Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Hey, more ignorant slurs against gun owners....

...in today's Houston Chronicle!

...Having a son who will be off to college in the fall, I have now decided to look for colleges in states other than Texas. Sen. Jeff Wentworth’s “safety protection bill” is one of hysteria and ignorance, something we don’t need more of in Texas education.
He is willing to put guns in the hands of kids on college campuses who, like most of us who were in college, are partying in herds and filling brains full of beer. Students in public schools are being sent to alternative schools for bringing Korean pencil sharpeners to school, writing on walls, standing up to bullies and just basically being junior high and high school students. How is it justified to embarrass and degrade a grade-school kid for being immature and making bad choices and then allow college students to carry a gun at a time in their lives when they think they are invincible and all adults are idiots?

Ah, yes, the old "drunk students shooting up the school" meme. Good grief, for the life of me I can't understand why so many people feel the need to conflate immature grade-schoolers with people old enough to buy their own drinks and die for their country. I suppose maturity and the lack thereof comes with all ages, but as a college graduate and a gun owner I take tremendous offense at the insinuation that everyone in their early 20s thinks "they are invincible and all adults are idiots," especially that subset of twentysomethings who plunks its hard-earned cash down for a quality firearm and the exorbitant Texas CHL fees. Off the top of my head I think it's safe to say by the time they've reached that point they've gotten the rules of responsible gun handling into their heads and they know damn good and well what'll happen if they pull something like what the above writer is implying they'll do if they're allowed to carry. Perhaps that's the typical sheep mentality, but it's no less infuriating.

I believe allowing guns to be carried at school would greatly affect academic life. Students should be entitled to a peaceful environment, in which to learn and prepare for a career, without having to protect themselves by carrying handguns. It should be left up to the school and their security officials to determine what measures need to be carried out in order to keep their school safe.

Wow, talk about someone who doesn't get it. Without having to protect themselves? What kind of dream world are these people living in? Oh, wait, it's academia, of course, which apparently bears a striking resemblance to the America envisioned by Barack Obama's supporters, with the unicorns pissing rainbows and shitting black lab puppies. I am reminded of this poster Oleg Volk made after the Virginia Tech shootings. As for leaving things up to the school and security officials...how exactly did that work out for those folks at Virginia Tech?

As a professor at the University of Houston, I would heartily endorse a bill of the Texas Legislature allowing students to carry pistols into class. I would amend my course syllabus to provide on the first day for both an introduction to the course and a lesson in shooting. If my students were to encounter a dangerous person charging into the classroom — a terrorist, bigamist, extortionist or plagiarist — I would have them form a circle around the miscreant, pull out their pistols, and shoot him. The only problem I foresee is that some of my students might be “C” or “D” students, and they would possibly miss the intended criminal, shooting, instead, their classmates across from them.

Wow. One would think a professor would have had actual arguments to advance his position as opposed to sarcastic, half-witted bullshit. Especially an English professor, who's in all likelihood had instruction in rhetorical theory, debate techniques and such. Of course, when you don't have anything of substance to back up what you say, that's more or less what you do, as seen in the thread referenced here. Pretty frightening to think he and people like him are teaching the folks who are going to be running things in a few years.