Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Is anyone listening?

There's no polite way or time to say it: American college and universities have become coddle industries. Big Nanny administrators oversee speech codes, segregated dorms, politically correct academic departments, and designated "safe spaces" to protect students selectively from hurtful (conservative) opinions—while allowing mob rule for approved leftist positions (textbook case: Columbia University's anti-Minuteman Project protesters).

Instead of teaching students to defend their beliefs, American educators shield them from vigorous intellectual debate. Instead of encouraging autonomy, our higher institutions of learning stoke passivity and conflict-avoidance.

And as the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes, so goes the erosion of physical self-defense.


Late last summer, a shooting near campus prompted students to clamor again for loosening campus rules against armed self-defense. Virginia Tech officials turned up their noses. In response to student Bradford Wiles's campus newspaper op-ed piece in support of concealed carry on campus, Virginia Tech associate vice president Larry Hincker scoffed:

"[I]t is absolutely mind-boggling to see the opinions of Bradford Wiles…The editors of this page must have printed this commentary if for no other reason than malicious compliance. Surely, they scratched their heads saying, 'I can't believe he really wants to say that.' Wiles tells us that he didn't feel safe with the hundreds of highly trained officers armed with high powered rifles encircling the building and protecting him. He even implies that he needed his sidearm to protect himself."

The nerve!

Hincker continued: "The writer would have us believe that a university campus, with tens of thousands of young people, is safer with everyone packing heat. Imagine the continual fear of students in that scenario. We've seen that fear here, and we don't want to see it again…Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same."

Who's scratching his head now, Mr. Hincker?

Title answer: no.

Update: I hope so, from the Instapundit (a professor of law at the University of Tennessee):

"Gun-free zones" are premised on a fantasy: That murderers will follow rules, and that people like my student, or Bradford Wiles, are a greater danger to those around them than crazed killers like Cho Seung-hui. That's an insult. Sometimes, it's a deadly one.


Eric Stoller said...

Do you really want to be an instructor in a classroom full of concealed guns? Even if the guns were legally purchased and in the hands of someone who qualified to get a CWP, I still would not want to teach in a room that I knew contained gun toting students. I don't feel that adding more guns to a situation will necessarily improve things...

I don't think that associate vp's response was very professional. Mocking student journalists is not a good way to build community. He should have responded in a manner that was educationally-based.

radar said...

I don't fear guns, as apparently you do. Maybe you don't have much experience or knowledge of guns or concealed carry laws, but students who can pass through such a stringent process I would feel perfectly safe being surrounded by.

Eric Stoller said...

I guess you could say that I have a healthy amount of respect for gun-free learning environments.

and I grew up on a farm in I think I was shooting guns as soon as I was big enough to hold them. Shotguns, rifles, handguns, etc. but I still feel that even those who have passed the permit process should be legally allowed to have guns in classrooms or on university property.