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UT Professor John Traphagan (courtesy

Hook ’em horns! Or, in this case, get the hook! University of Texas Religious Studies and Anthropology Professor John Traphagan has penned an anti-gun editorial for that starts with hand-wringing and proceeds straight to a clarion call for gun control. And lots of it . . .

In the past few years, Americans have witnessed shootings at a movie in Colorado, a 3-year-old shooting and killing his father in Indiana and, most recently, nine people killed in a fight among biker gangs in Waco.

Amazingly, Americans seem to see these regular incidents as normal. It’s a powerful and sad testament to how anesthetized we have become to this ongoing violence. And despite all of this violence and loss of life, many in Texas and elsewhere want to increase gun ownership and allow people to openly carry firearms.

Well, John, violent incidents involving guns are “normal.” When you have a large population whose citizens are free to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, ballistic bad things happen. Just as people who live in a society where they can purchase poisonous chemicals will experience chemical poisoning. And car owners will die and suffer horrendous injuries.

I could say something about eating deep-fried mozzarella sticks and heart disease, but I think we’re clear on the freedom > danger > personal responsibility/shit happens front. If not, let me be perfectly clear: firearms-related accidents, homicides and injuries are the price we pay for our freedom. We should do whatever we can to reduce the toll – save infringing on Americans’ gun rights.

And that’s where the Professor and his gun control compadres part company with the pro-gun side. For the antis, the ends justify the means. They believe that Americans’ gun rights should be – are – subject to arguments about social utility. Which leads to nonsense like this:

There is simply no need for a civilized society to tolerate the type of gun-related violence that Americans seem to accept as normal. Other modern industrial countries have realized, in some cases long ago, that it is unnecessary for people in a free society to have easy access to guns.

The solution to gun-related crime is not further arming the public. It involves enacting comprehensive gun control laws that prohibit many forms of gun ownership, significantly curtailing or eliminating access to and the ability to purchase guns, and implementing programs in which the government confiscates or purchases illegal guns already in circulation among the public.

Too bad Professor Traphagan didn’t spend ten minutes in a history class. Or an hour with my late father, a Holocaust survivor who could have told to the academic exactly what happens to a disarmed population. Couldn’t happen here? Tell that to Native Americans. Or our disarmed neighbors in cartel country.

I don’t think it’s going too far to suggest that the UT employee is completely divorced from reality. Any action by the government to confiscate “illegal” guns – such as attempting to remove “assault rifles” in the hands of gun owners in New York (contrary to the SAFE Act’s provisions) – is a perfect recipe for the kind of gun violence the professor professes to abhor.

In an era of extreme concern about national security, Americans need to recognize that one of the greatest threats to national security is their own heavily armed population. We need to enact legislation that will greatly reduce gun-related crimes and protect people from the dangers associated with widespread gun access and ownership. Unfortunately, our proven inability to handle widespread gun ownership suggests strongly that the way to do this is to deeply restrict access to and ownership of most types of guns.

And there I was thinking that armed Americans are one of America’s greatest protections of our national security, both in terms of terrorist attack and potential government tyranny (which I consider a threat to “national security”). But what really rankles: Professor Traphagan’s off-hand assertion that Americans have a “proven inability to handle widespread gun ownership.”

America is home to 300m guns. While Professor Bloody Shirt Waver can trumpet examples of firearms-related death and injury, you can round down to zero the percentage of gun-owning Americans who handle their guns irresponsibly.  Every day of the week, and twice on Sundays, American gun owners own guns responsibly.

True to form, Professor Traphagan’s dietribe [sic] ends with a false dichotomy:

Americans should ask themselves whether they want to live in a society that is secure because everyone is ready to shoot one another or one that is secure because people have peace of mind and experience freedom from violence and the freedom to pursue their lives in safety and happiness rather than fear.

Safety without guns? Good luck with that. Besides, better you than me Professor. Not that our gun rights depend on the democratic process, but most Americans are “cold dead hands” types. Maybe even a few surveying this great country from an ivory tower.

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  1. Yes, I’m sure the people with illegal guns will gladly turn them in because the law says to rather than, say, using said illegal guns for illegal activities…

    Educated and intelligent are (as in this case) often not synonyms.

  2. I’ve come to really loathe academia. Most rapes are committed without guns. People like this guy are my enemy forever. He’s a rape enabler.

    • He fights for his isolated ivory tower, Piled higher and Deeper, right to be a submissive, compliant and obedient victim.

      And of course he wants everyone to be like him.

  3. “…one of the greatest threats to national security is their own heavily armed population.”

    Question from the peanut gallery, Prof. Could you clarify this a little? Specifically, are you saying the threat is to the nation, or to the government of the nation?

    And if the latter, if a government is fair and just, why would it need to fear the citizenry?

    • Shhh…
      You’re not supposed to say logical things in response to an argument based in FUD.

  4. “Any action by the government to confiscate ‘illegal’ guns … is a perfect recipe for the kind of gun violence the professor professes to abhor.”

    See also, the OK Corral. Tombstone 5-0 tries to disarm a gang, ironically resulting in the most famous American shoot-out ever.

  5. Because 50 years of gun control has made Washington, DC, Chicago & NYC safe from violent crime. We need that kind of Safety in Texas, said no Texan ever.

    I bet this Prof moved to Texas to escape exactly the violence and corruption his gun confiscation would create in Texas.

  6. take a good look at this guy’s picture. memorize. make absolutely certain you do no ever rise to his defense should he be the victim of a deadly attack.

      • only thinking about his overall well-being. if you pull out a firearm to defend him, if you actually discharge the weapon, if you injure or kill an attacker, this professor will hate you for subjecting him to a traumatic event from which he will suffer enduring mental anguish at being part of it all. defense of this person would be most inconsiderate, unkind and cruel.

        anti-gunners are like jihadis; cannot be reasoned with, cannot be negotiated with, cannot be persuaded, cannot be reconciled. they made their choice. not our responsibility to prevent the experience they are eager to foist on everyone else (being unarmed and under attack).

    • On the contrary. Defend any and all antis. Just point out afterwards how it was a gun that was used to keep them safe.

      • they will hate you for it, and sue you for not finding a gentler means of helping.

  7. “It is unnecessary for people in a free society to have easy access to guns.”

    He has a definition of free society that is very different from mine.

    • You don’t seem to get it – no reasonable person would ever want to be involved with firearms. The professor considers himself (and all his clones) to represent the only form of acceptable “reasonable person”.

      At the bottom of all this is insistence that it is imperative and possible to live in a risk-free environment. These people see “free society” as one “free” from inconvenience. You probably see “free society” as “free” to do whatever lawful thing you conjure up. Freedom-from vs. Freedom-to.

  8. My bump in the night pistol stayed right there on the bed side table all night long. No violence occurred. Why do I have a bump in the night gun? Because burglars and home invaders don’t make appointments. I’ll keep mine, Professor. Thanks.

  9. Remember when. . . Poland got run over by the Blitzkrieg. . . ? It was a new thing back then, and they did pretty well against it considering, but they still lost big and died like dogs (not sheep to the slaughter).

    Remember when. . . Finland fought a Winter War with Russia

    Remember when . . . the French had a 10 year revolution. . . it was back in 1789 (since the founding of America)

    KEEP YOUR GUNS UNTIL THE END OF AMERICA – no yahoo can tell you when it will happen, and try as they might, no a-holes promise that it won’t will keep America from it. MOST IMPORTANTLY, the thing that will SUNSET FIRST [history has already decided] is anyone’s attempt to govern at anything (especially regulating firearms) [loosely paraphrased, TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012]. When it ends, butt-stroke every dumba_ _ like this with the butt of a rifle for me.

    • I hear ya. I’m no end-is-nie kind guy, but I do realize that nothing last forever, and countries and goverments are no difference. Hell, our country is roughly 200 years old, and only had one civil war, and three wars fought in it borders in that time. Honestly, I think we’re lucky that we’ve hadit this good for this long.

  10. The “intellectual Elite”? Denial? Delusion? Ivory Tower mental disease?

    What explains this common mental disorder of those entrusted to educate(indoctrinate) the minds of our youth?

    More importantly, why did the parents of those youth allow this type of mental rape to be inflicted upon their children?

    The parents have completely abdicated their responsibility to provide for their children’s mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health; starting in elementary and high school, and then on into college and university academics.

    And we see the result.

    • Academia is comprised of lefties because lefties hire lefties to produce lefties. All public school and most university employees are interested in maintaining the hand that feeds them. They are at their most basic level, advocates for more government, and have 16 years to pass on the lesson to thousands of impressionable minds.

  11. ” most recently, nine people killed in a fight among biker gangs in Waco.”

    Um, the jury is still out on that one as to who done the killin. Was it the good professors .gov?

    • You have to get your narrative out before the blood has been bleached from the concrete and the police have completed their investigation. Wouldn’t want those facts to get in the way of your imaginary truth!

  12. I went to the link about him…Born in Boston, went to Yale and is a scholar who studies Japanese anthropology. Been an academic all his life, what more do you expect. I really thought I’d find that he moved from California to Texas but apparently not.

    • You beat me to it. The bio says everything about his reality. The greater issue is why did the newspaper let him publish it?

    • “Went to Yale,” is pushing it. He did his undergrad at U Mass and his Phd at Pitt. Not so elite, but wishing ever so much to stay wrapped in the academic cocoon. It is humorous, I think, that his professional life is devoted to the anthropology, study of life in, Japan, which is an extremely repressive society in many ways. Yes, Japan allows almost no one to own a gun. Yes, it’s boys have stopped wanting girlfriends and its girls increasingly just want to play dress-up. I wonder if he’s ever been slapped around by the Yakuza? I wonder if he liked it?

      I can’t imagine that Anthropology of Japan contributes much to our GDP, though he’ll spend the money he is paid, and students forced to accumulate credits will no doubt sign up for his course rather than for upper-level written Japanese or an 300-level math course. What a world.

  13. Count me as a “cold dead hands” infiltrator in the ivory tower of academia. There are more of us in here (especially in the professional staff) than Professor Hoity Toity and his fellow travelers suspect.

  14. I love how these people come with this stuff and act like it is an original thought that no one thought of before. I wonder if he really thinks he is so smart he developed a solution for a centuries old problem?

    • Keep in mind this character is in academia where the products they sell are ideas. Just like any other product, there’s cheap, throw away trash and there’s some good stuff.

  15. I can’t help but picture this guy, arms folded, big ol’ smirk on his face, closed laptop at the coffee shop, going “there. I nailed it. Perfectly explained and reasoned. I should be in charge of everything.”

    I’ve heard the exact same bullshit many times over, and often worded even more eloquently. Even among academic dickbags, I’m afraid you’re the stubby one, friend-o.

  16. Education should never be confused with intelligence.
    You cannot teach someone to be smart and you can’t fix stupid.
    This man has presumably spent much of his life in schools but he is a complete idiot.
    The worst part of it is that he is able to spread his ridiculous ideas and there are those that will either choose to believe him and agree, or be so naive as to not know any better.

  17. Wasn’t one of the worst mass killings done at University of Texas Austin in 1966? Or has that been erased from the history books? My point being that someone who wants to commit mass murder isn’t something new to this world nor is it something that can be predicted.

    • That’s because in the eyes of a UT liberal art prof, the Alamo was a legimate use of force by the Mexican Government to quell an armed insurrection by American criminals who broke a contract with their hosts, that is in addition to furthering the white European genocide against Native Americans and expanding slavery westward. Proof of why citizens should not be allowed to keep or bear arms.

  18. Some of the most stupid people have college degrees and are in charge of students at all education levels. They have isolated themselves against outside influence by having a fire proof, tenure, job position. The Internet has made attending a formal education setting obsolete. Even ivy league schools have made changes to their system to accommodate the thousands of home schooled children who are far superior to government educated students.

    It does not surprise me a socialist, progressive know it all would say something so stupid. How much does this public employee make? As a religion teacher he seems to know very little about the righteous use of violence spoken about in many different religious texts.

  19. All you had to say was UT liberal arts professor…they used to complain that about ROTC using drill rifles.

  20. “…Tell that to Native Americans. Or our disarmed neighbors in cartel country.”

    Heck, we don’t have to go as far back as what was done to the Native Americans to argue against the “it could never happen here” mentality. How about violently-forced firearm confiscation and evacuation during Katrina? The shooting of protesters during the Vietnam War? Japanese Internment camps during WWII? Government-sponsored lynchings and violent anti-march/demonstration/protest actions during the Civil Rights movement? Similar and worse incidents during Reconstruction after slavery was abolished? Waco #1 and Ruby Ridge may not have mainstream sympathy sufficient to bring them up, but this Waco #2 (biker gang) incident may be in the same vein. Not to mention slightly lesser incidents like National Guard taking over cities and instituting curfews (Baltimore, Ferguson), or police and Feds taking over Boston and forcibly entering private homes, dragging residents out, pointing guns at them, yelling commands, and otherwise treating the entire population as potential terrorist criminals within a police state?

    “Couldn’t happen here” is a total crock of sh*t, and we don’t even have to use historical examples from other countries. There’s plenty here at home and the ones I mentioned above barely even scratch the surface. Folks much more cynical and tin-foil-hat than I would bring up things like Operation Northwoods

  21. Eff this douchebag. Let HIM come to my house and try to steal my property, which is what firearms confiscation really amounts to. But he doesn’t have the stones for that, he wants the government to do it for him.

  22. Most gun control proponents know that such proposals are politically untenable, so they go for mushy laws that won’t stop any of the shootings we hear about as motivation for passage of those laws. They hope that an incrementally heated skillet will keep the frog in there. This guy is just skipping to the end game.

  23. I’m no expert on anything, but in my 43 years experience on this big rock, I’ve learned a few truths. One of those things: the mass majority of Americans will surprise you with their generosity, bravery and humanity. Especially towards their fellow Americans, and even more so towards people they know personally. Sure, “watch my kids for the night” might elicit some eye rolls, but “my mom died” will get you free delivered dinners for a week, whether you want them or not. If things got end of the world bad, I have little doubt that 80% of my neighbors would coordinate arms, rations, shelter, and rotating watches. Not because we are all gun people (we are not), but because that’s what you do for your friends and family.

    This professor needs better friends…

  24. Another “Professor” proving once again that the Soviet Union did not fall — it just changed its address.

    The only Professor worth remembering was on Gilligan’s Island.

    • I had a professor who loved shooting — he called it the purest practical application of his favorite subject, ballistics. For exams, though, he had to limit it to artillery; the department didn’t approve of rifles as material on a test.

      • “I had a professor who loved shooting — he called it the purest practical application of his favorite subject, ballistics.”

        Ballistics, meteorology, physics, statistics (scoring),…

        What am I missing?

  25. I am more convinced that many of the supporters of gun control would love to see bloodshed on a large scale. After all it would be a opportunity to rid the country of people who are obstructing “progress”. They see no problem with gun confiscation by any means necessary.

  26. Why single out only gun related issues? Why not go after all violent acts and just make it illegal to harm or kill another person?

    That should stop all violence.

  27. John,

    UT allows CHP holders to carry into any educational facility and has done so since 1994, I wonder just how many of you current and former students have/are carrying in your classes……… just saying.

  28. Maybe we should should go back to Claymore’s and Scimitar’s since the world was so much more civilized when that’s all we had.

  29. “I could say something about eating deep-fried mozzarella sticks and heart disease…”

    (Command Voice)

    Step away from my deep-fried mushrooms and mozzarella sticks and keep your hands where I can see them!


    (Never, ever fvck around with someone’s pure, deep-fried goodness…)

  30. “There is simply no need for a civilized society to tolerate the type of gun-related violence that Americans seem to accept as normal.”

    Americans do accept violence as NORMAL. Our ethos embraces it. We are better at collective violence and build, employ and maintain the most awesome weaponry than any nation. Presently people sit in containers, observe our enemies on the opposite side of the world, document their evil and then push a button and they no longer exist.

    As Martha would say “It’s a good thing”.

  31. “We need to enact legislation that will greatly reduce gun-related crimes and protect people from the dangers associated with widespread gun access and ownership.”

    No mention that such legislation will greatly increase knife-related and other violent crimes, and make people more vulnerable to the dangers associated with an emboldened criminal class, eh, Prof? Or do you suppose all those “gun criminals” will just go straight once they (for some reason that’s not immediately clear to me) just up and turn in their guns because the law says they should?

  32. Religious studies? Indeed!

    It is so sad when kids go to college and can’t cut it in a good field like STEM. They migrate into subjective fields like gender and religious studies where the dissertation is awarded a grade based on its number of pages, and a degree assures that they are only fit to teach the same tripe or flip burgers.

    This clown has learned to think that his opinion matters. A lot of over-educated shitheads do that.

  33. As a Longhorn (a very rare conservative Longhorn), I continue to love my school, but at the same time be embarrased by the dipsh*t libtard professors. I recieved a BSME, and as an engineer, was somewhat inuslated from the communists across the campus. None the less, this type of crap has somewhat hindered my contributions to my Alma Mater.

    God Bless, and Hook ‘Em!


    • “I recieved a BSME, and as an engineer, was somewhat inuslated from the communists across the campus.”

      You didn’t notice it because your studies required actual STUDYING.

      (I used to dream about getting an advanced degree… While I was asleep in class. *rimshot*)

  34. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools…it is written(about this schlub…)

  35. “The world is full of folks educated beyond their level of intelligence.”
    Gomez Atkins – 1973

  36. The road to hell is paved with good intentions (and our tax dollars). The state is the liberals god, and they are oblivious that this god can turn on them. Please remove your clothing and step into the showers, please. Inhale deeply.

  37. Well, what did you expect from a professor at the University of Berkley in Texas? Afterall, it sits smack in the middle the asshole of Texas – Austin.

  38. Ban stupid, not guns: prof with his tenure and cushy job out of touch with reality. I am surprised!!….NOT

  39. “…It’s a powerful and sad testament to how anesthetized we have become to this ongoing violence.”

    No. Very much no.

    It is a sad testament to the state of modern journalism that these few, and statistically rare, incidents get so much ink that they are considered watershed moments worthy of being used to restrict the liberties and freedoms of others.

    It is an even sadder testament that someone as scholarly learned as you are would think that is acceptable to lay blame on anyone other than those responsible. Sadder still that you would ever think it acceptable to in anyway restrict the liberties and freedoms of the innocent because they happen to own a similar piece of private property.

  40. I think the prof. should be rewarded by MDA hiring him at a huge salary, to implement his ideas. He would have to go door to door, by himself, to confiscate guns, but he couldn’t be armed (since he is anti-gun), he would have no legal authority (since he has no laws to support him) and he would have no backup. It would make a great reality TV show!

  41. I’d already seen, i.e., been exposed to, this silliness yesterday, but it’s just a liberal hoping for utopia. That’s really what the American brand of liberalism is all about. And unless you are of a religious persuasion that believes in heaven, utopia doesn’t exist. And even then, it doesn’t exist in this life.

    You can’t get rid of bad guys, as long as people are imperfect. They don’t address problems from a foundation of reality, but one of what they wish the truth was. With liberals, every moment of life, including what they want to legislate (or try to), is just another verse of John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

    Imagine if evil conservatives didn’t eat swine. Then those oppressed swine would grow wings and fly. Or not.

    EDIT: Oh, and the real UT is the University of Tennessee, so please don’t slander my university with this liberal Austin tripe.

  42. I promise I’ll give the opinion of a professor of religious studies, on the subjects of guns, crime, and the law, all the consideration it deserves.

  43. I remember when (and this was a couple months before Elliot Rodgers rampage) the UC Santa Barbara school housing party student ghetto of Isla Vista had a string of rapes in the area. The UC police department spokeswoman’s response, (in addition to recommending rape whistles), was that the higher rates were due to “women feeling empowered to report more”.

    This should come in handy for the UC pd, when the next parent calls in a GVRO on a loony student.

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