Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New Texas "Campus Carry" Gun Law - As Dumb As Its Open Carry Law

Prof.  Irwin Horowitz, had to enlist security guards for protection last year in his Texas A&M classroom

How crazy does one state have to be to permit students to carry concealed handguns onto a university campus, but will have a coed arrested on the spot if she's found to be carrying a dildo in her purse? Well, pretty crazy, and Texas makes the cut. To put it in context, three University of Texas professors last week were notified they will be "subject to discipline" if they try to ban concealed handguns from their classrooms. This according to Bloomberg News columnist Francis Wilkinson writing in 'Bloomberg View'

As he goes on to write, alerting any who may not have been paying attention:

"Texas is gun country and the state has joined a half a dozen others that guarantee campus carry rights"

But the most vocal objections have emanated from the UT flagship campus in Austin, well recognized as not only a liberal citadel but an elite institution. After all, it features one of the foremost physicists in the world, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg.   Prof Weinberg has been among the most outspoken critics of campus carry in Texas. He says he will ban guns from his classroom. It’s unclear if such a move could be legally challenged, but campus administrators are concerned that the state might retaliate by tightening the financial reins on the university.

According to a recent Physics Today column (July ) another University of Texas -Austin history professor, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, wrote the following in a letter that was widely circulated among faculty last October:

Most faculty will think twice before offering courses on controversial topics like race, gender, inequality, religion, slavery, empire, colonialism, etc.,”

In the same article , it was also noted such controversies "may not be a common problem in the hard sciences"  According to Eugene Mishchenko, a physicist at the University of Utah, “We are dealing with technical issues that are right or wrong. Discussions in physics are never too heated

Easy for him to say because he's probably never taught climate science to deniers, or cosmology with the Big Bang to young Earth creationists. (Think of the Jason Lisle type)

This is why, as the PT article notes, "some topics can be controversial—evolution, cosmology, and the possible health effects of low-dose radiation".

Indeed, Pearl Sandick, a physicist at the University of Utah, says the possible presence of guns is “absolutely” on her mind when she prepares lessons or public talks. She says:

When you talk about early universe cosmology, or anything that might touch a nerve, you have to give a little extra thought to how students might respond and how those conversations could play out.”

I can definitely verify that, as I've seen students in space physics classes get hysterical when one just brought up the topic of HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program).   See more on this unique investigative program here:

As noted in the above link:

"HAARP was a target of conspiracy theorists, who claimed that it was capable of modifying weather, disabling satellites and exerting mind control over people, and that it was being used as a weapon against terrorists. Such theorists blamed the program for causing earthquakes, droughts, storms and floods, diseases such as Gulf War syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome, the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800, and the 2003 destruction of the space shuttle Columbia. Commentators and scientists say that proponents of these theories are "uninformed", because most theories put forward fall well outside the abilities of the facility "

IN the case of the hysterical student, he actually believed HAARP was "removing the oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere".  Trying to convince him otherwise was about like trying to convince climate change conspiracy theorists (think Kort Patterson) that there is no "global warming alarmist conspiracy" to "undermine Western civilization."  Regarding the half-crazed kid in that AK classroom, I am not at all sure he wouldn't have fired off a round to make a point, had he a weapon and the legal right to take it with him.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg author Wilkinson cites the case of Prof. Jennifer Glass who "has specific concerns about her safety and the safety of her students" in one filed complaint.  This complaint state that she "has witnessed in her own classroom  a verbally aggressive student- disappointed in a grade handed out during class- displaying a level of aggressiveness and animosity toward Professor Glass' teaching assistant that, had the concealed carry rule been in place, would have left her hesitant to confront the student in defense of the TA".

And why would anyone do so in their right mind. Then last year we saw the case of embattled Texas A&M prof Irwin Horowitz whose class was being so disruptive that he needed security guards in the room.  According to the prof:

"Since teaching this course, I have caught and seen cheating, been told to 'chill out,' 'get out of my space,' 'go back and teach,' [been] called a 'fucking moron' to my face, [had] one student cheat by signing in for another, one student not showing up but claiming they did, listened to many hurtful and untrue rumors about myself and others, been caught in fights between students,"

How much more aggressive would his students be emboldened to be in concealed carry environment? Fortunately we won't find out as Horowitz had enough, said 'hast la vista'. "I have nothing left," Horowitz told the Houston Chronicle, blaming the school for not enforcing the university's honor code against his allegedly unruly students. "I put my neck on the line for what I thought was the right thing to do."

The PT article also points out other concerns including the temptation for faculty to assign higher grades to appease students, and difficulties that universities could face in recruiting faculty and students. Media studies professor Laura Stein, a member of the roughly 2000-strong grassroots group Gun-Free UT, says it’s unlikely that professors will dole out all As. “But what about the volatile student who has been aggressive and is pushing for a higher grade? That could lead to grade inflation.”

As if today's universities need any more grade inflation to debase their credibility.

And the real kicker in all this? While students are allowed to carry loaded guns they are banned from carrying dildos. Yeah, you heard that right.   Those gun-like looking sexual toys are considered "obscene" and possessing them  is a misdemeanor in Texas. In fact, it's even illegal to ship them across state lines or technically to possess them. But some feisty coeds on the UT campus are considering using their dildos to stake out a protest against the new gun law.

See e.g.

According to Jessica Jin, the founder of "Cocks Not Glocks," a student protest group at the University of Texas at Austin:

"The purported benefits of this law are not worth the potential for accidents, suicides, escalating ordinary conflicts to deadly levels, or the brain drain of teachers ."

wOne wishes her and the other dildo protesters success, because the first fallout will indeed be professors leaving in droves, for saner academic pastures.

 eSee also:

See also:either resigning or withdrawing their applications to the university

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