Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 30, 2009 / 6 Iyar 5769

Why can't students say ‘guns’ in school?

By Glenn Garvin


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Media snicker of the day: those crazy gun nuts, worried the government is out to snatch their constitutional rights along with their AK-47s. "60 Minutes" is the latest to have a chuckle, playing a commercial for a Washington, D.C.-area firearms show that urges viewers to "Celebrate the Second Amendment and get your guns while you still can!"


My own hunch is the sheer number of Americans who own guns (the low estimate is something over 40 million) will keep their Second Amendment rights off the endangered-species list for the foreseeable future. Their First Amendment rights, however, may be another matter. Those are taking a beating these days, right in the place that's supposed to be America's rowdiest free-speech zone: college campuses.


A student who speaks up about the right to own or carry a gun stands a good chance of getting suspended or even arrested:


  • When a Central Connecticut State University senior fulfilled a communications-class assignment by giving a presentation on why students and professors should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus, his professor reported him to the police, who called him in for questioning. Professor Paula Anderson, questioned by a reporter from the school paper, was unrepentant: The student was a "perceived risk" and she had a "responsibility to protect the well-being of our students."

  • Like old Soviet commissars clapping dissidents into psychiatric hospitals, administrators at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., responded to a student's e-mail criticizing school policy on concealed weapons by suspending him and ordering him to undergo a "mental health examination."

  • Trying to recruit new members, the Young Conservatives of Texas club at Lone Star College near Houston passed out fliers lampooning gun-safety manuals. ("No matter how responsible he seems, never give your gun to a monkey.") Administrators confiscated the fliers, threatened to disband the club and - when the worried students sought legal counsel - wrote their lawyers that any "mention of firearms" amounted to "interference with the operation of the school or the rights of others" because it "brings fear and concern to students, faculty and staff." Oddly, the administrators did not suspend themselves, even though their own e-mail included a "mention of firearms."

  • Tarrant County College, near Fort Worth, took the no-mention policy a step further, banning a student from wearing an empty holster to protest the campus ban on concealed guns. "We're protecting the learning environment," explained Juan Garcia, the school's vice president for student development and, clearly, a devoted scholar of academic doublespeak.


It's tempting to consider these cases as simply an extension of academia's batty response to the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, in which toy guns, wooden pirate cutlasses and even an entire production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Assassins were banned from campus drama clubs, as if American colleges were a giant firecracker of homicidal psychosis just waiting for any tiny spark to go off.


But Virginia Tech and the blind panic that followed it are two years behind us now, and the treatment of gun advocates feels a lot more like intellectual bullying than over-protective nannying. Like campus codes that lay down ideological rulebooks under the guise of outlawing sexual or racial harassment, labeling any reference to guns as a threat to public safety is a way for lefty baby boomer administrators and faculty members to impose their 1960s political orthodoxies on a younger generation.


"It's no coincidence that a lot of these things involve e-mails," says Robert Shibley, vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a public-interest law firm that defends campus civil liberties and has helped students in several of these cases.


"That's the popular new way for colleges to regulate speech, through technology-use policies. No college dean wants to go on record as saying he restricts free speech on his campus, so instead he says, 'We're just making a rule that you can't use e-mail for offensive material.'"


Of course, their definition of "offensive" has a distinct political overlay. I've never heard of a college student being suspended for calling George Bush a moron or Dick Cheney a war criminal. But making fun of feminists (Colorado College), opposing gay marriage (Los Angeles City College) or reading a book - a critical book - about the Ku Klux Klan (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) will bring down the wrath of administrators in a politically correct heartbeat.


A couple of years ago, FIRE even had to defend a hapless philosophy grad student at Marquette University who made the mistake of posting a "patently offensive" Dave Barry quote on his office door: "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." Geez, he didn't even say "booger."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Glenn Garvin is a columnist for the Miami Herald

Previously:


04/08/09: When non-U.S. citizens vote
03/2e/09: Of course the AIG bonus boys — the ‘best and the brightest‘ — deserve their loot
03/12/09: No choice in Free Choice Act

© 2009, The Miami Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles