a criminal could already be carrying on your campus. Further, if a stabbing suspect is at large, I’d much rather have gun with me than my “razor sharp” wit.

    If you choose to be armed with nothing more effective than multiple diplomas and pencils, that is your choice. I’d just rather you didn’t screw with the rights of others to carry something that might actually be useful in a violent confrontation.

  11. It could be satirical, but unfortunately it fits a very common genre wherein proponents of civilian disarmament pretend that suddenly, because you are allowed to be armed, the legal and ethical questions surrounding self defense suddenly change and become a confusing morass of ambiguity.

    It’s simple, really. Have you, in any of these interactions with irate students, felt the need to use force, whether it’s throwing a punch or stabbing with a letter opener, against these students in order to prevent harm to yourself?


    Then nothing changes just because they’re allowed to have guns.

  12. While a brain exercise it’s all fun and games until rounds are inbound. Then all the rationalization, words on paper, symbols on flat sheet metal, intersects with reality of a demented mind. The thought…if I can just communicate, show an alternative perhaps it will snap an active shooter into submission…an exercise in what the world could be and ignore what the moment is.

    Most run, few will locate, close with and end the horror. And that my friends is to real for a professor to contemplate.

    • What are you saying? To locate, close with, and to destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, and to repel the enemy’s assault by fire and close combat?

    • “The thought…if I can just communicate, show an alternative perhaps it will snap an active shooter into submission…”

      Mk, the literal definition of “communicate” is to send a message over a distance to an intended recipient who will perceive and understand your message. A smile, a frown, a word, a letter, a pebble or even a bullet are all valid means of communication. Only one of these will reliably stop an active shooter.

  13. Well, Dan, you estimate 455 armed students. If the same percentage of those students cause a problem with their firearm in the same way that 7 out of 2,000,000 license holders in FL have, that means that 0.0016 armed students per year will cause a problem. EEEEEK!!! …or another way to look at it is that once every 624 years one whole student will do something worthy of having his/her permit revoked… 😉

    • I just had a thought, and was wondering if it’s funny or just stupid – wouldn’t it be kind of difficult to pull off an armed robbery if the store guy doesn’t know you’re armed? Does the thief say, “Gimme your cash – I have a concealed weapon!”?

  14. Upon reexamination using this writing, his knowledge of self-defense is unreliable and contaminated.

    Just like the Amanda Knox DNA evidence, right Prof?

  15. “Really, it’s not that hard, but since Greg seem to want to make it hard I will give him some examples of when he may (in fact, should) shoot a student:” wait wait wait…your telling me there have been times criminals carried firearms onto school property when it was illegal? My mind is blown! /end sarcasm

  16. As the boys up in Vegas might say, “The teach is trying to make his point the hard way.” I, and I likely we, all get this prof’s tone in this essay. Truly, too clever by half. Going the long way around to be absurd in the hope that it makes even discussing the topic, absurd. This is a time honored method these intellectual types use to dismiss, denounce, or deny topics they don’t agree with, or worse, don’t really care to understand. BTW: this is a passive/aggressive personality. It’s also a deceitful passive/aggressive personality.
    Can you say “Psych profile?”
    Yeesh! I wouldn’t trust this guy with a Nerf gun.

  17. There is nothing better than a liberal tool revealing his utter ignorance while believing he is being clever.

    • “faggot”? grin. Uh dont get it. bundle of brushwood?

      If you meant the other…thats not how we roll here o.k.?

  18. If you are at Sandy Hook Elementary teaching a roomful of first-graders and hear shooting over the intercom, and then a man wearing black clothing, a green utility vest, carrying a Bushmaster XM15 and spare mags forces his way into the classroom, ventilate the scum.

    That last one could get you done as a cop killer.

  19. Couple years ago in the more intelligent areas of the blogosphere there was this term, referring to being “Fisk-ed”.

    Nice Fisking. Royally, actually.

    Since I don’t see that term so often, may I propose a new sub-category meme reserved for the truly clueless within the larger prog-tard reason free universe where legends in their own minds like the good prof in ID, opine and need recognition as especially logic-free Anti-gun subspecies?


    PS is this the same Kraft that’s about 6’3″ 300 pds with bald head…if so remind me not to piss you off…:)

      • Wiki sez: “…line-by-line rebuttals where facts are dropped like radar chaff…”

        Well, wait a minute. I used to line-by-line rebut on USENET, until they dropped all the free pervert porno groups and I quit bothering with USENET, but those facts weren’t dropped like radar chaff, whose purpose it to obfuscate, but rather as signposts, or beacons of sanity to help bring the discussion back into the realm of reason.

        But speaking of discussion, just to pretend the post is on topic, I’ll bring up the topic of debate on the 2nd Amendment. Because of the nature of the Constitution, the only reasonable discussion of the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms would be a reaffirmation that it Shall Not Be Infringed, and that’s all there is to it.

    • Ayup. that’s me. And you really don’t need to worry about pissing me off; the only way you can do that is to threaten someone I love, other than that I really am an easy-going kind of guy.

  20. It looks like Mr. Hampikian’s worst fears have come true. Idaho’s governor signed the campus carry bill into law yesterday.

    BTW, a very nice Krafftian fisking of the good professor.

  21. Progressives are always so proud to be incompetant. They love being helpless. Yet another ivory tower type with all kinds of degrees yet a perpetual moron.

  22. [Putting everything together we get about 535 students allowed to carry.]

    This is close to a common error I try to correct with anti-guns-on-campus types. “Campus carry” does not equal “student carry.” The administration, faculty, and staff also qualify. Add to that to the typical age 21 minimum and today’s older-than-average students and the median age of CHLs on campus will be up in the middle.


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