By Louis K. Bonham
The attorneys for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton continue to bring the pain in the lawsuit brought by three University of Texas professors to invalidate campus carry at that school.
After trashing the plaintiffs for essentially abandoning their wacky “academic freedom” claim (on which I think plaintiffs have now been destroyed) in favor of a even goofier generic First Amendment claim, Paxton’s counsel wrote:
“Plaintiffs’ abandonment of their claim to the unique right to academic freedom reveals the sheer scope of their First Amendment claim. Not only are they seeking to essentially prohibit guns on public campuses, contrary to the legislative decision made by the representations of the people of Texas, their claim could stretch to all public property. If Plaintiffs are no different than anyone else in asserting First Amendment free speech rights, if they succeed in banning guns from public classrooms on the grounds that their right to free speech is unconstitutionally in-fringed by the fact that a concealed handgun may be present in their vicinity, then anyone could assert such a right anywhere. That is absurd. Indeed, the fact that the people of this State continue to enjoy robust free speech rights despite the presence of licensed carry throughout the State only confirms that Plaintiffs’ subjective fears are not objectively reasonable.”
The university’s supplemental memo is also pretty good, but UT is still having to deal with the self-inflicted wound caused by its counsel’s missteps on whether or not UT profs face discipline if they violate the school’s new campus carry policy. The plaintiffs’ supplemental memo is, like many of their presentations, long on emotion, but short on meaningful constitutional analysis. Methinks plaintiffs’ counsel realizes that they’re going down.
My over-under line for a decision from Judge Yeakel on the request for a preliminary injunction stopping implementation of the new law is noon Monday. I’m predicting a narrow opinion that simply holds that plaintiffs did not establish a clear likelihood of success on the merits. Stay tuned.
And they are entirely forgetting that they have the absolute right, if they are truly concerned that someone will try to shoot at them for exercising their First Amendment PROTECTED right to free speech, to exercise their Second Amendment protected right to SHOOT BACK.
It certainly seems as though whatever intelligence they may have had to gain their Professorships was drained in the effort and has not been replenished.
Let’s not forget that they also have the right to seek employment elsewhere. Frankly, if I had a job where I was as worried for my safety as these nitwits are pretending to be, I’d quit as soon as possible.
That photo shows 4 old, 60s types who are out of touch with reality. They live and work in a dreamland of ‘safe spaces’ and speech codes which allows them to impose their liberal theology on defenseless students. Welcome to real world, professors.
OMG such complicated BS.
Did they even get the memo, that shooting someone over a verbal dispute is already manslaughter/murder, and anyone that could do that ain’t give no squat about gun free zones?
Just because they are professors that doesn’t mean they’re smart. These 60’s reject hippies are one bongo short of a drum circle.
A hippie jam band music festival the likes of which this town has never seen….
Die hippy, die.
Some of these liberal professors are nearly brain dead, true enough, such that they believe a no guns sign or law will protect them from all shooters. That’s absurd on its face in the case of spree shooters, who typically plan to kill as many people as possible before dying that day themselves.
In other cases, people, not just these idiot professors, are concerned about spontaneous altercations, not premeditated spree shootings, that turn deadly because of the availability of a firearm in the classroom. Since these are law abiding students, as we hear time and time again, they wouldn’t have a firearm in class were it prohibited and the argument would have been limited in physical effects. I know, you can kill with improvised weapons or just your hands. Still, those are not the most effective means, or else we wouldn’t carry firearms.
It’s a scenario where someone is driven by sudden passion to kill that some anti campus carry people base their opposition. It’s not an irrational concern. After all, it’s happened before. We’ve seen road rage incidents turn deadly, where nobody woke up that morning intending to harm anyone. We’ve seen campus shootings over B.S. arguments before. In fact, that term “sudden passion” is codified in Texas penal law as a defense. Criminal homicide arising from sudden passion doesn’t get a pass, but it does get knocked down from a 1st to 2nd degree felony.
So these people are not completely remived5from reality. They’re wrong on the law, wrong on the odds of events, and wrong on naturals rights, but there is some rationality in at least part of their opposition.
The central problem with your analysis, as with theirs, assumes that everybody in that classroom is a law-abiding student. I submit that the non-law-abiding–the guy who’s going to carry a gun or a knife regardless of whether or not it is legal to do so–is more than likely going to be the guy who suddenly loses it after losing an argument in a classroom. He’s already got the predisposition towards negative social behavior. Just because you’ve barred the law-abiding doesn’t mean the non-law-abiding will get or even care about the memo. More on point, just because you’ve barred guns doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other very-deadly weapons with which to cause grievous harm. I’ve seen plenty of spontaneous knifings over a chance-word and was almost victim of one myself.
There is no “central problem” with my analysis. It’s just a consolidation of real life events into a general description.
Are law breaking, illegal carrying people more likely to blow their top and open fire? I don’t know. Maybe? Probably? It doesn’t matter. As that’s beside the point. Such people already exist and are not affected by legalizing campus carry for law abiding, lawful carriers, which is the subject at hand.
Now, do law abiding, lawful carriers blow their top and shoot someone illegally? Yes. That’s just a fact. See the Raul Rodriguez case in Baytown, Texas, for example.
If you want to get into a whole debate about which is more common, go ahead, on your own time. I’m not interested. Hell, I’ll concede up front that law abiding carriers are less likely to go ballistic.
Probabilities, which we already know are non-zero, are irrelevant once they are in fact not zero. That’s the only legitimate point these profs could make: even if it’s a small probability, there still is a realistic probability that some formerly law abiding, lawful carrier will lose their temper and shoot someone.
Rare? Sure. Outweighed by the risk of spree shooters or muggers or rapers? Yup. Made entirely moot in the light of one’s natural right to self defense and the 2nd Amendment? You betcha.
But……will it never, ever happen, so we shouldn’t even contemplate it or listen to someone’s point? Nope. It’s just a matter of time before it happens. May be a long time and may only happen once, but it will happen. I’m not saying the profs have a winning argument, they don’t, but they do have a valid point to make before they lose.
And how many of those personality types are actually found in a college classroom?
I’m being quite serious here. I’m an adjunct instructor at a community college. I’ve got a fair appraisal of the types of students that attend college classes.
The types that suddenly blow up are rare – quite rare – in college classrooms, because they lack the self-control to sign up for classes, fork over a big wad of money and then go buy books. Have I met the personality types that blow up at a slight or word? Sure. Dozens of times. I’ve never met one of those personality types in a college classroom. High school? Oh, yes. In public gatherings? Yes. On the job? Yes.
Colleges? No. Although, if Bernie Sanders got his way and were able to make community college tuition “free,” I suppose I might see them on college grounds.
I read the linked memos, and the plaintiffs ain’t got nothing. At this point, they’re reduced to Clintonesque quibbling about what the meaning of “is” is.
There’s neither a First Amendment issue nor an academic freedom issue here. They can say anything they want about guns, both in the classroom and out. Nothing about this law or UT’s policy restricts what they’re allowed to teach or study. Heck, they could even issue a polite request to their students to refrain from carrying in the classroom — as long as they don’t attempt to enforce or punish legally allowed nondisruptive behavior, they can speak about it all they want.
What it comes down to is that they’re asserting a First Amendment right to preemptively remove other people’s First- and Second-Amendment rights based solely on their own personal fears. Typical SJW crap. That’s not how this whole civil rights thing works.
I don’t understand their concern for disciplining Professors that violate the rule. This is a false flag. It seems to me that they have no power to deny a student’s right to carry and therefore, disciplining is moot. Basically, the student does not have to comply with Dr. Mussolini.
What if they fail a student if they learn he or she carries. The student needs some recourse. The professor may not have lawful power to ban firearms, but the professor does have other power, which they can abuse and convert to this purpose. Without a disciplinary mechanism, their nominally non-existent power to ban firearms can become real.
Why do the people in the picture all look like their stoned out of their minds?
Well… Because they are special. And they live in this bubble where their day is ruined when starbucks runs out of their special half-caf-double vodka-latte…
Double Bourbon-latte, please…
Because they probably have been for the last 50 years.
I’m gonna call this paraphrasing, just because I know I’ll misquote.
“Those that ignore History are doomed to repeat it.”
Maybe the correct quote should be placed on U.T.’s clock tower.
Is one Constitutionally protected freedom more protected than another? Can I take away someone else’s right because I believe my right is more important than yours? I don’t get this “logic” at all.
So if I understand the professors’ claim, “academic freedom” means an unfettered right to be an overbearing, soul destroying crone every day of the month and not just five days a month.
I didn’t know it was a right, but I should have suspected it.
An unfettered right to be an overbearing, soul destroying crone should be only permissible in marriage…
Hasn’t campus carry been going on for a week and a half now??? One would think we would see at least one dead professor by now if these nut balls were right.
The hag on the left of the photo looks frighteningly like another hag from the clintonista administration, Janet Reno.
I can just picture these three in the forest, naked, singing to Gaia for the all powerful safe space to protect them from the evil redneck gun owners.
I could beat the tar out those old coots.
Does my physical strength and youth over them pose a threat to their freedom of speech?
God forbid any of the Longhorn O-Line take one of their courses. They’re bigger and younger than I am; their freedom of thought might be in jeopardy.
It has always surprised me that they are oblivious to the theoretical danger posed by anyone bigger, stronger and younger than they. If I were a student, it would be amusing to announce that I didn’t feel the need to carry a gun. If attacked, I could always poke my assailant’s eye out with a pen or cut his throat with my pocket knife. And if that wasn’t sufficient, I could use the fire axe in the hallway.
Of course, under the logic of these “scholars,” if they wanted to ban men (or white people, or Christians, or Republicans) from “their” classes because they believe that having such people present will cause the faculty to be more circumspect, and thus interfere with their “academic freedom,” then contrary UT policies and state / federal law must somehow yield to their beliefs. Because feelz.
As I noted in an earlier piece, noted constitutional law professor Glenn Reynolds (a/k/a Instapundit) has described the professors’ academic freedom contention as “an embarrassingly stupid argument.” If anything, Prof. Reynolds is being charitable with his characterization.
I still doubt that these folks will suffer even the slightest repercussions from the UT administration. However, hopefully Texas legislators will remember these paragons of wisdom when the UT administration comes groveling for appropriations next year. “Your faculty say they don’t want to follow a law passed by this body and signed by the Governor, and have cost the state *how* much money defending a frivolous lawsuit? Maybe those departments should go find their funding somewhere else for the next two years.”
I have a safe space. It has a .45 on the night stand. When I leave my hobbit house my 9mm and .380 follow close behind me. My safe space is real not imaginary. I prefer to not roll up in a fetal position and piss myself. I stand up for my rights and choose to not be a victim. My dignity won’t allow me to beg for mercy from some junior grade as*hole bent on trying to make my life a living hell. Twice in my life I have used violence to stop a sub-human from robbery and an assault. The second was letting him see the wrong end of my 1911. They are 0 for 2 against me and I plan on pitching a perfect game.
Better to die on your feet than live on your knees
I hope the defeat they are about to suffer absolutely crushes whatever may be left of these person’s miserable, withered spirits and causes them to retreat to a dark closet somewhere and never come out again to suck the life out of anyone else.
If they were to win this suit, it means anyone potentially could use the ruling to attempt to deny any right contained in any of the Amendments to anyone else, anytime, anywhere (IF I understand this correctly).
I hate my alma mater sometimes. Can’t wait for these guys to get wrecked in court.
I am so glad i sent my Daughter to OU instead of UT
Well , everyone will be scratching there heads and bitching when some Progressive judge or panel of judges rules against the state of Texas and backs the insane illogical position of the Progressive professors . Once again we will all pucker our asses a little tighter when common sense is thrown out for insanity .
I’m still unsure why they bothered to bring this case. What were they going to get? A special carve-out from the law? The state legislature isn’t about to allow that. Selective enforcement? The executive branch in Texas ain’t run by Obama.
This leaves me entirely puzzled. The law isn’t unconstitutional – because the law is already circumscribing limits on the Second Amendment by requiring those who want to carry in the classroom do it a) concealed, and b) only when licensed by the state to do so.
So by bringing this case, these academics are about to spike the ball in their own endzone. I’m sure they’ll make it bounce really high, too.
I think a lot of the UT faculty simply painted themselves into a corner.
After the campus carry bill passed and UT announced that it was going to start studying how to implement the law, it dawned on the ivory tower-dwellers that lo and behold, concealed carry was indeed coming to a classroom near them. And their immediate reaction was a primal scream that there was just no way that they’d ever allow icky guns in “their” classrooms, along with the usual 1960’s style demonstrations, petitions, and bold proclamations that they’d defy UT and were willing suffer all manner of indignities for their principles . . . all the while thinking that the UT administration couldn’t possibly disagree with them and would never actually stop them from outlawing guns in “their” classes.
And, of course, none of it worked.
While the UT administration ostensibly commiserated with the pearl-clutchers, at the end of the day the administration knew that it was holding a losing hand. It was simply not an option to defy a GOP-dominated legislature where a handful of motivated legislators could totally muck up UT’s appropriations . . . or worse, the legislature might even start thinking about raiding UT’s PUF (Permanent University Fund, which is the bulk of UT’s incredibly huge endowment) and sharing it with other state-funded colleges. So despite a lot of bitching and moaning about the law (and some silliness like the proposed rule [thankfully rejected by the Regents] that semiautomatics on campus could only be carried “Israeli style”), UT actually managed to come up with an implementation that took the law fairly seriously. And, of course, that meant that “no, you can’t ban guns from ‘your’ classes, no matter how icky you think they are.”
So what were the loudly-protesting members of the faculty going to do? Admit they had been defeated (or worse, wrong)? Admit that despite their posturing that they were ready to go full-Thoreau and defy the law and the administration, they actually didn’t want to risk losing their cushy jobs (or maybe forced to teach undergraduates)?
Most of them are now simply skulking away and hoping nobody notices the disconnect between their brave words and their cowardly actions. (Never fear, I suspect there will be a followup TTAG article calling some of them out. 🙂 ) But in this case, the true believers are grasping at the last straw left, hoping against hope that somehow it’ll all be OK for them, but if they lose then they can at least say that they went down swinging (and probably get on the Wymyn’s Studies lecture circuit to talk about how virtuous they were to keep fighting against campus carry).
Still, when the Court pours them out, it’ll be fun to watch. Pass the popcorn . . . . .