06 October 2006

Campus RKBA Roundup #2

It's Friday, late PM Alaska time. 11-16 years ago, I'd be taking a break from the books and unwind with either a good game, good book, good movie, good woman, or a good bottle (wasn't always a believer, you know). I remember my college days well.

So, I'm going to kick off the weekend with my Campus RKBA Roundup #2. I've been taking some time in the evenings to find some RKBA-related articles originating from our nation's campuses via browsing the College Publisher network, seeing what's been submitted over at KeepAndBearArms.org, email submissions, or some random search I've done.

Starting off with older stuff, earlier last semester, the issue over at Brown University was whether or not their Department of Public Safety personnel should be armed. Michael Zapendowski thinks it's a good idea. His 26 January '06 column in the Brown Daily Herald responds to Vanessa Huang's article, which has the distinction of earning the first Mad Hatter Double-D Award (one D stands for "Dunce," I'll let you guess the other "D").

The opinions of this honorable fruitcake (whose article has been excoriated for misrepresenting a DPS officer) have been condensed by Mr. Zapendowski as oppositional to the arming of DPS officers, on the grounds that:

1) DPS shouldn't be trusted with weapons because they're a bunch of trigger-happy maniacs

(2) Criminals are really just demonized racial minorities and fighting them with guns is not the answer

(3) Crime against Brown students is really the result of "rape culture" and "Brown's relationship with the local community"

(4) The "imperialist" United States decided "to bomb Iraq and Afghanistan" and, therefore, the Brown police should not be armed.
In rebuttal, Zapendowski says that “having a separate police force that doesn't have the ability to stop criminals is a waste of money.”

Over at Rutgers, the Daily Targum featured an article on 20 February 2006 about its campus gun club--one that deals with actively promoting RKBA ideals, without forcing the issue down others' throats.
“One purpose this year is to try to expose more people to the idea that - if approached in a safe manner - guns can be a source of enjoyment, rather than fear or violence.”
That attitude, and the fact that one of their members shoots a USP, scores points with me.

Antis might do well to take note of this next guy from San Diego State. Why? Because a gun owner like myself is more apt to listen to him, even if we don't agree.

You see, this guy has handled guns, owns some, has some range time, and has looked at the issues first-hand, as opposed to merely brainlessly baa-ing the Brady line.

So he doesn't like the NRA. So he doesn't care too much for gun culture. So he doesn't see the point of owning an AK-47 or getting licensed for CCW. Big deal. But you cannot fault him for not looking into matters for himself.

We've been exposed to one sophomoric opinion already. Does a freshman have anything better to say? Max Schlusselberg, a major in journalism (adding insult to injury) over at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attempts to throw Wisconsin gun owners a bone by saying, “My criticism of Wisconsin’s gun laws is not made to nullify the validity of the constitution’s second amendment,” but then goes on to baaa away for laws that work towards that effect.

Problem is, he looks to Canada to support his argument for tighter gun control.

OK, OK, you can pick yourself up off the floor now.

Sadly enough, this kid even mentions the Dawson College shooting, but can't seem to understand that, despite Canada's already heavy measures to restrict availability of guns, this guy got through. He then continues to mindlessly babble some of the fearmongering propaganda we've heard for years from the anti crowd about the unregulated open-air black market that they believe gun shows to be (happily, the Badger Herald has a respond feature, and a couple have taken the time to set the matter straight).

I was about to award this guy the second MHDD award, but I'll give him the benefit of freshmanly cluelessness (Ms. Huang, on the other hand, was a senior when she wrote her article). If he shows he can't do his homework, and publishes this nonsense this time four years from now, I'll have a dunce cap waiting for him.

In Utah, there's an interesting bit of legal wrangling going on about guns on campus. It seems that a 2004 law might actually make some University gun policies illegal:

The Utah Supreme Court's Sept. 8 decision to invalidate the University of Utah's firearms policy cited several key reasons as to why the university's gun ban policy is illegitimate.

* The Utah Constitution provides "the individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense ... as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed."
* After the university sued the Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, the legislature passed a statute prohibiting any "state entity," which includes the university, from enacting or enforcing any firearms policy "that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property."
* The University of Utah's policy prohibits students, faculty and staff from possessing firearms on campus and "while conducting university business."
* According to the 1892 Act, a statute passed before statehood which lays out the governance of the university, the university is "subject to the laws of Utah"
* Therefore, the University of Utah is not allowed to disregard laws which interfere with its academic mission.
How's that for something completely different?

And here's something else you don't see too often: A University professor defending gun rights, rebutting some misrepresentation he sees in a fellow Virginia Tech professor's article.

While it’s not in a student newspaper, per se, it is worth a read:

Hambrick argues that guns are rarely used for self-defense or to prevent a crime because he does not see such reports in the news media. Numerous studies, including my research, have shown that the media rarely report these events, despite the fact that they occur more frequently than most of us would guess. Estimates of defensive gun uses range from 100,000 to 2.5 million annually in the U.S. A reasonable estimate is probably about 1 million.

Because of how news is defined and an anti-gun bias in some media, only those defensive gun uses that result in the serious wounding or death of an attacker are reported. Simply scaring off a would-be attacker does not qualify as news.

Even obvious defensive gun uses are often misreported. For example, the tragic shootings at the Appalachian Law School in 2002 were stopped when students apprehended the gunman. What was reported in only a few media outlets was that two of the students who "tackled" the deranged gunman subdued him with the help of firearms that they had retrieved from their cars.
His mention of Hambrick’s source for the frequency of self-defense stories is very telling. They take the easy way out…get someone else’s opinion, without hoofing for their own material. Seems like students aren’t the only ones who don’t like doing their homework.

That wraps it up for this week. Again, everyone, feel free to submit campus articles you'd like to see featured--post a comment or send me an email.

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