University of Texas Professor resigns over new gun law

As I reported the other day, there’s a new law in Texas allowing anybody with the proper permit to carry concealed handguns on college campuses in the state, including both public and private schools. Unfortunately, it hasn’t seemed to elicit much protest from faculty (although there’s a movement afoot for students to open-carry dildos as a protest when the law takes effect next summer). I would have thought that many of my academic colleagues in Texas would have objected strenuously in the form of a public letter—not that it would have done anything, for the gun lobby and their supporters are too strong.

But one professor did take a stand: a bold one, for he resigned his job. According to KXAN in Austin, Daniel Hamermesh, a well-known professor of economics at UT Austin, has quit his job at the University because of the dangers of concealed carry on campus.

Hamermesh (photo at bottom) is an emeritus professor, but still teaches every year (something we University of Chicago emeriti are, sadly, prohibited from doing), so his resignation is meaningful for the university and students. As KXAN notes, “Hamermesh began at UT in 1993 and retired in 2014, teaching more than 8,000 students, mostly in large classes of Introductory Microeconomics. He says his current class has 475 students.”

The letter is below, but if you’re myopic the site gives a summary:

In a letter to UT President Greg Fenves, Daniel Hamermesh writes, “The risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed carry law.”

Hamermesh retired in August 2014, but continued on as the Sue Killam Professor Emeritus, teaching every Fall through 2017. The professor says the law, which will allow students to carry concealed weapons on designated areas of campus, will make it much more difficult for UT to attract employees.

“The issue is not people like me, I’m small potatoes, the real issue is that for Texas, for people who are thinking about coming here, they have lots of alternatives. The ones we want to hire here do have alternatives,” said Hamermesh.

As for his immediate future at the university, Hamermesh says he will spend part of next Fall at the University of Sydney, “where, among other things, the risk seems lower.” He also expressed shock that he is the only current member of faculty who is disturbed by the new legislation.

He feels the gun laws at his new post in Sydney will ease his mind.

“Of course I feel much safer there, because there’s very little gun violence there that there is here,” said Hamermesh.

hamermesh-letter

Dan-Hamermesh-Beauty-Pays

Hamermesh. You go, guy!

223 Comments

  1. Posted October 17, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Good for you Professor Hameresh.

  2. Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ve received a couple of expletive filled e-mail diatribes from friends at Texas institutions over this. However the reality is that it’s hard for most people – especially young faculty with families – to up sticks and move, at least in the short term. I suspect that, as Hamermesh notes, the effect will be chronic rather than acute and will be felt more in difficulty in hiring and a slow drift away by some faculty.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      I suspect you are right. I don’t think those affected will be strongly influenced by statistical probabilities of something bad happening to them, which is undoubtedly very small. I think the impact is a psychological one. People don’t want to participate in a subculture which bows to John Wayne, machismo culture. Especially not academics. I sure as hell wouldn’t.

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        I doubt it will come to this (I’m in California), but if they passed a law allowing students to carry guns on campus in California, I’d be out of there as soon as Prof. Hameresh.

        Hopefully, Texas will pay for this in losing teaching and academic talent (whether by resignations, or just by people opting not to accept positions there), much in the way that Louisiana businesses experienced some loss from their government’s embrace of creationism a few years ago. If I recall correctly, several scientific organizations chose not to hold their conventions there.

        • rickflick
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          “several scientific organizations chose not to hold their conventions there.”
          That’s a good thought. I would think that Texas academics could warn away conventions in their fields and put some pressure on the hicks running the state.

  3. barn owl
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I would have thought that many of my academic colleagues in Texas would have objected strenuously in the form of a public letter—not that it would have done anything, for the gun lobby and their supporters are too strong.

    This is a UT system-wide policy, and some of us have indeed objected and voiced our concerns in letters and/or open discussions. We’re meant to be placated and comforted by the knowledge that there will be a few gun-free zones, such as the university hospital, counseling centers on campus, and research labs “where expensive equipment is at risk from firearm discharge.” Lecture halls, classrooms, student lockers, teaching laboratories, and on-campus dining areas will not be gun-free. I’m not close to retirement, and I’m not in a financial position to resign and pack up to move out of the country, so I’ll have to take my chances.

    • Brujo Feo
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      barn owl…will the gun-free zones you mention also be off-limits to armed campus police? Assuming that the answer is no, it would seem that either: 1) your concern is with anything that increases the number of armed persons on campus, no matter who; or 2) you trust police more than CCW-permit holders. Please correct me if I’m wrong; there might well be some other explanation that escaped me. If, as I suspect, No. 2 is involved, I would ask what your factual basis is for that position.

      • Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Many of us have decried the increasing militarization of the police and called for police disarmament. Especially on university campuses, there’s just no need for armed police. Keep a shotgun locked in the trunk of the patrol car, a locked display case of weapons in the office. Anything gets really out of hand, city police or even the National Guard aren’t all that far away.

        But campus cops are there to issue tickets to kids who bike on footpaths, write up reports of petty theft, help escort coeds to the dorms after dark, and arrest the underaged kids in said dorms caught drinking. It should be the norm for university police forces to go generations without a single officer touching a weapon off the shooting range. College students at their rowdiest don’t represent a threat for which a suitable option is lethal force. Not even if they start rioting after the home team loses to the archenemy rival after the big homecoming game.

        And, yes. Most of that applies to most beat cops most places, too.

        b&

      • barn owl
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        I’m not concerned about the gun-free zones because those are not areas that I frequent at work, but to answer your question, yes, armed campus police are allowed in those areas. An example would be having an officer present in a counseling area if a student is scheduled to come in for a meeting, and has a documented history of making threats to others on campus.

        My concern is with anything that increases the number of guns on campus, so your #1. I know quite a few CCW-permit holders, and they’re always trying to recruit others into their gun-fondling cult. Why is that? Why do students and neighbors encourage Dr. Barn Owl to get a permit and carry a weapon? If these new laws are going to make Texas and its universities safer, why should I need to carry a gun? All the CCW-permit good guys and gals will take care of the bad people, right? And no innocent bystanders will ever take a bullet.

        Honestly, this thread seems like a damned if I do, damned if I don’t situation to me. If I don’t quit my job and leave the state like brave, brave Dr. Hamermesh, and fail to protest the CCW law in a prominent manner that’s visible to anyone outside the UT system, I’m an unprincipled and selfish coward. If I stay in my job, but don’t get a CCW-permit and fail to throw my lot in with the Second Amendment Defenders of Freedom, I’m also an unprincipled and selfish coward.

        • Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

          Do you have enough like-minded colleagues to organize a work stoppage or similar protest?

          b&

          • barn owl
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            Several of us (at least) have voiced our objections at the university level, but we are repeatedly told that it’s state law, and we have to accept it. We’re short-staffed enough for teaching in some courses that work stoppage would definitely annoy the university administration, but then we (realistically, I) would be punished with salary cuts.

            • Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

              Once upon a time, there were unions that were strong enough such that the entire workplace, sometimes the entire industry, would shut down if employers tried to punish employees for exercising their right to strike for safer working conditions.

              b&

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          barn owl, I would never attempt to recruit you or anyone else into owning, let alone carrying, a gun. I think that a lot of the people who own guns should stay the hell away from them. And certainly those who feel no need should be left alone. The “recruiters” should mind their own business.

          But then, as a biker and cyclist, I also think that most drivers should be taking the bus. Including almost all SUV drivers…

          • barn owl
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

            I’m a cyclist and a runner as well, and I think many people drive their SUVs as if they were loaded weapons. It’s not a gender-skewed behavior, either – approximately equal numbers of men and women drive around as if their underwear was on fire.

            • rickflick
              Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

              All I need is a armored-up hummer with a 50 caliber mounted on top. I’ll make the roads safe for everyone!

              • phil
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

                I’m getting a Bradley M2 then. 😉

              • rickflick
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

                I’ll match your M2 and raise you a AH-64 Apache. Safety is as safety does. That’s what mama used to say.

              • Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

                I’ll see your puny tanks and helicopters and raise you a Ford, plus support vessels. Including an undisclosed number of Ohios, of course.

                Ha! Top that!

                b&

              • rickflick
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

                OK, I see you jumped out of our weight class. I guess I’ll just have to dance on your grave with an X-Wing:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Wing_Fighter
                Too fast for your missiles, I’m afraid.

                For hand-to-hand, one of these should do it:


                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaster_(Star_Wars)

              • Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

                Such a noisy thing from a primitive era. I’ll just wave my hands and squint and you’ll fly helplessly through the air at my whim. Maybe accompanied by lightning bolts to the teeth, should I feel so inclined.

                b&

              • rickflick
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

                Somehow we’ve drifted a little off topic. Let’s call it a draw on the one-upsmanship.

                Let me just say, I don’t think we’ve really given healthy gun laws a good try in the U.S. There seems to be some renewed interest just now after the Oregon shooting. Let’s see where that goes. I wouldn’t be surprised if our next president manages to get something passed. I wonder if there’s a chance she will have a democratic house of congress.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted October 19, 2015 at 2:18 am | Permalink

                It’s a Mini-Gun for me.

              • Posted October 19, 2015 at 2:48 am | Permalink

                @ Michael

                Time for some James Cameron gun porn?

                /@

              • Posted October 19, 2015 at 2:49 am | Permalink

                (Click image to embiggen.)

            • phil
              Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

              I’m sure I read of a study that showed that people who owned off-road vehicles and SUVs tended to be more conservative, or libertarian, red-necked, racist and generally were less tolerant, sort of like the sort of person who feels they should be allowed to carry guns in public.

        • gluonspring
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          I know quite a few CCW-permit holders, and they’re always trying to recruit others into their gun-fondling cult. Why is that?

          I suspect it is because, deep down, they know that their fetish is pitiful, if not psychotic. Getting more people to participate in the cult makes them feel more normal.

          CCW-permit and fail to throw my lot in with the Second Amendment Defenders of Freedom, I’m also an unprincipled and selfish coward.

          I think you have your cowards backward. The cowards are CCW-permit holders who are afraid to leave their home without their security blanket gun. Without some pocket-mojo, these cowards are apparently too spineless step outside. I’ve made it fifty years without needing a gun, and I’m a little scrawny guy. I’m braver than the lot of the CCW-permit holders, it seems.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Is getting a CCW permit and then not using it (or to combine other ideas, carrying a large,heavy and holstered vegetable openly an option for parodying the law. I believe ‘parody’ is protected free speech in America, if not Texas)?

        • Mark Joseph
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

          If these new laws are going to make Texas and its universities safer, why should I need to carry a gun?

          I think you’ve just refuted every argument the gun nuts have, or could come up with. Brilliant!

          I pretty much limit myself to asking gun nuts “What are you so afraid of?” Of course, they don’t have an answer, as the only possible answer most of them could honestly give, i.e. “black people,” is socially unacceptable. And, to pretend that they are going to “stop crimes” is simply and-then-we-all-flew-off-on-our-unicorns-to-Candyland babble; as Matt posted on this very website just a few days ago, “If I had a nickel for every example of citizens with guns thwarting crime I’d have 2 or 3 nickels.”

      • jeremyp
        Posted October 19, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        “armed campus police”

        Coming from the UK where even the real police are not armed, I find that phrase profoundly depressing. A university campus needs armed officers patrolling it? I mean, WTF.

    • Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      research labs “where expensive equipment is at risk from firearm discharge.”

      Well, there’s your answer right there.

      Equip all the classrooms and hallways with expensive equipment that is at risk from firearm discharge.

      Better still if the equipment is unique and irreplaceable; even better still if it’s got a very dense store of information integral to it, information that isn’t and can’t be backed up elsewhere. Best of all would be if the University doesn’t actually own the equipment but is still responsible for its safety while on University premises.

      I’m thinking the brains of faculty might fit that bill. Not the brains of lawmakers and possibly not the brains of administrators…but certainly the brains of faculty.

      b&

      • Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        “where expensive equipment is at risk from firearm discharge.”

        Sad sad sad.

        It’s more important to protect equipment from bullets than to protect flesh and blood.

        • Jonathan Wallace
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:58 am | Permalink

          That was exactly my thought, too. What kind of sick mentality would consider the possibility of a few human bodies being ripped open by gun-shots to be more acceptable than potential damage to an expensive bit of equipment?

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

        Even simpler, Ben–just define students as “expensive equipment”. There should be no problem getting that to fly in Texas; after all they pretend to follow the bible, which has a long history of treating people as property.

        That way the gun crazies could only carry their weapons in rooms with no students, where, presumably, they could fondle their guns as much as they want to.

        • Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          And, since the ammosexuals are themselves students, that leaves them free to fondle the guns in rooms where they themselves aren’t….

          b&

    • tinwoman
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      So “expensive equipment” is important enough to protect, but students aren’t?

      So glad I’m never setting foot in Texas again.

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        Neither am I.

    • Diane G.
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:53 am | Permalink

      “…research labs “where expensive equipment is at risk from firearm discharge.” ”

      At which point I LOL’d! Nice to see we have our priorities straight.

  4. Brujo Feo
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    ““The risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed carry law.”

    Nonsense. Although the professor doesn’t explain his reasoning for this statement, it seems inescapable that he means that it is likely that IF he is shot at, it will be by a disgruntled student “with the proper permit to carry concealed handguns” (Jerry’s words). If there is another possible interpretation, please correct my misunderstanding.

    So, I propose the following wager: IF a UT professor is shot, it will NOT be by someone “with the proper permit to carry concealed handguns.” I’ve got a $100 donation to Médecins Sans Frontières that says so. Anyone care to take that bet?

    The rates of criminal convictions of CCW-permit holders for ANY gun crime is infinitesimally small, and almost all of those instances are for non-violent crimes–like carrying a firearm into a restricted area. Contrast that to the commission of crimes, and especially gun crimes, by the police–statistically a far more violent set than CCW-permit holders. (http://crimeresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Concealed-Carry-Permit-Holders-Across-the-United-States.pdf.) And yet I don’t hear anyone calling for disarming the police. Hamermesh taught economics, so he should have at least some familiarity with statistics. Why was he OK for so many years with the UT police being armed?

    Please note that I am NOT arguing in favor of the new UT CCW rules. I am merely pointing out that Hamermesh’s grandstanding makes as much sense as the people who worry about shark attacks, but don’t wear a seatbelt.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I understand your argument, and it is not a bad one. But the problem is, as I see it, that sometimes people get into arguments, or into scuffles, or into fights. Young students, usually male, are the ones who get into these situations most commonly on campuses. I have spent most of my life in academia and I know this to be true.
      Among those who wind up in such a situation, there will be some who also carry a gun. And among those with a gun some will pull it out during such an encounter.
      The Wild West was a time when people commonly packed heat, and we all know what happened back then.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Mark, I agree with your statement that young males tend to be the problem, and that some will carry a gun, and that some will pull it out–and use it–during a heated encounter.

        But I also think that that has precious little to do with the subject under discussion. I can very well see a “disgruntled student” shooting a professor; I’m sure that it has happened before. I’m also pretty sure that in no such incident has the shooter been a CCW-permit holder. The whole point of the permit process is to weed out the unstable ones, in a far more thorough way than is done at the point of sale of a gun. (I have some familiarity with the process; I’m currently in the process of applying for a permit myself.) We can argue about the efficacy of the permitting system in preventing the “wrong” people from carrying; some states have very loose rules, and others are quite thorough. But I just don’t see anyone so unhinged that they’ll shoot a professor bothering with the permitting process. If there have been such incidents, please point them out to me.

        BTW, what “we all know” about the “Wild West”? Perhaps we should be more careful about what “we all know,” because it’s all completely wrong. I would recommend Professor Roger D. McGrath’s “Gunfighters, Highwaymen and Vigilantes–Violence on the Frontier.” (http://www.amazon.com/Gunfighters-Highwaymen-Vigilantes-Violence-Frontier/dp/0520060261/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8) See also http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/25/opinion/the-mild-mild-west.html?_r=0 and http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_15_02_04_dilorenzo.pdf.

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          Mark…I responded to your comment, but apparently comments with multiple hyperlinks require approval by the moderator. So it will have to wait; I don’t know how to withdraw my pending comment and resubmit without the offending hyperlinks.

        • jrhs
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          Last year two students threatened to shoot professors and both were dismissed. The incidents happened just downstairs from my office. No, I didn’t write a letter as I STILL see them as rare events. However, the consequences of such rare events are horrendous, and do make me rethink whether I should lower my standards.

          Percentage of population with obesity and crime rate are probably moderately negatively correlated, but we cannot conclude that a fatter population results in a lower crime rate. If we want to find out possible causes of gun crimes, perhaps we need to study those criminals, not relationships between certain population characteristics such number of permits given and crime rate. Furthermore, one may reach a different conclusion if comparing data from various countries.

          PS. Firearm ownership is banned in my native county, and no mass shootings back home YET.

      • John Conoboy
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        There have been a number of such shootings on campus recently, including one in Texas.

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

          John, I can’t tell what question you’re answering here. Shooting of professors by CCW-permit holders? I doubt it. Please specify what you mean by “such shootings,” and provide a relevant URL.

          • John Conoboy
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            Students shooting other students on campus. This has happened recently at NAU in Flagstaff, AZ, and at a University in Texas.

            • Brujo Feo
              Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

              OK, John, since you didn’t provide the requested link(s), I had to go looking for myself. The NAU incident would appear to be the October 9th shooting of Colin Brough by Steven Jones. (http://www.abc15.com/topic/NAU+Shooting) Where is the evidence that he was a CCW-permit holder? Again, NOWHERE on this page have I made ANY argument about gun ownership in general. The ONLY argument that I have made is that CCW-permit holders are a remarkably law-abiding group by any measure. Certainly when compared to police, who statistically make NFL players look like choir boys. If you want to have a red-herring argument, let’s talk about rates of domestic abuse among police. At least there we could cite real evidence as to why the police should be disarmed.

              • John Conoboy
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

                I did not say they had permits, I said students were killing other students.

              • John Taylor
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

                I don’t think comparisons with police are fair. The job of the police puts them in difficult situations with intoxicated people, mentally ill people and criminals. You can argue that they don’t always do a good job or do a bad job but I think these are separate arguments.

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink

                This would seem to be the “our heroes in blue are risking their lives every day” argument. The only problem being that it isn’t true. Being a police officer has never been a particularly dangerous job, and looking at the stats, you can see that of the number who die in the line of duty in any given year, a large proportion are from heart attacks and car crashes (apparently the vaunted driver training they receive isn’t any more reliable than their gun training).

                Less than half are from any confrontation with anyone, let alone criminals. And you cite intoxicated and mentally ill people…under what circumstances is shooting THEM an appropriate response?

                Now let’s look at the other side of the coin. Your position would be harder to argue against if not for the fact that in so many of the cases of citizens killed by police, the killing wasn’t even in the line of duty at all. Example: police assault and kill their spouses at rates far higher than the general population; http://womenandpolicing.com/violencefs.asp.

                Those who want to demonize civilian gun-owners and lionize (or at least excuse) police are going to have to deal with these ugly stats, and they’re getting worse. Statistically, police in the U.S. have a provable propensity for violence that has nothing to do with their job description.

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

                Another one, Mr. Taylor…as gun ownership in the U.S. soars, violent crime stats continue a steady decline. (I’m not implying causation; just disproving the inevitability argument of the hoplophobes.)

                Except that there’s one group among whom violence rates are NOT declining–the police. They’re more violent than ever. http://thefreethoughtproject.com/prison-statistics/

            • Brujo Feo
              Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

              And the Texas incident you’re referring to seems to be the killing of Brent Randall that same day, allegedly by one Jartis Leon Leblanc Jr. (http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Houston-Police-Arrest-Man-Wanted-in-Texas-Southern-Shooting-333571191.html.) “Students shooting other students”? Where do you get the information that Leblanc was even a student? Let alone a CCW-permit holder, which is the ONLY discussion on the table?

              • John Conoboy
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

                I did not say anyone was a permit holder.

                You are nit picking. People with guns on college campuses are shooting other people. It is irrelevant if they have permits or not. We do not need guns on college campuses, especially with the inadequate training that concealed carry permitees get. In eight states, you can carry concealed without a permit.

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

                I’m sorry John; as regular correspondents here know, I’m a lawyer. I am EXTREMELY precise in the way that I use words, and I think that I have the right to expect the same from others, especially when the subject under discussion is LAWS. Would you agree?

                You want to point out that there is a problem with students shooting students, but NO ONE is arguing that point with you. In fact, I agree with you, and I challenge you to point out a single word that I’ve written that contradicts that. My ONLY thesis is that the threat does not come from CCW-permit holders. PERIOD. Therefore it isn’t “irrelevant if they have permits or not”; that’s the ONLY subject under discussion. And again, you cite this shibboleth about “inadequate training,” and yet when I ask you about untoward incidents that can be ascribed to inadequate training of CCW-permit holders, what do we hear? Crickets, is what. (After you falsely accuse the Houston shooter of being a permit holder.)

                Now, it appears that I was wrong when I just replied to Ken that unrestricted concealed carry is only allowed in two states; it seems that I haven’t researched this in some time. It appears that Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, and Wyoming (residents only) and may have joined the list of lone Vermont, and as I said, Maine joined that list just yesterday. So I was wrong by saying that it was only two. (See what responsible people do when they make a statement that they can’t back up? They admit their error–not double down with more unsupported statements.)

                So I ask you…what has been the statistical result of these other states adopting unrestricted carry? According to your thesis, it should be a complete bloodbath, right? Because we already know where Vermont, which has always had unrestricted carry, sits on the list of violent-crime statistics…

              • Mark Sturtevant
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

                Very few people, just out and about but are carrying a pistol (for protection), will be planning to shoot someone. They are instead carrying to protect themselves.
                But then sh*t happens. Some get into an argument. Some get into a fight and they are losing. And then they pull their gun.
                This happens every day in America, and if you do not agree then I suggest you read the papers.
                Add to this the situation we will see on campuses in Texas: Students get into conflicts with rival dorms, with rival fraternities, boy friend/girl friend trouble, the rival football team is in town. And alcohol. Campuses are awash in alcohol. People get rowdy. Fights break out over stupid sh*t. But now some of the idiots will be packing heat.
                If you think that CCW people are somehow immune from unintended consequences… well, I think you need to rethink that.

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

                I’m sorry, John–it appears that you don’t want to talk about Vermont. Well, as it turns out, Vermont, which has essentially no gun laws of any kind, and also has the highest rate of firearms ownership in the entire 50 states, has THE LOWEST rate of firearm murders. That’s right; the most guns, AND the least chance of being murdered with one. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state.

                And you were saying?

                BTW, VT is way toward the bottom of statistical lists of most other violent crimes as well.

              • Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

                “Well, as it turns out, Vermont, which has essentially no gun laws of any kind, and also has the highest rate of firearms ownership in the entire 50 states”

                Could you give me a source for that. What I’m seeing is that Vermont (in 2012) is 32 in gun ownership, and only 28% of people own guns. That being said if those numbers are true it would be an outlier. Statistics overall show that states with the most lax gun lows experience the most gun violence. I’m from Alabama, hardly a state you would think of as a hotbed of crime, and we have more per capita gun violence than New York. Are you really arguing Alabama has a higher percentage of gun totting criminals?

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

                Mike, I may have to concede on this one for the time being; I relied on a National Review article (perhaps I should have been more skeptical about that) which referenced this article: http://watchdog.org/135048/guns-vermont/. And I would agree that this doesn’t exactly pass the smell test for reliability.

                Please provide the URL for your source concerning Vermont’s ranking; I’ll be happy to do more research.

              • Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

                Vermont is an outlier pretty much no matter how you look at it. Wealthy, rural, small population, liberal, more.

                No matter your argument, if it relies on pointing to Vermont for validation, you’re in trouble. Unless, of course, your argument is that Vermont is an exception….

                b&

              • Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

                “Vermont is an outlier pretty much no matter how you look at it.”

                Same point I was making. Every statistic I’ve seen shows a direct correlation between legal gun ownership, gun crime, and gun laws. In other words laxer laws, more legal guns, more gun violence.
                On a side note there’s also a correlation between those numbers, voting republican, and IQ. So you have the stupidest most republican states enacting lax gun laws, and shooting each other. :p

              • Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:59 am | Permalink

                This was one source I found among many who’s number were fairly consistent. All had Vermont 30ish. You have to keep in mind when talking about Vermont as well. They have the highest average IQ in the nation (if you buy into that stuff) at 111. Which isn’t necessarily evidenced by the fact they still have a significant percentage of gun owners, but perhaps explains why they are more responsible gun owners than many other states. Maybe we should require an intelligence test for gun ownership. Bit of a catch 22 there though. If you’re smart enough to own a gun, you wouldn’t want one. :p

              • rickflick
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

                “So you have the stupidest most republican states enacting lax gun laws, and shooting each other.”
                There’s a certain poetic justice in that. Over time, the world gets smarter and less violent. 😉

              • Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

                “There’s a certain poetic justice in that. Over time, the world gets smarter and less violent. ;-)”

                Yeah I almost added that that would be fine if innocent people weren’t caught in the crossfire. :p

          • Jonathan Wallace
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:36 am | Permalink

            Bruno. You may well be right that campus shootings are unlikely to be carried out by CCW permit-holders but the ruling still seems likely to make universities more rather than less dangerous places. It reinforces the idea that the solution to a problem is a gun and may well increase the likelihood of un-permitted weapons being introduced onto campus if those with ill intent of any kind feel that the stakes are raised.
            Presumably CCW permit holders feel that in the event of a disaffected person coming on to campus and starting to kill people they will be able to protect themselves but in the chaos of such a situation it is quite conceivable that having multiple armed people stalking about with gun in hand and the difficulty of identifying the assailant from the defenders, more innocent people may end up getting killed rather than fewer.

            • Jonathan Wallace
              Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:56 am | Permalink

              Apologies Brujo not Bruno.

    • Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      That’s the wrong bet. The relevant bet is whether ADDING permitted carriers to the rogue carriers will increase the odds of getting shot.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Lou, I disagree. The only way to KNOW if adding permitted carriers increases the risk is if one of them violates that trust. I mean, that’s axiomatic, isn’t it?

        What is the possible mechanism by which permitted carriers would increase the risk of a NON-permitted carrier shooting a professor? (Remember that Hamermesh specifically cited a “disgruntled” student–one who already has the perverse motive.) Are you saying that some wacko is going to wrestle a permitted weapon away from a permittee? I suppose that that’s possible; but that’s an even BETTER reason to disarm the police.

        So–what’s your factual basis for the implied claim that adding the permittees increases the odds?

        • Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          I am disturbed by your answer.

          First, I did not make any implied claim. I simply said that your bet was not the relevant one. And it isn’t.

          Second, your scenario about wackos wrestling a gun from a permit holder misses the much more obvious route, the one that Dr H is concerned about: a disgruntled student could be a permit holder.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      The bigger risk is that if someone starts shooting, you will have students with minimal or no training pulling out their guns and trying to be the “good guy with a gun” that the NRA loves to promote. The reality is that even with good training and experience, bullets often do not go where you think they will. In a crowded classroom the danger of hitting an innocent bystander is very, very, high.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        John:

        At least your comment makes sense in that it proposes an actual mechanism by which a professor (or others) might be injured or killed. I hadn’t addressed this one yet because it’s completely outside the scope of the professor’s thesis. Again: “…[t]he risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom and start shooting at me has been substantially enhanced by the concealed carry law.” He’s not saying that the disgruntled student is going to set off a chain of events in which SOMEONE ELSE might cause the injury. But you are, so let’s address that. You say that “… the danger of hitting an innocent bystander is very, very, high.”

        OK; I’m a big fan of the dictum that an ounce of history is worth a pound of theory. What stats are you aware of–or even isolated incidents–in which armed citizens responding to an armed attack have shot third persons? There is the Wilcox incident at the Las Vegas Wal-Mart, but he was killed by a second robber whom he never saw; no third party was injured. (The two robbers then promptly killed themselves.)

        • John Conoboy
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          Just recently a concealed carry permit holder tried to stop a carjacking and hit the victim, not the bad guy. The shooter then picked up his spent shells and ran away.

          I was a law enforcement officer for 22 years and we had to qualify several times a year and also would go through various shoot don’t shoot scenarios. A common technology that is getting better and better is to have a film running in which you see an incident play out and you have to decide to shoot or not. After all is over, if you did shoot, you can see where the “bullet” went. One of the key things you are taught is to be aware of what is behind the person who is a threat. Even if a perpetrator has a gun, it might be a no shoot scenario of there are bystanders who might be hit by a stray round. How many college students with concealed carry permits have gone through similar training?

          Carrying a gun is a big responsibility. It is not like the movies and TV where the good guy doesn’t get shot and almost always hits the bad guy with precise accuracy.

          • Brujo Feo
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            John–where did you get the information that the shooter was a CCW-permit holder?

            • John Conoboy
              Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

              I don’t have the article handy. I might be wrong about that. However, what we have is someone with a gun who tries to shoot a carjacker and hits the victim. It shows what can happen when someone who is not highly trained tries to use a gun to stop a crime. A trained police officer would not have shot when the victim was near the carjacker. What you see on TV when the cop shoots the bad guy with dead on accuracy while missing the victim does not happen in the real world, other than a SWAT sniper.

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

                The reason that you don’t have the article handy is that there is no such article. Houston police have no idea who this person was. But if I were to claim with the same certainty that it was an off-duty cop, you’d rightfully object. Therefore, you have no idea whether this person was “highly trained” or not.

                And “[a] trained police officer would not have shot when the victim was near the carjacker”? This is completely unevidenced wishful thinking. Cops shoot innocent bystanders all the time. There is at least one study which has shown that misidentification has resulted in cops shooting “the wrong person” in some 11% of armed response incidents, whereas the figure is 2% for civilian permit holders. (I think that this may be from Carol Silver’s and Don Kates’s “Self Defense, Handgun Ownership and the Independence of Women in a Violent Sexist Society.” But I might be wrong about that. I’m not sure–it might be from Professor Gary Kleck’s “Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America.”)

                Let me say–again–that I am NOT arguing in favor of UT’s new rules. I am saying that the claim that CCW-permit holders are a particular menace (or that police aren’t) is a FACTUAL claim that should be subjected to the same skepticism as the readers of this site would demand in any other context.

              • Jonathan Wallace
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:46 am | Permalink

                “Cops shoot innocent bystanders all the time”.

                If we acknowledge that cops are trained in the use of their guns including being trained on how to judge when to not shoot and if we further acknowledge that the police in general are diligently trying to enforce the law as best they can (i.e. disregard rotten cops) then this fact by itself gives an excellent reason for not wishing for ordinary citizens to carry concealed weapons. There is no reason to assume that the CCW permit holders will be less likely to shoot innocent bystanders unless you are suggesting that they receive better and more frequent training than the cops. I don’t have any relevant statistics (before you ask) but I very much doubt that this would be the case.

                The disarming of the police would be a much better direction to head in than the arming of the population as a whole in my opinion.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      As Lou notes, that is the wrong bet. I would say the bet is if the social insanity that allows “concealed weapons” and the problem of checking whether such carrying is legit or not lowers the barriers against carrying and using guns.

      Tha nations that do not have these insane policies have much lower gun violence ratings, even those like Sweden that have the same density of weapons. I would then claim that the US gun problems are self caused.

      • Kevin
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Correctly stated. Humans are always safer with engineering controls that they have no direct control over, e.g., bridge standards, seat belt and airbag design, fire protection building materials, etc.

        In many ways this has nothing to do with guns, but the lack of support for engineering controls. Humans will always make mistakes; more guns is always equal to more possible mistakes.

        A smart gun is a step in the right direction. Some realistic options that make it useful for defense:

        1. It can not fire unless held by the trained owner (trigger sensor).
        2. It can not fire unless a shot is already fired.

        I know the second is a compromise, but that’s a reasonable solution that addresses the main concern gun owners have, i.e., that they are not safe unless the they have a gun to protect them against the illegal gun owners. If it’s a knife wielding maniac, a gun is not necessary to subdue the offender.

    • Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      “The rates of criminal convictions of CCW-permit holders for ANY gun crime is infinitesimally small, and almost all of those instances are for non-violent crimes–like carrying a firearm into a restricted area.”

      I strongly suspect if you eliminate high crime areas, aren’t breaking the law, or a gangbanger, you’re far more likely to be shot by a “law abiding gun owner” than by a criminal or a cop. In other words the real threat in colleges, or your cozy suburb, is a family member, friend, or neighbor with a gun.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Mike, I have to say, it gets a bit tiring to keep repeating…”what’s your factual basis”?

        But your comment…I mean, obviously you can keep redrawing the rules until you get a completely meaningless stat that you like. Look, I’ll even spot you the “breaking the law” or “a gangbanger” ones. (Although–what is the rationale for the police shooting someone just for being “a gangbanger”? If they’re not ALSO breaking the law at the moment of the encounter, we have a word for such police shootings. It’s called “murder.”

        But you’re seriously excusing the cops for shooting people just for being in a high-crime area? (Yes; re-read your comment. That is what you said.) Aren’t high-crime areas precisely where cops are supposed to be PROTECTING people?

        Beyond that, you make a silly apples-and-oranges argument. I’m not defending “law abiding gun owner[s].” Leaving aside the fact that except in accidental-shooting situations, the “gun owner” who shoots you is by definintion NOT law abiding. My thesis referes ONLY to CCW-permit holders, and I even pointed out that their vetting process is NOT the same as that for mere “owners.”

        So without the straw-man arguments about “law abiding gun owners,” which you are having only with yourself…what is your factual basis for claiming a risk from CCW-permit holders?

      • tinwoman
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Exactly Mike. Gun owners pretend that there’s this universe out there where nobody gets drunk, loses their temper, decides to show the others who’s boss, etc. etc. But police clean up after those kinds of “pointless” shootings all the time. The case of the guy who shot the Muslim family over a parking argument is sadly typical. Sometimes it escalates over time, and sometimes it is sudden. But it happens a lot.

        My parents are gun nuts who consider themselves lily white on gun safety. Once when they started preening about this, I pointed out three incidents in which guns in my home had been brandished or discharged in anger, and they just started screaming at me. They’re in denial, and of course these incidents are never reported to the police.

        There are no “responsible” gun owners. They’re all human, and if they think they need guns, they’re probably humans with some problems who can go from “good guy” to “bad guy” with much less provocation than one would think.

        • Mark Joseph
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          I think this fairly refutes the bulk of the gun nuts’ arguments.

          And I have yet to hear any rationale *for* carrying a gun that doesn’t amount to thinly veiled racism.

        • Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

          “Exactly Mike. Gun owners pretend that there’s this universe out there where nobody gets drunk, loses their temper, decides to show the others who’s boss, etc. etc.”

          Exactly, they seem ignorant of, or intentionally misrepresent the actual ways, a few of which you mentioned, that you’re actually likely to be a victim on gun violence. Law abiding citizens living in law abiding neighborhoods are far more likely to be victimized by other law abiding citizens in law abiding neighborhoods.
          A number of years ago my home town had a headline at the end of the year that we’d had a record 7 murders. A few weeks later there was a story about how gun sales were triple the previous year at the couple of gun stores that there were in my Massachusetts home town. The headline of course had spurred the sales.
          The problem was that the 7 murders were the result of 2 incidents involving drug gangs, but of course people didn’t bother reading beyond the headlines. If they had they would have realized they didn’t need to defend themselves from these killers, and are more likely to kill themselves or someone they know than a bad guy.

    • rickflick
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      It’s not about the level of risk. It’s about the atmosphere. It’s about civilized society and what conditions we feel comfortable living under. I would suspect that the average American, let alone the average academic, would not want to spend their lives in a world where guns were the lingua franca of social intercourse. A few would, but not many.

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Exactly. There are any number of different behaviors or precautions that might (or might not) make public spaces safer from any number of different threats. But even if the claims of advocates are granted with regard to a particular threat, the net effect on the social atmosphere must be part of the equation.

        I have unsuccessfully tried to come up with a delicate way to phrase this, but safety concerns aside, I just don’t like being surrounded by assholes.

    • Scott Draper
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      “The rates of criminal convictions of CCW-permit holders for ANY gun crime is infinitesimally small”

      I infer that your argument is that CCW-permit holders are less likely to engage in gun crimes than anyone carrying a gun illegally.

      This is plausible. Going to the effort to get a permit requires planning and discipline (at least a little), so it’s arguable they would be less likely to engage in impulsive behavior, such as shooting someone for no good reason.

      Now, this is anecdotal and as such doesn’t undermine your argument in a statistical way, but what about that retired police offer that shot the guy in the movie theater for texting on his cell phone? I don’t know whether the guy had a CCW-permit or was exempted due to having been a police officer, but I don’t think the distinction matters that much.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      How are the schools in Texas going to enforce the permit requirement? By setting up scanner/magnetometer checkpoints at every campus entrance requiring that students found to be in possession show their permits? By having roving bands of campus police demanding production of permits from students reasonably suspected of carrying? By adding a “carrying without a permit” count to the indictment when a student without a permit shoots someone?

      Is there some other, reasonable method for ensuring that all the students on campus carrying firearms have the requisite permits?

      • Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        “How are the schools in Texas going to enforce the permit requirement?”

        That’s exactly what occurred to me when reading that comment from Brujo. The assumption that is likely to be made is that if someone is carrying a concealed weapon he has a permit for it. Which will make it easier for those who don’t to bring weapons on campus.
        At best it seems you’re increasing the risk that the police, who Brujo thinks are the real problem, will shoot someone with a legal, or illegally concealed weapon.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Ken, I’m sorry, but I don’t even understand your question. It’s already illegal for someone to carry an unpermitted handgun, not just on campuses, but in the entire country. (Except in VT, and as of just yesterday, ME.)And yes, all such laws in the other 48 require that a permit be shown to any police officer upon request.

        As noted by John Conoboy concerning the NAU and TSU incidents, people are ALREADY breaking the law by bringing unpermitted guns on campus. How is a permit system going to change that? I have no evidence that it will.

        • Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          As noted by John Conoboy concerning the NAU and TSU incidents, people are ALREADY breaking the law by bringing unpermitted guns on campus. How is a permit system going to change that?

          It’s going to increase, potentially dramatically, the number of guns on campus. Can we at least agree on that? Is that not the entire purpose of this idiotic exercise?

          So, under what possible rationale can anybody possibly argue that more guns on campuses is a good thing? Save, of course, the old hyper-idiocy that all gun owners are better and more honorable gunfighters than John Wayne Himself.

          Guns on campus is bad. More guns on campus is worse. I don’t give a flying fuck what some piece of paper has to say about the particular guns in question or the people carrying them. Why should I? Is that piece of paper going to magically protect innocents downrange of an unprofessional, panicked and / or distraught shooter high on adrenaline and testosterone?

          b&

          • Brujo Feo
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            “Is that piece of paper going to magically protect innocents downrange of an unprofessional, panicked and / or distraught shooter high on adrenaline and testosterone?”

            Points for vivid imagination, Ben. The answer is: “of course not.” So with all of these unprofessional, panicked, distraught drug-addled shooters out there, SURELY you can cite some examples of ones who made it through the permitting process. I mean, John Conoboy hasn’t been able to, but surely you can.

            You can leave out all of the ones in which the unprofessional incompetent shooters have been cops. I know all about those.

            • Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

              You can leave out all of the ones in which the unprofessional incompetent shooters have been cops. I know all about those.

              Wait — let me get this straight.

              The people whose profession it is to use force can’t even get it right, and you acknowledge that…but somehow the amateurs are to be trusted!?

              But, never mind that. You want examples of CCW holders involved in shootings, including mass shootings?

              Have you never heard of this magical invention called a, “search engine”?

              http://concealedcarrykillers.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FACTSHEET-CCW-Mass-Shooters.pdf

              http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2013/10/31/concealed-carry-killers-responsible-least-26-mass-shootings-past-six-years

              http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-crestwood-concealed-carry-0730-20140730-story.html

              http://csgv.org/resources/2013/mass-shootings-by-concealed-handgun-permit-holders-in-2009/

              http://www.vpc.org/studies/ccw2009.pdf

              Is that enough for you, at least to get started?

              Cheers,

              b&

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

                Thanks, Ben. Finally someone attempts to answer the question concerning homicides by CCW-permit holders. And yes, of course I’ve heard of search engines; I thank you for using them to make my point.

                I will give the following response largely WITHOUT hyperlinks, since, as I mentioned yesterday, putting more than one in a post seems to draw a moderation hold. But I can certainly supply them individually on request.

                One of your links is behind a paywall, and some of them seem quite suspect–for example, determining that someone had a permit on the basis of a statement from an acquaintance that he had showed it to him. But the 2009 study from the VPC seems quite detailed, so let’s start there.

                First of all, it’s no one’s fault but my own that when I asked that killings by cops be excluded, I should have also specified “and active military,” for the same reasons as I asked cops to be excluded.(Once out of the military, I would accept any such incidents as being charged to my side of the ledger, if the had a permit.) Here’s why: http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/military-algorithm-predicts-violent-crimes-they-happen. And in fact, of the 50 deaths that the VPC cites between early 2007and early 2009, a full 13 of them–more than 25% of them–arose from one shooting by Nidal Malik Hasan.

                The 50 figure also includes ones where the shooter returned fire where police were breaching an occupied residence. But never mind; I’ll take responsibility for all of them.

                Various sources put the total number of gun deaths for those two years at about 31K, of which about 60% were suicides, and 3% accidental. So let’s say 11,400 gun homicides per year. By my math, that means that less than 1/4 of 1% were by permit holders…using stats from a group dead-set against permits.

                OK, 25 per year. Terrible, yes. Now, how many deaths by cop per year? Stats aren’t available for those years, as most police agencies didn’t report them. (Duh…). There is now a reporting system in place, but it’s voluntary, and again, most police departments don’t want you to know. So one has to resort to compiling news reports. But Reason Magazine puts the figure at well over 1,000. But aren’t there many more cops than permit holders? Uh…no. Currently there are about 1.2M sworn officers in the U.S., while there are some 11.1M permit-holders, up from 4.5M in 2007. That’s a 146 percent increase at the same time that we’ve seen a one-quarter (22 percent) drop in both murder and violent crime rates.

                So thanks for your stats. Yes, the U.S. is a violent place. And no, the threat still isn’t from permit holders.

              • Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

                First of all, it’s no one’s fault but my own that when I asked that killings by cops be excluded, I should have also specified “and active military,” for the same reasons as I asked cops to be excluded.

                I’m sorry, but that’s just bullshit. If you’re willing to admit that even the pros can’t be trusted with guns, how on Earth can you seriously put forward an argument that the amateurs should be?

                b&

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

                Because, statistically, the amateurs don’t have the proven propensity for violence that “the pros” do. Cops are violent people. Deal with it.

              • Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

                I’ll take you seriously when you start calling for the disbandment of the professional police forces in favor of volunteer ones like we have for firefighters. Maybe you’d just do away with police altogether in favor of CCW-holding citizens?

                b&

              • Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

                “Maybe you’d just do away with police altogether in favor of CCW-holding citizens?”

                I’ve never understood the idea that cops are somehow inherently more violent than the average citizen, and I think that goes double when comparing them to CCW-holding citizens. I suppose it could be argued that people who are violent are drawn to law enforcement, but the same could be said for those who carry guns. In fact I would argue that someone who isn’t required to carry a gun, but does anyway, may be more violent. The only reason CCW people aren’t killing more people than cops may simply be the fact that they rarely have to deal with violent criminals who might want to kill them.
                We also know that a significant percentage of cops enter law enforcement because they want to help people. What excuse does a CCW-holder have? I consider a career in law enforcement when I was young, I even served in the military, but I never have, nor have I ever wanted to own a gun.

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

                But Ben…I never called for disbanding the police. Yes, I do think that the circumstances under which officers carry firearms, and the types of firearms they carry, should be sharply curtailed. Apparently not that radical; IIRC, you yourself said exactly the same thing yesterday.

                To answer your other questions, it wasn’t until about 1850 that full-time paid police forces appeared in the U.S. Somehow people got along before that. And many sheriffs do rely upon civilian auxiliaries. But no, at least for the time being I’m not advocating armed civilians replacing all police.

                But one of the arguments AGAINST armed civilians is that they’re supposedly not subject to a special layer of accountability that sworn officers are, with strict departmental regulations, internal review officers, and civilian review boards. All of which is completely substance-free, grotesque rococo bullshit. It’s nearly impossible to hold an officer responsible for shooting someone. ALL shoots are good shoots; just ask any prosecutor.

                So yes, I think that we should tone down the unalloyed bootlicking sycophantism. I think that we should hold cops who rape and murder responsible for their crimes. Radical, I know.

              • Posted October 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

                Yes, I do think that the circumstances under which officers carry firearms, and the types of firearms they carry, should be sharply curtailed.

                And yet you’re very vociferously against applying the exact same sorts of restrictions to civilians carrying firearms.

                So cops shouldn’t be allowed to carry firearms on campus, but all the students around them should be?

                b&

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

                Ben, it’s always easier to make an argument if you just make shit up, but really–you’re a smart guy. This is beneath you:

                “And yet you’re very vociferously against applying the exact same sorts of restrictions to civilians carrying firearms.”

                Wrong. I NEVER argued that the new UT rules were a good idea. Here, let me quote myself, TWICE:

                1. Saturday 2015-10-17 at 1332 CST:

                “Please note that I am NOT arguing in favor of the new UT CCW rules. I am merely pointing out that Hamermesh’s grandstanding makes as much sense as the people who worry about shark attacks, but don’t wear a seatbelt.”

                2. Saturday 2015-10-17 at 1734 CST:

                “Let me say-again-that I am NOT arguing in favor of UT’s new rules. I am saying that the claim that CCW-permit holders are a particular menace (or that police aren’t) is a FACTUAL claim that should be subjected to the same skepticism as the readers of this site would demand in any other context.”

                Once we agree that permit holders, who pose no great PARTICULAR threat, especially when compared to police, should be subject to the same restrictions as police, and NO MORE, THEN we can argue about what those restrictions should be. In other words, and this has been my ONLY point from the very beginning (go ahead–I’ve written plenty; find one word to contradict this), is that those who demonize permit holders, but are perfectly comfortable with armed police, are REALLY bad at risk assessment. In the post to which I’m now responding, you seem to assume that I’ve taken a position against any such restrictions for permit holders. That would be incorrect. I haven’t said a single word on that subject. Nor do I intend to.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

          Brujo, do you think that allowing concealed firearms to permit holders on campus will also lead to increased carry by students without permits? (The way lifting a ban on automobiles on campus would invariably lead to an increase in on-campus driving by students without valid licenses?) Requiring a permit to carry a concealed firearm legally certainly hasn’t deterred people from carry concealed firearms illegally elsewhere. Perhaps the incidence of carrying illegal weapons will be no higher on campus than it is in public generally — but that’s what, I assume, the outright ban on firearms was meant to prevent.

          I’d have a lot more confidence in judges (and legislators) who proclaim that there is an essential liberty interest in possessing a firearm, if they got rid of their own weapons checkpoints and allowed guns (concealed or “open carry”) in their courtrooms (and Capitol building galleries).

          • Brujo Feo
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

            Ken, this question would make more sense to me if I knew of an instance of students driving concealed automobiles.

            As to whether the permits would lead to an increase in legal carry, I have seen no evidence that that is the case, and I’m not about to start idly speculating.

        • Ken Phelps
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          “How is a permit system going to change that?”

          By providing a legal category that helps make loonies indistinguishable from legals.

          I think the way it works here in Canada is that if you see someone on campus (or the street) with a gun poking out from under their shirt you can assume they are violating the law and summon legally armed assistance. You don’t have to sort of wait around to see what’s on their mind.

          It is important to remember that “concealed” is a legal category, not necessarily a physical reality.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

            Yes, I was wondering about ‘concealed’.

            Presumably ‘open carry’ means you may openly carry a gun. I don’t know whether it means you’re not allowed to hide it on occasion.

            And obviously ‘concealed carry’ means you can carry a hidden gun. Does that mean you *have* to effectively hide it? If so, what is ‘effectively’ – does a huge bulge in your pants negate the ‘concealed’? Or are you allowed to take it out and wave it around at will? (The gun I mean. One of the disadvantages of having a dirty mind is, I suddenly realise that what I just wrote could have a double meaning. Please ignore it).

            I do entirely agree, by the way, with your point that allowing ‘permitted’ weapons makes it much harder to exclude identical un-permitted ones.

            cr

            • Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

              “And obviously ‘concealed carry’ means you can carry a hidden gun. Does that mean you *have* to effectively hide it?”

              I just found this on a page entitled 5 rules for (CCW) Concealed Carry Weapon.

              4. DISPLAY YOUR WEAPON, GO TO JAIL.
              You should expect to be arrested by police at gunpoint, and be charged with a crime anytime your concealed handgun is seen by another citizen in public, regardless of how unintentional, innocent, or justified the situation might seem.

              • Brujo Feo
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

                Mike, I’m surprised that you didn’t provide the URL so that those interested could read the page for themselves: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/707720/posts. If you read the whole list, you’ll see that that excerpt doesn’t describe any particular statute; like the whole rest of the page, it’s an exhortation to be as conservative and responsible as possible with EVERY aspect of carrying a firearm.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 19, 2015 at 4:03 am | Permalink

                OK, Mike and Brujo’s replies indicate to me that it MUST be effectively concealed (unless of course a circumstance arises to use it).

                Thanks.

                cr

              • Posted October 19, 2015 at 4:07 am | Permalink

                Rules for CCW: “… regardless of how … justified the situation might seem”

                cr: ”unless of course a circumstance arises to use it”

                Hmm… 

                /@

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 19, 2015 at 4:56 am | Permalink

                @ant

                Well, there’s no point in carrying the damn thing unless there is some presumption of a possible circumstance arising where it might be (legally) justified to use it, is there?

                cr

              • Posted October 19, 2015 at 5:11 am | Permalink

                Well, quite.

                /@

              • Diane G.
                Posted October 19, 2015 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

                @ infinite

                I suppose some might maintain that just the possibility of armed citizens in any vicinity might have a suppressive effect on crime.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 19, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

                @Diane

                Yes, agreed, but that presumes that the citizens would have to be able to use their arms without incurring legal penalties.

                I don’t think the law can rely on itself being selectively disobeyed in order to effect its intents.

                cr

              • Diane G.
                Posted October 20, 2015 at 2:07 am | Permalink

                @ infinite

                Unless there are self-defense or, gawd forbid, “stand your ground” statutes that would come into play given the right circumstances. Otherwise I agree with you.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 20, 2015 at 3:42 am | Permalink

                @ Diane

                Yes, that’s what I’m assuming.

                cr

    • Dave
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I think you get the award for “triggering” the most voluminous discussion ever.

  5. Heather Hastie
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Good on him. I wouldn’t mind betting that quite a few staff are quietly seeking employment elsewhere and waiting until they’ve secured it before saying something. The NRA could scupper their chances of finding another job if they speak up before they do, and they do have the future of themselves and possibly their families to think of.

    • Brujo Feo
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Heather, I think that you wildly overestimate (or perhaps misplace might be a better word) the influence of the NRA. Let’s accept, arguendo, that the political influence of the NRA is a problem. (I would be much more concerned with the influence of prison guards’ unions, but we can leave that discussion for another day.) And perhaps its influence over Congressional and other politics is lamentable–I’m not arguing the point one way or the other. But what is your factual basis for the claim that they have influence over the hiring of college professors? And at that, at any institution that someone who quit UT over the new CCW rules would even CONSIDER working at?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t make any factual claim, I was talking about the sorts of things people would worry about when looking for a new job. They could never know if the reason they didn’t get a particular job was because one of the people doing the hiring had strong negative feelings towards someone who took a stance against a particular gun law.

        We know brains don’t finish developing until around the mid-20s, and young men are the biggest risk group when it comes to gun violence. Personally I think this law increases the statistical likelihood of gun violence on the UT campus.

        In most developed countries, fights between young men don’t lead to guns being pulled out because they’re just not as prevalent. I don’t want to get into an debate over this because I don’t know enough. However, the rest of the world is a bit bewildered by the attitude to guns in the US. It’s like there’s a disconnect with the knowledge that they can kill, and the consequences of killing.

        • Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          I think it’s very unlikely that an academic seeking a position would be discriminated against for taking a position against this law. The vast majority of potential employers would be on the same side of the argument. However, many would say that there is a strong case for not letting people know that you are looking until you have something sorted out (not sure I actually agree with that but it’s certainly a common perception).

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

            If they’re seeking another job in academia, I’m sure you’re right. I was thinking if they had to look elsewhere for a job because they had to stay local it might not be so easy.

            And the job market can be tough – you never know what’s going to count for or against you.

            Like with Brujo, I didn’t express myself very well. Sorry.

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Obviously it shouldn’t be taboo to defend the indefensible – we know how to fix this problem, and it means gun control – in the energetic (multi-comment) way Brujo does here. But while I ordinarily abstain from poisoning the well/using ad hominem arguments (as I just used), the disconnect makes me want to ask gun defenders what they love most, humans or guns?

          The choice should be simple, the disconnect makes it seem some US citizens can’t make the choice. Even more infuriating, the majority of citizens _want_ gun control, the NRA politics have made it impossible for the democracy to work, as Jerry recently noted. [ https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/time-to-outlaw-guns/ ]

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          I’m sorry, Heather. I misunderstood. When I read: “…the NRA could scupper their chances of finding another job,” I thought that you meant that the NRA could scupper their chances of finding another job. Not that they might have a completely unfounded belief that the NRA had such a non-existent power.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

            I didn’t express it very well – I usually write better than that, and I would probably have read it the way you did too. It’s a bit of a case of reading what I thought I wrote instead of what I actually write. 🙂

            • Brujo Feo
              Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

              You DO usually write better than that; I read and enjoy your “Homilies” page regularly. Anyway, no worries. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been reminded that no one can proofread their own work…

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

                I thanks Brujo. I appreciate it. 🙂

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

                Raising out of the gutter … if I had a copper (a couple better than a nickel) for everyone who has told me that I can proofread my own work …

                Usually it is people who don’t have to write anything more complex than an expenses claim. A modern fiction form.

          • Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:37 am | Permalink

            I think Brujo talks like a troll. In reading peoples’ replies to a notblog post he can’t seem to read for comprehension and meaning but instead reads for nitpickiness. You know what though? — As a lawyer, you should be able to distinguish that a comment section on a notblog post is not a courtroom.

            Not that your “I’m not saying … blah blah blah” – so as to cover your tracks, followed by “But ….. and please give a reference…”

            Trolling is what trolling does.

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          I’m sorry, Heather. I misunderstood. When I read: “…the NRA could scupper their chances of finding another job,” I thought that you meant that the NRA could scupper their chances of finding another job. Not that they might have a completely unfounded belief that the NRA had such a non-existent power.

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          My apologies for the double post.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        What is the nefarious influence in this regard you fear from unions representing correctional officers (which is the term those working in that capacity at detention facilities generally prefer)?

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:11 am | Permalink

          In order to give an intelligent question to this question, I have to provide some history. This is what happened in California; your mileage may vary.

          In the 70s, the California Legislature was owned lock, stock and barrel by the CA Medical Assoc. Whence the abomination called MICRA. Then for a while the 800-lb. gorilla was the teachers’ unions, whence a host of evils, chief among them the near-impossibility of firing teachers no matter the transgression.

          It’s long-since that these influences have been supplanted by the prison guards (and private-prisons corporations–I forgot to include them, as their interests are nearly always aligned), who have a vested interest in keeping everything illegal, and making more things illegal every day. They are by far the largest contributor to political races in California, and especially to ballot measures. Want to know who has been the biggest contributor to EVERY measure nationwide to legalize marijuana? The two aforementioned, and of course police unions too, understandable in that they have the most to gain from the civil-forfeiture nightmare.

          What’s lost in this is that most of the anguish over guns can be traced to the insane “War on Some Drugs.” Would we even be DISCUSSING this but for drug prohibition? How much gun violence was there in America before alcohol prohibition? And what’s also lost is that the WoSD has been without question the driving force behind the outright racism of the “judicial” system, from top to bottom. We dare to criticize the black community for the rate of children born out of wedlock? WE are the ones who put such an outrageous proportion of their eligible men in prison! (Funny that I should be the one to point this out, considering that, as I have been instructed here, I’m such a racist redneck…)

          In the U.S., we have 4.5% of the world’s population and 25% of its prisoners. The militarization of the police, the wholesale corruption of the police and judiciary, the racist destruction of minority communities, the wholesale surveillance, and the complete gutting of the 4th and 8th Amendments. Where we send untold amounts of cash to empower the most vicious sociopaths–when we catch and imprison or kill one, he’s BY DEFINITION going to be replaced by one even more vicious.
          I didn’t use the term “insane” lightly. We now surveil, track, arrest, charge, prosecute, convict, sentence, imprison and parole-condition at rates unknown in any other developed country. ALL of it due to the same WoSD that the prison guards, the private-prison corporations, and the police unions keep fighting for tooth and nail.

          Sorry for the length of the response. As you can tell, this is a subject that concerns me more than a little.

  6. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    The Texas gunshooter folly (to be distinguished from the Texas sharpshooter fallacy) takes another victim. Good for Hamermesh!

  7. Randy Schenck
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    My comment does not require immediate response from the gun enthusiast among us. You don’t have to defend every comment that is against your opinion. If you do you will never get anything worthwhile done.

    We all hope that the rest of the free world does not follow Texas. Usually they don’t. After two Bushes and an LBJ we are full up.

    As a practical matter and one that would save many lives, making hand guns illegal period would be the correct decision and then no one would have to get any conceal carry anything.

  8. MAZMANIANAC
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Ironically, dildos are more regulated than guns in Texas–they can only be sold for”educational purposes” and the possession of more than 5 of them is a felony I guess they have to keep those dangerous dildos out of the hands of Texans who might use them for nefarious purposes

    • Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      So, obviously, banning dildos is beyond idiotic — just to get that out of the way.

      I am, however, left a bit puzzled by what somebody would do with half a dozen (or more) dildos. And not entirely sure I want to know the answer.

      I mean, what, exactly, was it that the Texas legislature had in mind that made possession of five dildos not serious enough to them to warrant felony prosecution, but six dildos is over the line? Is there some infamous goatse-like six dildo meme out there I’m blissfully unaware of that triggered this legislation?

      And…do double-headed dildos count as one dildo or two for the purposes of this law? What about a single six-headed dildo? A single mannequin permanently festooned with dildos?

      (The single six-headed dildo, if not felonious in Texas — or even if it is — should, for too-obvious reasons, be marketed as the “Texas six-shooter.”)

      Or have I already put more thought into this dildo ban than the entirety of the Texas legislature ever has?

      b&

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know about “thought”; I’m just trying to imagine the debate on the floor of the legislature:

        “What my esteemed colleague is not taking into account…if five dildos were enough for Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…”

        • Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Is “dildos” a mistranslation for “nails”?

          /@

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

            Not sure what language that word would have been translated from, since (as B. Feo alluded to above) former Texas governor “Ma” Ferguson said if English was good enough for Jesus, it’s damn well good enough for everyone in Texas.

            • Merilee
              Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

              And I had always attributed that quote to Dubya…

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

                Ma Ferguson just got there first — still came from the TX governor’s mansion, though.

      • Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        What about butt-plugs? Do they count?

        /@

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          Concealed or not?

          • Ken Phelps
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:39 am | Permalink

            Butthole? Concealed?

            Insert obvious state-of-your-choice joke here.

            • Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

              Some butt plugs have flamboyant adornments, meant to be displayed externally. So I’m told.

              /@

        • Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

          I think you need a concealment permit for those….

          b&

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          Maybe to the same extent a derringer would count as a concealed firearm for permit purposes?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        … One for every day of the week, and two for Sunday.
        I haven’t even started to think of other alternatives, but with a bar full of “seamstresses ” across the street, I could get pictures and videos.

        • Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

          What would seamstresses know about marital aids?

          Closest I can figure…well, in the spirit of the riddle favored by ten-year-old boys about the difference between the two whores, one in church and the other in the tub (the former has “hope in her soul”), it occurs to me that the difference between a seamstress and a violist is that the seamstress tucks up frills. Then again, violists have a lot in common with terrorists: they both fuck up bowings.

          …er…sorry…where was I? And where am I headed now? And what’s with the handbasket?

          b&

          • Brujo Feo
            Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

            Jesus, Ben, on top of all the other brickbats today…I mean, you DO know that I’m a violist, right? (I DO play violin, as do most violists–provided that they give me enough money to lower myself to that level.)

            Love the “bowings” joke, although since I’m the principal violist in an orchestra in which the concertmaster’s bowings tend toward the…let’s say, “idiosyncratic,” I of course have a different perspective.

            So…how much bigger than a violing is a viola?

            A: they’re not–they just look that way because violinists have bigger heads.

            • Brujo Feo
              Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

              Gack…”violin.”

              • Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

                Gack…”violin.”

                No further questions.

                Also, the prosecution rests.

                b&

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

              A violist, you say, huh, Brujo?

              Every G-man knows mob hitmen carry their tommy guns in viola cases.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:05 am | Permalink

                Which is why, when the militia movement stages its insurrection, it will no doubt come disguised as a symphonic string section.

              • Merilee
                Posted October 19, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

                Heeheehee

                Somehow reminded of Woody playing cello in the marching band.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

                And if they’re doing the ‘1812’ they can bring cannons with them 🙂

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

                Re that nice link to the musical Thompson gun, I was thinking last night on what ‘concealed carry’ might mean, and reflecting on the legendary violin cases, and concluded there’s no way a Thompson with drum magazine would fit in one. It’d have to use the 30-round flat magazine instead.

                Manifestly, I was wrong.

                cr

              • rickflick
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

                Wait…I thought music was a religion of peace.

              • Posted October 20, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

                You’ve clearly never heard bagpipes….

                b&

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

            … the former has “hope in her soul” …

            And the latter, a UTI?

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            What would the ladies of negotiable affection use a dildo for? For either putting on a personal show, or prostate massage, or a bit of both.

      • phil
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        A few years ago an Australian Olympic martial arts competitor admitted on a national tv show that her house was burgled, and among the things stolen were (IIRC) her Olympic medal and several dildos or vibrators. I always presumed they were a necessary part of her warm down procedures after some gruelling training.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          “WTF are all these contraptions in the nightstand, Sheila?”

          “No worries, mate. I’m in training for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.”

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Not sure I believe you, Ben–I think you really *do* want to know the answer! 😉

      • Marella
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:52 am | Permalink

        I assume the law against the possession of more than 6 dildos is to stop people opening up a shop or otherwise selling them to others.

        • Diane G.
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:01 am | Permalink

          And that’s a threat because?

          • jrhs
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:29 am | Permalink

            Because one would just be a recreational dildo user for owning one only, and semi-addicted if three. If more than five, one would be labeled as a severely addicted user and anti-creation. 🙂

          • Marella
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            Because people might enjoy sex, can’t have that!

            • Diane G.
              Posted October 19, 2015 at 1:25 am | Permalink

              Thanks, jrhs & Marella, a couple of reasons as sensible as the law itself.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          Yeah, “possession with intent” in cop-speak.

      • MAZMANIANAC
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        If you want an amusing commentary on the stupidity of the Texas Legislature, just look up the writings of Molly Ivins
        Here is a link to the dildo story

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          That’s some funny stuff!

          Damn, but I miss Molly Ivins. Hers was a unique voice on the political scene.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Does possession of some number of dildos less than five constitute a misdemeanor? (Or is it “dildoes”? Do all media types righteously know the answer? I “quail” at the thought.) Does the TX legislature similarly concern itself with all things ben-wa?

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:19 am | Permalink

      ‘they can only be sold for ”educational purposes” ‘

      Educational purposes?

      That is truly bizarre. I just cannot imagine any credible situation where this might be so.

      cr

  9. Posted October 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Good on him. May many others follow his example so that this university finds itself with so few professors that it has to close down or change its policies.

  10. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Damn. Trying to post through a letter slot on the phone. Can’t read my own comment. Close parenthesis after openly” and reopen after “law”. I think.

  11. Merilee
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Sub

  12. Brujo Feo
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Wow, quite the journey of self-discovery that I find myself on! I have learned from gluonspring that I’m a pathetic psychotic; from phil that I’m a red-necked racist (well after all, even though I don’t drive an SUV, I am a libertarian), and from Mark Joseph that the only possible reason I might have to carry a gun is that I hate black people. Apparently I “veiled” my racism too thinly to escape his penetrating analysis.

    Well, Mark, it would appear that a little ignorance of history can take you a long way. For the racist origins of gun control in the U.S., you might want to acquaint yourself with this thing called “Jim Crow.” Then run your thesis by the Panthers, and the Deacons for Defense. Let me know how you fare with them.

    Oh, and phil…thanks for opening my eyes. But for your pointing out what a racist I am, I never would have noticed that my wife is Mexican.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Well, that is what you get for talking about expansion of gun laws amongst people who know that fewer guns mean fewer shootings.
      But seriously, I think the more sobering problems with this law are:
      1. Being a professor who flunks a student, and having that student be distraught about it. This happens to me about every semester. If I were in Texas I would feel very, very uncomfortable if I knew that the student in front of me was carrying a concealed gun. Nothing need happen. I would just not like it. And my feeling of safety should matter. There is safety, and there is feeling safe. Feeling safe also matters.
      2. College students get into trouble. They don’t plan to, but they do. They get into altercations. They get drunk. They get into fights. In all of history, I know of no place and no stretch of time where such situations never results in someone pulling their gun if they have one. They do not plan it. But there it is — a drawn gun. Instead of a fight, we have a shooting. We are going to see shootings involving CCW carriers if history is any guide.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        “…if history is any guide.”

        Well, Mark that is the heart of the argument isn’t it? I was going to respond to your earlier comment:

        “If you think that CCW people are somehow immune from unintended consequences… well, I think you need to rethink that.”

        No, I don’t imagine that they are. But I do think that history IS a guide, and the stats on CCW-permit holders NOT being involved in shootings are crystal-clear. And I won’t argue the point with you; perhaps even a bit mystifying. (Although perhaps one might think that perhaps the weeding-out of the permit process might actually be working.) But I’m not arguing WHY they’re so law abiding; I’m just pointing out that they are, and that therefore (again, my ONLY thesis) is that to see them as some particular threat is just unsupported by any evidence. You know, FACTS, rather than vividly-imagined suppositions.

        • Michael Michaels
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          The many studies I’ve found on gun issues are often by John Lott, a self confessed liar, a man that thoroughly discredited himself.

          John Lott posed as Mary Rosh (a sock puppet) (MaRyRoSh@aol.com) and praised his own academic writing, and also called himself “the best professor I ever had”. He reviewed his own book on Amazon under the pseudonym “Mary Rosh”. Some might be of the opinion that this is dishonest behaviour and negates any credibility he has.

          When one of John Lott’s studies came under fire (accused of just making up the data) he claimed the data disappeared, the forms were lost in a flood, he couldn’t recall the names of the assistants who worked on it with him and he claimed his computer hard drive crashed. Those assistants never came forward of their own volition.

          A large number of Mr. Lott’s studies have problems. His work is not considered to be reliable by people outside the gun industry.
          Inside the gun industry, John Lott is a hero. He tells them what they want to hear.

          http://www.armedwithreason.com/shooting-down-the-gun-lobbys-favorite-academic-a-lott-of-lies/

          John R. Lott Jr.:
          “Potential victims use guns more than 2 million times a year to stop violent crimes. Crimes are stopped by defensive gun uses about five times as frequently as crimes are committed with guns.”

          Does “2 million” pass the smell test?
          By these numbers, the USA is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. It already has the highest prison population in the world, yet crime is rampant on the street, according to Lott. So much so, gun owners have to ward off criminals with firearms.

          Imagine the crime level in the states that don’t have carry laws! People must not even leave their house out of fear.
          Except the areas with the most crime are many of the same states with open or concealed carry and or high gun ownership. Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, New Mexico, Nevada, Alaska.

          The same with “More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott”. Gun ownership has not increased, it’s decreased, with fewer people owning more guns.

          John Lott appears to have a habit of making up statistics then using them as talking points when ever and where ever he can.

          • Brujo Feo
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

            Michael–thanks for the exposé on Lott. I’ll read it more carefully when I have time. If it holds up, then certainly Lott needs to be excised from the pantheon of reliable sources. Please note, however, that Kleck (cited here as a critic) has independently arrived at some of the same conclusions.

            I note your reference to the “flood” in which docs were allegedly lost. Unless you have another source, I think that you’ll find that that reference is to Bellesiles (who absolutely made that excuse). It would appear that both sides of this debate can forget their principles far too easily.

            But that’s neither here nor there. If Lott is dirty, he’s dirty, and that’s the end of it. I thank you for the reference. I’ll keep it for the next time I have a discussion with someone who relies on him.

    • Posted October 17, 2015 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      “Wow, quite the journey of self-discovery that I find myself on! I have learned from gluonspring that I’m a pathetic psychotic; from phil that I’m a red-necked racist…”

      While some may be saying you are all those things by implication, I discovered I’m defending cops who shoot gangbangers, and drug dealer, when all I did was point out that you can’t argue a teacher in his classroom is more at risk from a cop, using overall police shooting statistics. How many cops have killed law abiding college professors in their classroom?

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted October 17, 2015 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

        Fair question. So tell me–how many CCW-permit holders have killed college professors, law abiding or not, and in their classrooms or not?

        • Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:54 am | Permalink

          Let’s look at the facts:

          How many students carrying loaded AK47s lawfully with a CCW permit have shot and killed a professor?

          None?

          OK then — Now that we have that settled, you can’t say that allowing students to carry loaded AK47’s with a CCW permit shouldn’t be allowed. Otherwise you are just speculating without any facts to back your argument up; and in FACT the stats that are there, actually say you might even be better off to pass a law to allow CCW permit AK47’s.

          Is that really the argument’s structure?

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 19, 2015 at 5:43 am | Permalink

            How do you effectively conceal an AK47?

            (Visualises the entire economics class struggling through the classroom doors dragging flight luggage, carpet bags and viola cases…)

            cr

        • Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          We’ve already heard from multiple members of university faculty that the threat of being confronted by a distressed and armed student is making them consider dumbing down their coursework and grading standards in an attempt at self-preservation. Considering we’re talking about teenagers, I’d say the faculty is entirely justified in their fears.

          What does it matter the actual rate of faculty deaths by an irrelevant subset of gun holders? What, exactly, do guns positively add to the learning environment that they should be welcomed?

          The classroom is for learning. It’s not a shooting range. Bring your textbooks to class and leave the guns at the range.

          b&

          • Posted October 19, 2015 at 4:57 am | Permalink

            Ben below: I was being sarcastic, or pointing out the absurdity of Bujo. (in case your comment was directed at me)

    • gluonspring
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      I have learned from gluonspring that I’m a pathetic psychotic

      Maybe not. I can think of many people who could make a rational case for carrying a concealed weapon. Salmond Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali leap to mind. Someone who has to carry a lot of cash alone, perhaps. There are lots of people who are in higher risk situations, for some reason or another, and I feel no need to begrudge them the added feeling of safety (however illusionary) they might feel if they are armed. This is not most CCW holders, of course, but perhaps you are one of those people. You say elsewhere that you are a lawyer. It is not hard for me to imagine some lawyers being in a higher risk category. If that’s you, get your CCW and go in peace (and sincere good luck to you, carrying a gun didn’t help Mark Hasse).

      However, unless you are a speaker presenting an anti-Islam lecture, a university campus is not a high risk situation. The average student carrying their own personal gun to a university for their protection, or for the imagined protection of others, is disconnected from any rational thought about risk. It is a bit of hyperbole to call that disconnect psychotic, of course, but the disconnect is real. Perhaps “paranoid” is the accurate diagnosis.

      And what should anyone think about someone who insists on carrying a gun to economics lecture? What else would you call the feeling that drove him to bring the gun but “fear”, and what else would you call someone so in the grip of fear that they let it drive them to such absurd lengths but “coward”? Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but at it’s core I think it is the truth. Again, there are exceptions, but the bulk of CCW holders are not exceptions, they are people with safe boring lives who should be ashamed of their unreasonable fear.

      My ONLY thesis is that the threat does not come from CCW-permit holders.

      I agree that among the gun nuts, these are some of the safest on average. Congrats! I also agree that the incremental threat that CCW on campus poses is too small to be a rational reason to quit your post at a university. It might be a good political protest move, but it’s not a rational risk/reward calculation with regards to your personal safety. Even as gun-violent as the US is, it’s just not enough risk to drive many big personal decisions.

      I agree also that from a regulation point of view the CCW permit process beats the hell out of the normal gun ownership “process”. It costs money and time and that by itself weeds out a lot of losers. Perhaps I would respect the CCW crowd more if they distanced themselves a bit more from the more-guns-is-always-better NRA position. The CCW holders I know, and I know a lot starting with my parents and siblings, don’t do that. They would NEVER support laws to make the CCW process the process for ALL gun ownership, for example, and this fact makes all of their talk of how responsible CCW holders are seem moot and not a little opportunistic. But if there were to be a sizable group breaking from the NRA’s bonfire of paranoia, a visible group of gun owners who came across as responsible as you seem to be trying to do in your posts here, and as my parents do when they talk about CCW (but not when they post pro-gun memes and vote), then I’d have some respect for that. As it is, though, they just blend in with all the other gun nuts.

      In any case, what actually bothers me is not the literal risk of the guns floating around, which is obscene but still too small for me bother with, but the mental virus that the gun fetish has become. CCW seem to me just a symptom of a mass hysteria of some sort. When I was a kid every household in my family had a couple of guns, grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, all. Most were hunting guns, though some households had a handgun somewhere. It never occurred to them that each family member should have their own personal gun, much less that they should carry a gun with them at all times. Now, however, both my 75 year old mother and her husband, my step-sister, and my uncle and aunt all have CCW licenses and a personal handgun. Objectively they have less need of “protection” than ever, but something has changed in their mind. The NRA gun-nut culture (to be distinguished from merely gun ownership) has infected them somehow, made them more fearful and paranoid and, frankly, less happy. I’m not afraid of the people out there with concealed weapons, but I find the *mentality* that makes them think they need one fairly disturbing.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:20 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the clarification, gluonspring. I hope that it doesn’t surprise you that I agree with much of what you say here.

        I agree that many gun owners exhibit paranoid behavior. (To be fair, I think that we’ve seen some fairly vivid demonstrations here today of paranoid statements about gun owners.) Certainly this involves an inappropriate assessment of the severity of threats. Which is precisely what I said about the professor in my very first post on the subject earlier today. To be fair, that cuts both ways.

        I have no idea why CCW-permit holders are such a strangely lawful group; I only know that for whatever reason, and I have no urge to speculate (other than again suggesting that the vetting process may be effective), they just don’t show up in crime stats.

        I have no problem with people who are against gun ownership, period. I disagree with them, but at least I get where they’re coming from. What I have a real issue with is folks who think that CCW-permit holders are a threat, but somehow they have no problem with the police having guns. That’s simply irrational. (If they understand that cops do pose a real threat of violence, but take the position that disarming the police is simply not politically feasible, then I don’t object so much, but that’s not where these people are generally coming from.) What I hear over and over again is sycophantic nonsense about how well-trained and competent and wise police are, when the stats tell a very different story. Not to mention completely untrue statements of fact, For example, wrongly claiming that the police don’t have a known penchant for shooting the wrong person. (And by that I just mean negligence and poor judgment; I’m not talking about the many, many cases where some drug-squad yahoos break down the door in the middle of the night at the wrong address, and shoot someone’s unarmed grandmother in the back.)

        Just between you and me and the lamppost, I think it likely that Hamermesh was ready for a sabbatical with a cushy gig in Australia, and used his plans as a timely opportunity for grandstanding on this subject.

        But of course, I could be wrong.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:43 am | Permalink

          I think you’re overstating the case.

          1. I don’t like the police very much. I especially don’t like them being armed, though the chances of getting unarmed cops in the US is negligibly small. I see them as a necessary evil. But the chances of them having the necessary pretext to start shooting are much reduced if there are no other guns present.

          2. If guns are prohibited (except for cops in uniform), that makes it much easier to ensure there are no other guns on campus. *Anyone* with a gun will be breaking the rules and is immediately suspect – and can have the gun confiscated or be evicted. (Obviously the law-abiding CCW holders won’t try to bring their guns on campus if the rules say no). That’s infinitely easier than trying to screen all gun-carrying individuals to make sure they have CCW permits.

          After all, if CCW holders are so exemplary, surely they should be able to carry their guns on a plane. I’m surprised no-one has pointed this out to the TSA before now.

          cr

          • gluonspring
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            That’s infinitely easier than trying to screen all gun-carrying individuals to make sure they have CCW permits.

            Well, we could give them badges, or hats that they could wear, to identify them on a glance, sort of like police…. oh.

        • barn owl
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:30 am | Permalink

          Just between you and me and the lamppost, I think it likely that Hamermesh was ready for a sabbatical with a cushy gig in Australia, and used his plans as a timely opportunity for grandstanding on this subject.

          Cynic that I am, I was speculating something similar, Brujo. In any case, Hamermesh is in a position of privilege, compared to most UT system faculty and staff. But I am enjoying reading the instructions from several commenters here as to what we should be doing about campus carry. I especially love the admonitions to resign our faculty positions and leave the state (or the country), regardless of family responsibilities, finances, environmental concerns, ongoing research, commitments to teaching a diverse student population, engagement with and ties to a diverse community, etc.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:44 am | Permalink

            I think we all understand that such exhortations are usually stated in a “all things being equal” way and that, in most circumstances, other considerations override what we ‘should’ ideally do.

            cr

            • barn owl
              Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

              Of course tone and intent are difficult to discern on the interwebz, but IMO many of the comments seem pretty judgmental, especially given the way that Hamermesh is lionized in the OP and in the thread.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

                Well, you’ll get that on the Internet. People in such discussions always overstate the case, especially on a hot topic like this. For the sake of your own equanimity, don’t take it personally (unless it was obviously intended as such). I know that’s sometimes difficult.

                Other people (like me) also point out the bleeding obvious, for which I beg your indulgence.

                cr

          • Posted October 18, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

            Or the hopes that Texas universities will become second rate in response to this law, which is great for us Texas residents with kids about to go off to college.

          • gluonspring
            Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

            It’s tribalism again. Texas = bad tribe. Leave, come to the good tribe. But Texas, like any other big state, is a huge mix of things. 41% of Texas voters (3.3 million.. turnout is sad) voted for Obama, and 38% of Californians (4.2 million) voted for Romney (more Californians cast a vote for Romney than Texans…). It is asinine to suggest that everyone who finds themselves in a state where they are the 40% to a majority 50% they don’t agree with should move. What a staggering migration that would be! But you hear this sort of thing all of the time from people. It is one of the worst things about the whole Red/Blue electoral map imagery. News organizations have done us a real disservice making such maps so central to our political discourse. It wipes out all subtlety so that, say, Texas isn’t 40% Democratic, it’s simply Red.

            I experience the absurdity of this way of looking at things more than most because my family is all in Texas but I have lived in CA for ten years. Both sides demonize whole states full of people with the broadest possible brushes, my Texas friends assuring me that I was moving to a communist hell-hole, my CA friends now assuring me that I narrowly escaped the 19th century. Practically speaking, though, very little about my life is different in CA than in TX. All of the things everyone gets so worked up about, that they think is SO awful about the other state, has only a small effect on my daily life. One exception: housing is too damn expensive in CA, and religious affiliation is a little too much on the sleeve in TX. But other than that, it’s the weather that has a MUCH bigger effect on me than the state’s respective politics. Not once in ten years has the difference in gun laws (I assume there is a different, I don’t even know) impinged on me.

            • Diane G.
              Posted October 19, 2015 at 1:10 am | Permalink

              Hear, hear! I’ve lived in Oregon, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, & Michigan, with shorter stays in California & Maryland. This broad-brush disparaging of entire states is absolutely beneath us. For one thing, it seems to assume that everyone is in a position to “vote with their feet,” i.e., get up and move freely from place to place despite jobs, family, sentimental ties, etc.

              Additionally, the vast majority of states have more liberal urban hubs and quite conservative rural areas. Here in Michigan, it’s the Detroit/Ann Arbor area that confers our solid blue state status, but where I am in “outstate” MI we’ve had our own brush with local “militias.”

              • Posted October 19, 2015 at 1:42 am | Permalink

                “Hear, hear! I’ve lived in Oregon, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, & Michigan, with shorter stays in California & Maryland. This broad-brush disparaging of entire states is absolutely beneath us.”

                I have to disagree. If you identify with that tribe, and it offends you, you deserve what you get. I live in Alabama, when it’s idiocy is pointed out, often times by me, I don’t get offended. I know we’re not talking about me, and I’m not going to pretend the remarks aren’t true, at least in a general sense.

              • Diane G.
                Posted October 19, 2015 at 2:13 am | Permalink

                My point is that states are NOT tribes, and to treat entire populations as if they were is denying the obvious, not to mention completely overlooking the “loyal opposition” factions who are working their butts off trying to change things.

                Sure, write ’em off, tell ’em to secede, Balkanize the continent as much as possible–what kind of a solution is that?

              • Posted October 19, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

                “Sure, write ’em off, tell ’em to secede”

                Unfortunately they won’t, but seriously. Maybe I’m missing something here, how is this argument different than the “we shouldn’t ridicule religion because not all Christians (for example) are homophobes” argument? I understand you can’t always choose where you live, but you can choose a group you identify with as your tribe. I’ve lived in Alabama for nearly 10 years, and they aren’t my tribe. I don’t choose to be offended when blanket criticisms directed at the state. If I did, and I defended it, or suggested it shouldn’t be criticized because we’re not all bad, I’d be part of the problem. Additionally I think ridicule encourages right thinking people to speak out against those who make make their tribe an object of ridicule.

              • barn owl
                Posted October 19, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

                My point is that states are NOT tribes, and to treat entire populations as if they were is denying the obvious, not to mention completely overlooking the “loyal opposition” factions who are working their butts off trying to change things.

                Sure, write ’em off, tell ’em to secede, Balkanize the continent as much as possible–what kind of a solution is that?

                Well said, Diane G. I don’t agree with much of what Brujo Feo has written, but I don’t think he’s the troll here, either. Those who post “f&%* Texas” sentiments, or seem smugly hopeful that Hamermesh’s fears will be validated by a fatal shooting incident at a UT campus so they can gloat, are the trolls, IMO.

                It was important to me when applying for faculty positions, and choosing between offers, that I ended up in a diverse community and had the opportunity to make a positive difference for students from minority and underserved backgrounds. Many of these students return to their communities and provide care for the indigent and underserved. This is typically not the case for students from socioeconomically privileged backgrounds and ethnically homogeneous communities, regardless of what they might say in their professional school applications and interviews. My point with this is that if you make a similar choice, you’ll necessarily find yourself surrounded by people who look different and think differently. My choice was not inherently better than a choice to live and work in a homogeneous environment, and one could argue that it was deterministic, since my father made a similar choice years ago, and I grew up in a large city that was also very diverse.

              • Diane G.
                Posted October 19, 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

                Barn Owl, that is tremendously admirable of you. I hope it has turned out as rewarding for you as it most surely has been for your students.

                And I agree with you about the ready categorizers here. No one seems to have the corner on logical fallacy avoidance.

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        “…but something has changed in their mind. The NRA gun-nut culture (to be distinguished from merely gun ownership) has infected them somehow…”

        I think it is fair to say that the gun thing is a cultural signifier, in the same way that creationism or feminism are. In the ongoing culture war, membership in team “Idiot America” (ref. Charles Pierce) requires the acceptance of a package of beliefs. Creationism and guns are just two of a larger set.

        In fairness to Brujo, Team Liberal can be just as reflexive on the other side of the gun issue.

        But if it’s a nightmare scenario you want, envision a pack of armed SJW snowflakes enforcing their rather generous definitions of “unsafe” or “microaggression” or “assault” with guns. As with theocratic laws, it’s not the things you expect that ought to worry you.

        • gluonspring
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          This is exactly on point. People rationalize the whole suite of orthodoxy once they identify, possibly for some initially marginal reason, with one group or another.

          It was the GOP lip service to evangelical religion that converted my parents from mild-Democrats/non-partisans in the 1970’s to the the GOP, where they have been ever since. I know it was religion because for a long time almost all they knew or understood about GOP positions were the “traditional family” advocacy spouted by the Moral Majority. That hooked them. It took them many years more before they started talking the economic talking points of the GOP, and the passion for gun rights is newer still.

          I’ve seen the opposite transformation in my mother-in-law, who married a liberal man and soon after changed identification to Democratic. Over the course of a few years I have seen her views on every issue slowly fall in lock-step with the Democratic party line until, now, whatever the party is for, she’s for.

          It’s damn depressing is what it is, because this tribalistic quality of humans means that most of what people are doing when they move their mouths and make sounds is not trying to communicate with you, not trying to solve problems or learn things, but just signaling team membership. Almost no matter who you are talking to, conservative or liberal, odds are you are talking to someone who merely rationalized themselves into their position in order to conform with their group identity, not with someone who is genuinely interested in figuring out answers to tricky questions. Even the thought that public policy is tricky is hard to get most people to accept because their group identity tells them it’s all very easy if only those bad people would stop obstructing the good guys.

          But if it’s a nightmare scenario you want, envision a pack of armed SJW snowflakes enforcing their rather generous definitions of “unsafe” or “microaggression” or “assault” with guns.

          I have this nightmare all of the time.

          Basically, my nightmares all revolve around the fringe, left or right, either taking over or plunging us into violence trying. Basically, I fear rabid mobs. The veneer of civility, and civilization, often seems very thin.

  13. Dan
    Posted October 17, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Not only do we have snowflake students, but now snowflake teachers! LOL!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 17, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, huh, grow a bulletproof pair already, willya faculty?

      If they had authentic Texas-sized stones, the profs would show up to class wearin’ T-shirts with scope sights on ’em — give the shooter a sportin’ chance, right?

    • Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Yeah. All that the super-rational young folk, who still enjoy a good game of beer pong and getting smashed by using a beer funnelator are doing by carrying hidden lethal weapons, is ENJOYING their civil liberties donchano.

      • Mark Joseph
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Is that what they’re doing? Damn, and here I thought they were part of a well-regulated militia. Guess I was wrong.

  14. Marella
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    I am sure the professor will have a lovely time in Sydney, so some good will come of this.

  15. barn owl
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    I mentioned above that there’s been discussion of exclusion zones for CCW-permitted guns at my university. For anyone interested, here’s the list (identifying features redacted/modified by me):

    … potential exclusion zones have been narrowed down to 1) mental health facilities, 2) labs and storage areas containing hazardous materials or infectious agents, 3) grievance hearings, 4) businesses contracted through the university (e.g. Starbucks) and 5) areas where accidental discharge of a firearm could cause considerable financial harm to the university. i.e. MRI machines, flow cytometry machines, servers, etc.

    So research faculty and staff, and those who direct service cores with expensive equipment, can consider themselves somewhat safer than those of us who do a lot of teaching. This same summary indicated that there’s no legal basis for making classrooms an exclusion zone, acknowledging that this might be “disappointing” for some of us. The Starbucks exclusion zone is going to be problematic to enforce, since the Starbucks is located in the hallway immediately outside one of the largest lecture halls (as is the Subway). In fact the noise from Starbucks is often disruptive for lectures and exams.

    Boggle away, fellow gun unenthusiasts!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      The Starbucks exclusion zone will undoubtedly come as a great relief to baristas who’d just as soon not be executed by an over-caffeinated customer because they screwed up a venti half-soy skinny macchiato with an extra shot, no foam, and light caramel drizzle.

      • barn owl
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        The “extra shot” component comes from the customer, perhaps.

        I’ve already pointed out to TPTB that if “accidental discharge from a firearm” is a concern for damaging expensive equipment, then it must also be a concern for damaging or killing students, faculty, and staff. TPTB aren’t very happy when faculty attempt to run rings round them logically.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          So the Starbucks-exclusion-zone policy is based on the rationale that accidental discharge there could damage valuable espresso-making machinery?

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted October 19, 2015 at 3:41 am | Permalink

            Also, significant risk of spillage of hot coffee, with ensuing claims for personal injury / damage to couture.

            cr

      • rickflick
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        It also obviates the scene shot in ultra-slow-mo with torsos drenched in blood and porcelain cups of latte shattering as silently screaming faces race for the exits and hand guns blaze and eye balls roll.

    • Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Eureka!

      A Starbucks in every classroom!

      I’ll take a low-wage kid making shit coffee in the classroom over the threat of guns any day — and I’m somebody who’s normally very opposed to corporatism and advertising!

      b&

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 18, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      I find the Starbucks ‘exemption’ even more bizarre, if anything, than the ‘expensive equipment’ exemption. Presumably Starbucks has a corporate ‘no gun’ policy?

      So the State-mandated gun-permitted rules, which are to be enforced over the objections of university staff, can be suspended just like that for a commercial company who just happen to have leased a shop in the hall?

      There’s certainly a pecking order operating here – business at the top, State laws below that, and you-know-who at the bottom. Weird.

      cr

      (P.S. All credit to Starbucks if they do have a no-gun policy, btw)

      • rickflick
        Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        The answer is, sell the U to Starbucks. One big exclusion zone.

  16. Posted October 18, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Re the dildo protest, I’m reminded of the “ISIS” flag spotted at a gay pride parade:

    /@

  17. Derek Freyberg
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I think that Brujo Feo has a little bit right, and a lot wrong.
    People can and will carry out shootings like the recent one in Roseburg (just to name one) without bothering to get a CCW permit to bring their guns (and it’s usually guns, plural) with them. A number of them have been carried out with long guns, where CCW doesn’t come into play. And the Connecticut shooting was done by a boy using his mother’s weapons. The people that have carried out these shootings don’t seem to contemplate surviving them – and that makes any prior illegality, like not having a CCW permit, irrelevant.
    Brujo lives in Ventura County, California: I live in the Bay Area. California is a “may-issue” state. Around here, county sheriffs make it very hard to get CCW permits. Ventura is more rural (though there’s a large urban population), and it may be easier. Texas, on the other hand, is a “shall-issue” state – fill out the paperwork, and you get the permit. So there is no selection process in Texas that ensures that CCW permit holders are the responsible people Brujo speaks of.
    Anything that brings more weapons into a location almost automatically increases the risk of what our government would politely refer to as “collateral damage”. There were said to be people with CCW permits and weapons in Roseburg, but they deliberately did not seek to engage the shooter, rightly fearing that they might be shot at by responding police officers. [I suppose that one of them also might reasonably fear being shot by another – how do you tell the good guy with the gun from the bad guy with the gun, when no-one is in uniform, unless you see an obvious “bad act”?]
    So, if I were a Stanford or UCSF prof and California were stupid enough to pass such a law, I might not worry too much (though I’d be unhappy); in Texas, I’d worry a lot more.

  18. Redfrost
    Posted October 18, 2015 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Just one more reason, and there are many, to say: fuck Texas.

  19. MadScientist
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    He’ll enjoy Sydney and when we get news in the next year or two of the first student with a grudge and a gun shooting a professor I’m sure he’ll be even happier with his decision.

  20. barn owl
    Posted October 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, it hasn’t seemed to elicit much protest from faculty …

    I posted the essence of this claim on another website, and others in academia responded that several of their UT system faculty friends were already engaged in protests of various types. For example, there’s a “No Guns at UT” group.


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