I’ve been keeping an eye on concealed carry on Texas college campuses for the last two years. As always, anti-liberty/gun cracktivists predicted carnage. Disagreements over the finer points of philosophy would produce gunplay; blood would run like a river on every Campus green. Just as those fevered predictions did not come to pass in any state–most–that adopted concealed carry, they have likewise not come to pass in Texas. This has not stopped Texas cractivists, including various professors, from trying to thwart the law.
In October of 2015, in No Good-Guy Guns On Campus: How’s That Workin’ Out For Ya? I wrote of a professor who publically quit in response to the then-new law. The media didn’t much mention he was already set to retire, but hey, details, details.
Also in October in Guns And Dildos, I wrote about a female student organizing a dildo protest. More on this shortly, but here is, in part, what I said:
In any case, I’m looking forward to August in Austin when lissome young women affix colorful dildos to their backpacks and get the college mating season off to a bang. The photos should be grand. Perhaps a new song for the occasion? “Love is a many dildoed thing…
In August of 2016, in The Great University Of Texas Dildo Protest, I reported on a novel protest indeed: students were distributing thousands of dildos, which they would brandish at a rally, and thereafter hang from their backpacks. Their explanations of how dildos were somehow a symbol of anti-gun resistance were, how to put this gently…flaccid. I warned them then that with all those people openly carrying dildos, someone was going to use one, but they didn’t listen to me. The horror.
In May of 2017, in Concealed Carry On Campus: Love The People/Hate Everything About Them, I wrote about how the protest slithered to the University of Kansas, where cracktivists loved their fellow man while hating everything about them.
And in August of 2017, in Campus Concealed Carry Quiet, I reported on the utter failure to materialize of anti-liberty predictions of carnage:
And that, gentle readers, is why the crickets are chirping. After a year of concealed carry on the campuses of four-year Texas colleges, the horrors anti-gun types forecast failed to come to pass. And after the first week of concealed carry on the campuses of the rest of Texas colleges, the chirping continues.
In the aforementioned article, I joked that with all those dildos on campus, you just know someone is going to use one. There are no known statistics on that issue, but I think it a safe bet my prediction came true, and more than once. The apocalyptic predictions of the anti-gunners? Chirp, chirp.
But none of this–even rampant campus dildo use–has stopped true believers, as The College Fix reports:
Activists with pro-gun groups are applauding a federal appeals court’s recent dismissal of a lawsuit challenging a Texas campus carry law. The ruling dealt a blow to the three professors who sought to nullify the law on First Amendment grounds.
This is the second time the professors have lost the case in court. The suit was thrown out, and the concealed carry law upheld, by a federal district judge in July of 2017. Now the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has upheld that decision, Inside Higher Ed reported, with the court stating that ‘none of the cited evidence alleges a certainty that a license-holder will illegally brandish a firearm in a classroom.’
Gun rights activists have applauded the decision.
The argument was that concealed carry would force professors to abandon free speech out of fear students would shoot them over academic disagreements: “Thomas Jefferson was not a lesbian!” BANG!
While somewhat novel in formulation, this is actually an old argument, primarily adopted by the Left, who, coincidentally, wish to do away with the Second Amendment. If one right in some nebulous way infringes on someone’s exercise of another, the offending right must be suppressed, and so must anyone trying to exercise that right. This is the worst sort of constitutional illiteracy.
We have enumerated–and other–rights to secure them from those sensitive souls that might object to their exercise, and of course, to restrain government. My Second Amendment right does not require anyone else to do anything to help me exercise it–they don’t have to buy me guns, ammunition or range memberships–but they cannot infringe on my exercise of that right because they fear guns, or perhaps some vague, possible future threat. Rights protect that which is controversial and even objectionable, not that with which everyone agrees. A right which may be voided because of the fears of an individual or group is no right at all, merely a state-allowed privilege subject to the tides of politics.
Michael Newbern, spokesman for the campus carry group Students for Concealed Carry, provided The College Fix with a statement from Quinn Cox, the southwest regional director of the organization. [skip]
‘In Texas, vetted, licensed adults have been allowed to take their concealed firearms into places like movie theaters, churches, and public libraries for more than 20 years. It is silly to think that expanding this law to include the buildings of public colleges would somehow violate the U.S. Constitution,’ Cox added.
Equally silly is the idea that students are so unbalanced they would shoot a professor over the slightest disagreement, yet apparently would not engage in lesser forms of violence, such as slapping or punching a professor. Apparently gun owners have only gunplay in their repertoire of potential responses, and are forced to immediately and without warning, leap past rhetoric, threats and physical force, to deadly force. Odd how no one ever raised these lesser dangers with the courts prior to campus concealed carry.
The concealed carry law, according to an informational page on the University of Texas’s website, has allowed for concealed carry license holders to carry concealed handguns throughout public university campuses since Aug. 1, 2016. The law ‘gives public universities some discretion to regulate campus carry,’ but those regulations may not ‘generally prohibit’ or ‘have the effect of generally prohibiting’ concealed campus carry.
That same website declares that ‘UT staff and faculty members do not have authority to ban handguns from classrooms.
And therein lay the problem:
Shortly before the law took effect, three University of Texas instructors challenged the law in court. Professors Jennifer Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter claimed that allowing students to carry firearms on campus would have a ‘chilling effect’ on classroom free speech, thus violating their speech rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
‘[R]obust academic debate in the classroom inevitably will be dampened to some degree by the fear that it could expose other students or themselves to gun violence,’ the lawsuit stated.
This is also a version of the common progressive assertion of a “right to be free from fear.” And what sort of fear would that be? pretty much the existence of any policy, and person, with which they disagree. There have been governments that claimed to keep their citizens free from want and fear. This has been accomplished by killing anyone with whom they disagree, including the people they supposedly protected.
The court demonstrated the kind of legal reasoning one would hope all representatives and judges would display, with the obvious exception of Democrats opposing Judge Kavanaugh, that is:
The appeals court rejected that argument, noting that the plaintiffs ‘cannot manufacture standing merely by inflicting harm on themselves based on their fears of hypothetical future harm that is not certainly impending.
Since the First Amendment was implicated in this suit, organizations purporting to protect the First Amendment surely weighed in? No, and don’t call me Shirley.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a campus watchdog group that monitors free speech violations on campuses across the country, declined to comment on the case. The First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C. did not respond to requests for comment.
The American Civil Liberties Union declined to comment on the matter. Imelda Mejia, a spokeswoman for ACLU’s Texas branch, told The Fix via email: ‘Unfortunately, we aren’t involved in the case and don’t usually speak on anything at the federal level.’
Mejia directed The Fix to the ACLU’s national headquarters, where ACLU spokesman Thomas Dresslar told The Fix via email: ‘Unfortunately, I’ve been informed that we do not have anyone that is able to speak to you about this.
Well, they certainly have the right to that kind of free non-speech. I used to regularly get membership invitations from the ACLU. I responded I’d consider their invitation as soon as they showed the slightest tendency to protect the entire Bill of Rights. They stopped inviting me. Who coulda thunk it?
Though the ACLU has historically been a robust defender of American free speech, it is more equivocal on the subject of gun rights.
Its Second Amendment webpage states that the group has ‘long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right’ and that the ACLU disagrees with the Supreme Court rulings that have found an individual right in the Second Amendment.
The Supreme Court has disagreed (Heller, 2008)–they kind of have the last word nonsuch things–as have even famous progressive legal scholars such as Sanford Levinson, coincidentally a professor at the University Of Texas Law School at Austin, in The Embarrassing Second Amendment, which preceded Heller by 19 years.
The First Amendment, dildos, what’s next at the University of Texas? Obviously, not improper use of concealed handguns. Dildos? They’re pretty much uncontrollable.