Saturday, February 28, 2009

Professor Anderson Makes Me Scared And Uncomfortable. Investigate Her!

As a woman who never outgrew her annoying childhood habit of being one of the smallest people in the room, I take a dim view of anyone who opposes the Constitutional right to self-defense (read the Second Amendment if you don’t know what I’m talking about). I’d even go so far as to say such people make me “scared and uncomfortable.” Seriously: there’s something disturbing about anyone who believes “If a violent thug wants to rape or kill me, I should NOT have a legal means of defending myself.”

Scary thought. Yet being scared is not the same as being a coward. To understand the difference, consider a professor from the university campus in New Britain, Connecticut (one town over from me) who sicced campus police on a student who gave an in-class presentation about the Second Amendment right to bear arms. *

The Recorder, newspaper of Central Connecticut State University, has the story:
On October 3, 2008, [John] Wahlberg and two other classmates prepared to give an oral presentation for a Communication 140 class that was required to discuss a “relevant issue in the media”. Wahlberg and his group chose to discuss school violence due to recent events such as the Virginia Tech shootings that occurred in 2007.

Shortly after his professor, Paula Anderson, filed a complaint with the CCSU Police against her student. During the presentation Wahlberg made the point that if students were permitted to conceal carry guns on campus, the violence could have been stopped earlier in many of these cases. He also touched on the controversial idea of free gun zones on college campuses.

That night at work, Wahlberg received a message stating that the campus police “requested his presence”. Upon entering the police station, the officers began to list off firearms that were registered under his name, and questioned him about where he kept them.

They told Wahlberg that they had received a complaint from his professor that his presentation was making students feel “scared and uncomfortable”.
You know what else makes students feel scared and uncomfortable? A professor who calls the cops on them for expressing opinions she doesn’t like. It also makes taxpayers like me scared and uncomfortable, to think our tax dollars pay the salaries of professors who teach such freedom-squelching, authoritarian ideas to the Leaders of Tomorrow.

On the other hand, we don’t know what exactly Wahlberg said to frighten Professor Anderson so. The Recorder did not provide transcripts of the chat. Perhaps his exact words were “I think we should dismantle gun-free zones because I hate you all and want to be the agent of your destruction ha ha HA,” in which case I can’t really blame Professor Paula Anderson for thinking “Hmm, this is a scary and uncomfortable statement the police should maybe investigate.” If that’s what Wahlberg said, I owe Professor Anderson an apology for thinking she cannot be trusted with authority over college students, or any life form more advanced than bathroom mold.

I wrote about on-campus gun possession in a column last December, which started as follows:
You know those amusement-park shooting galleries where you use an air rifle to knock down multiple rows of moving mechanical ducks? The way they work is, you shoot at the targets all you want, and none of the targets can shoot back.

Most schools and workplaces operate on the same principle.
Since this column never ran in the Recorder, the CCSU campus police never had reason to investigate me. But when John Wahlberg suggested letting college students – a.k.a. Our Precious Children – be something more than shooting-gallery targets, he did face a police investigation, because the thought of shooting-gallery targets having a chance at survival makes Professor Paula Anderson scared and uncomfortable.

*Scroll your cursor over the link, and look at the full web address in your browser. It ends with the letters W-T-F. Speaking of WTF, CCSU is the same school whose president two years ago said that the first amendment does not apply to speech that is offensive. I’m scared and uncomfortable knowing my local public university teaches that your right to free speech takes a backseat to everyone else’s right to never have their feelings hurt. Perhaps the police should investigate this.


Anonymous JD said...

Christ Almighty. So much for universities being bastions of freedom of expression. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Leave me my illusions that they ever were, please.)

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking the only reason I could think of to justify the call to the cops was if the guy had actually brought guns to class for his presentation.

I'm not sure anything he could have said would have justified calling the cops. At least not in the context of discussing colleges as gun free zones and concealed carry laws.

I would really like to hear what exactly was the professor's justification. From the story, it's just that someone was "scared and uncomfortable." Scared by what? Uncomfortable about what? The idea of college massacres, me too.

7:50 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

From the story, it's just that someone was "scared and uncomfortable."

Undoubtedly, it was the professor who was "scared and uncomfortable." The students know who to worry about, and would have already called if he was an issue.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Kevin T. Keith said...

On the other hand, we don’t know what exactly Wahlberg said

Maybe it would be relevant to know this before posting sarcastic and uninformed rants.

Oddly, you insist that anyone who disagrees with your opinion about a policy issue is somehow contemptible, while simultaneously dismissing out of hand one side of a debate in which you don't even know what either side said. That pretty much restricts the entire universe of people whose opinions aren't, by definition, worthless . . . to just you. Sadly, from this posting, I'm see no reason to think it's even that large.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oddly, you insist that anyone who disagrees with your opinion about a policy issue is somehow contemptible

No, I'm saying that anyone who'd call the cops on someone who disagrees with her opinion about a policy issue is contemptible.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous JH said...

I'm having a hrad time believing the cops could take the time to find out how many and what type of guns he owned, but not take a minute or two to see where he lived. Wasn't their concernt hat he had the guns on campus? Just a little checking and they would have known he lived 20 miles off campus. For all we know he could live in the country where he can shoot the guns out his back door.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would probably have called the cops as well, if a student was being threatening or hinting at violence.

I think blogs are blowing this out of proportion due to selective reporting.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Arguing for a student's ability to fight back against psychopaths like the Virginia Tech shooter is considered "threatening or hinting at violence?"

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that the cops were called in an abundance of precaution. I'd rather inconvenience an outspoken gun nut than risk a violent incident. In these days with terrorism and the economy you can't take too many chances.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Define "gun nut." There is zero justification to inconvenience a gun enthusiast simply because one does not agree with, or believe in the ownership of firearms.

Just as we don't know for sure what the student said, you have zero knowledge of him being a threat, or presenting reasonable evidence of being one.

There are a lot more deaths associated with doctor malpractice than there are with firearms, but I'm certainly not going to call the police every time I hear someone uses a scalpel or a prescription pad at their place of employment - but I sure could use the same line of logic as you - I would much rather inconvenience a single doctor than risk the deaths of innocent people. Wow, that was intelligent and original - and completely useless.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make some good points, but remember, guns and schools never make good combination. The kid was asking for trouble even if he wasn't a terrorist or trouble maker.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

guns and schools never make good combination

Not true. I shot guns in high school -- I spent a semester in JROTC at my parents' request. During certain times of year, many of my fellow students would drive to school with guns in their trucks so they could go hunting later. Total number of kids shot in my school: zero. Total number of kids who came anywhere close to being shot in my school: zero.

And remember: Wahlberg did not have a gun. He merely argued that "gun free zones" don't deter psychopaths bent on mass murder.

5:07 PM  

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