In a commentary published yesterday by The Chronicle of Higher Education, an English professor at Utah State under a headline with lack of logic (English professors should know better, I can say that, I am an English professor), “Guns on Campus Have Already Curtailed Free Speech,” blames the right to bear arms on “feminist and media critic” Anita Sarkeesian’s cancellation of an appearance on campus.
First of all, by now everyone should know, even that gun-obsessed Brit Piers Morgan, who enjoys the financial rewards of being in America, that guns don’t do anything by themselves. Like a toothbrush, you have to attach a human being to a gun, for it to do its work. Second, a gun in the hands of a person has been known to do much good work.
To continue the metaphor further, and no doubt there will be protestations that one cannot compare a gun to a toothbrush, a gun has helped clean up our society and defeat evil when such work was necessary. Yes, I know it’s dirty work in the minds of some, but someone has to do it. Just as an aside to the most “progressive” among us, don’t you like it when the plumber comes in and unclogs the drain for you, even though in your mind he is no doubt “marginalized” in society until you get the bill?
But back to the commentary by the English professor in Utah. She writes about the speaker’s cancellation: “In that decision, we witnessed one of the first clear examples of how laws allowing concealed weapons on a college campus can thwart academic freedom and First Amendment rights to free speech.”
I must commend the professor for writing that laws allowing concealed weapons can thwart academic freedom. She could have written “do thwart” or simply “thwart.” But logically the laws allowing concealed weapons on a college campus cannot thwart academic freedom and First Amendment rights to free speech.
But what is at least as disturbing as the professor’s mention that death threats were made against the speaker, and of course the professor automatically assumes persons who legitimately are carrying will shoot the speaker, is her “wimpfication” or “sissyfication” (let’s coin those terms) of the professoriate at her institution and at-large:
“Less visible are the ways that individual faculty members censor themselves. They may choose to omit course material or change course content because of a perceived threat; unconsciously alter course content without fully realizing they are responding to the presence of guns; or retire early because they are hesitant to teach at a campus that permits guns.”
What sad, generalized assumptions, trying to tug at heart strings, leaving our brains behind. Who is to say that professors would be threatened by a law allowing concealed carry. Who is to say that there are not persons who speak freely already perfectly aware that harm can happen regardless of laws. And who is to say that concealed-carry individuals on campus might not follow the moral principles of a Matt Dillon rather than those of an Islamist terrorist?
But where I must draw the line in the sand completely is at the female professor’s generalizing, sexist stance. She writes, ” In a state where gender roles are, for the large part, entrenched and traditional, our students lost the opportunity to hear a woman questioning the roles and possibilities that exist for both men and women.”
Last time I checked, and it is not so because I live in the South, women are buying guns, training in the use of guns, carrying concealed with permits, and hunting. And this past weekend, I had the chance to view a delightful segment on FOX featuring Tucker Carlson with several women for whom hunting is a way of life and now have their own TV show, Hot Dawgs. Unfortunately, many professors don’t take in a lot of news or limit their news intake to MSNBC and other such outlets and so miss out on the world-at-large. This, unfortunately, makes them a great target that stands for ignorance.