Colleges Trample Protest Rights
Gun supporters say colleges trample protest rights
Quote:Gun supporters say colleges trample protest rights

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Colleges nationwide have unconstitutionally barred students from handing out literature, protesting and gathering in support of the right to carry weapons on campus, students and an advocacy group say.

Christine Brashier, a freshman at the Community College of Allegheny County near Pittsburgh, said a dean recently told her she had to stop distributing fliers for the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, which has chapters at many colleges, and destroy the pamphlets she had designed.

"I won't be forced into silence. I just wanted to start a student organization. I didn't think it was going to get this much attention," Brashier said. "It only got this attention because they stopped me. People don't like to hear about suppression of free speech."

Brashier is licensed to carry a concealed firearm but doesn't take it to school because CCAC, like most colleges and universities nationwide, does not allow weapons on campus. Some states explicitly ban students from carrying weapons on campus, while others — like Pennsylvania — allow the schools to set policy.

But since April 16, 2007, when Seung-Hui Cho went on a shooting rampage at Virginia Tech University, killing 32 people and injuring 17 before turning the gun on himself, more students have been advocating for the right to carry guns on campus, and state lawmakers have been tackling the issue, as well.

As a result, more universities and colleges have suppressed the rights of students to organize, said Robert Shibley, vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit following the cases and writing letters protesting them.

FIRE has not taken any cases to court, but Shibley said the group has not ruled it out. FIRE's philosophy is to work with the universities to get them to independently change their policies.

In the case of Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, Shibley said he would not comment on whether FIRE would sue. But it's "always an option when constitutional rights are violated," he said.

In Tarrant County, students have been trying to hold an "empty holster" demonstration in the college's designated "Free Speech" zone. The college has repeatedly refused to allow the protest, though it has taken place at other campuses nationwide.

"That case is ongoing. They have not relented," Shibley said.

Donna Darovich, the college's spokeswoman, said the students are permitted to voice their opinions in the "Free Speech" zone but will not be allowed to carry empty holsters anywhere on campus.

"We believe that it would be disruptive to the campus environment for people to be walking around with gun holsters," Darovich said.

However, Central Connecticut State University in New Britain allowed a gun holster protest on its campus last month. That was a month after the school was mired in publicity because a student was questioned by police after he gave a class presentation on gun rights that made a professor uncomfortable.

Mark McLaughlin, the university's spokesman, said that the student was not sanctioned and that the presentation did not affect his grade. The university, he said, was not suppressing the right of a student to express support for carrying a gun and has an active chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

In Pittsburgh, FIRE sent a letter to the college stating concern about "the threats to freedom of speech and freedom of association." The "free distribution of noncommercial handbills is a quintessentially American tradition," FIRE said, noting that the Supreme Court has ruled it is unconstitutional to require prior permission for doing so.

Brashier's pamphlets say that while college campuses are generally safe, there are assaults, rapes and murders. By barring students from carrying guns, college campuses are "supermarkets for would-be rapists and mass murders," she wrote, mentioning the Virginia Tech shooting and the February 2008 shooting at Northern Illinois University, where a gunman killed five people.

The Pittsburgh college has declined to comment in detail because its solicitor is reviewing it. However, it said Brashier has not faced disciplinary action. The college is encouraging her to follow CCAC rules for organizing a campus group, including having 10 students interested in joining and finding a faculty adviser.

"CCAC does not have any intention to limit the student's involvement in the group or her ability to discuss her own political viewpoint," the statement said.

Brashier, who is studying to be an elementary school teacher, said when she completes her studies at CCAC in a year she will be continuing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a school that also bans students from carrying weapons on campus but does allow Students for Concealed Carry on Campus to remain active.

The group, Brashier said, tries to get university funding for education on firearms and for trips to the shooting range.

"I just wanted to open up discussion and debate on the topic. I didn't think it would be such a big deal," Brashier said.
Discussing guns dubbed 'academic misconduct'
Quote:Jun. 07, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

VIN SUPRYNOWICZ: Discussing guns dubbed 'academic misconduct'

The forces of political correctness once vowed that, should they ever take over, their free expression on all kinds of issues -- from gay rights to amnesty for illegals to space aliens inspiring the pyramids of ancient Egypt -- would no longer be censored.

Censored? Heck, spouting the PC line is now mandatory, as many a professor lately hauled before a college Star Chamber on charges of having "given offense" now learns.

Internationally renowned Austrian economics professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe used a standard textbook example of investment time preferences in a classroom lecture at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a few years back, pointing out that gay couples often invest with shorter time horizons because they are less likely to have children to profit from investments that mature after they're gone. A gay student filed a complaint -- initially with the benefit of anonymity.

At this next lecture, Mr. Hoppe apologized. The student then complained that the apology offended him. UNLV's diversity police wanted professor Hoppe to give up his next raise and his next sabbatical in penance. They backed down when Mr. Hoppe hired a lawyer and went public. Needless to say, Hans-Hermann Hoppe is no longer at UNLV, where benighted Keynesianism again reigns unperturbed, teaching Nevada's youth that Tim "Tax Cheat" Geithner's plan to print billions more greenbacks and use them to buy Treasury bonds is bound to work out just fine.

No, the PC forces are certainly not proving themselves very "tolerant" when it comes to people who want to talk about things that don't meet with their approval.

A student who wants to form a gun-rights group at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh has been threatened with disciplinary action for her efforts, reports the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

Student Christine Brashier says administrators banned her informational pamphlets, ordered her to destroy all copies of them and told her that further "academic misconduct" would not be tolerated.

"CCAC has demonstrated a shocking lack of respect for the rights of free speech and free association," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said in a May 27 news release. "Across the country, students are increasingly denied the First Amendment right to debate the Second Amendment. At CCAC, this censorship trend has reached a new low."

In April, Ms. Brashier created pamphlets to distribute to her classmates encouraging them to join her in forming a chapter of the national organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. The handbill states that the group "supports the legalization of concealed carry by licensed individuals on college campuses." She personally distributed copies of the flier, which identified her as a "campus leader" of the effort to start the chapter.

On April 24, Jean Snider, student development specialist at CCAC's Allegheny Campus, summoned Ms. Brashier to a meeting that day with Snider and Yvonne Burns, dean of student development. According to Ms. Brashier, the deans told her that passing out her non-commercial pamphlets was prohibited as "solicitation." Trying to "sell" other students on the idea of the organization was prohibited, they claimed.

College officials told Ms. Brashier that the college must pre-approve any distribution of literature to fellow students, and that pamphlets like hers would not be approved, even insisting she destroy all copies of her flier.

The young lady reports that she was also interrogated about whether she owned a licensed firearm and had ever brought it to campus (she has not), and whether she carries a concealed firearm off campus.

Dean Burns reportedly said, "You may want to discuss this topic, but the college does not, and you cannot make us." Ms. Brashier was then told to cease all activities related to her involvement with Students for Concealed Carry on Campus at the college; that such "academic misconduct" would not be tolerated.

FIRE wrote CCAC President Alex Johnson on April 29 about these violations of Ms. Brashier's First Amendment speech and association rights, pointing out that "her free speech in no way constituted solicitation, that CCAC is obligated to permit students to distribute literature and may not ban it on the basis of viewpoint or content, and that if CCAC recognizes student organizations at all, it must recognize an organization that supports concealed carry on campus." FIRE requested a response by May 13; officials responded only by promising a reply from either the college or the Allegheny County solicitor's office at some "reasonable" future time.

"If it is true that trying to 'sell' students on an idea is prohibited as a matter of solicitation, virtually the entire enterprise of the college is prohibited," points out Robert Shibley, FIRE vice president. "All persuasive speech would have to be pre-approved by the college. CCAC must end this unjustified assault on its students' rights immediately."

This incident is the worst and latest in a significant trend of punishing students for debating the Second Amendment in the wake of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings (where students died because they were denied the right to carry arms to defend themselves), FIRE reports. At Central Connecticut State University, after a student gave a class presentation about concealed firearms on campus, his professor called the police. At Hamline University, a student was suspended -- pending a mental health evaluation! -- after he advocated in an e-mail for concealed weapons on campus.

The Students for Concealed Carry on Campus chapter at Tarrant County College in Texas has been prohibited, two years in a row, from holding an "empty holster protest." At Lone Star College near Houston, the Young Conservatives of Texas were censored and threatened with de-listing when they distributed a humorous flier listing "Top Ten Gun Safety Tips," the free-speech group reports. Lone Star's general counsel suggested that even a "mention of firearms and weapons" is inherently a "material interference" with the school's operations.

FIRE's Web site is

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of the books "The Ballad of Carl Drega" and "The Black Arrow." See and
Herbert Spencer Wrote:A student who wants to form a gun-rights group at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh has been threatened with disciplinary action for her efforts, reports the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

...Or as the late Don Drysdale used to pronounce it, "Piss burgh."
If it had been a pamphlet advocating queer penis transplants or celebrating some WWII atrocity, that would have been worth a medal...
A.A Mole University
B.A London Institute of Applied Research
B.Sc Millard Fillmore
M.A International Institute for Advanced Studies
Ph.D London Institute of Applied Research
Ph.D Millard Fillmore
Speaking of which (um, that would be Pissburgh, not penis transplants) game seven of the Stanley Cup finals is Friday in Detroit.  

There is no other custom in sport more poignant than the victory lap each player on the winning team takes with the cup.  Even when the road team wins, the home fans are usually at least respectful of the winners, and stand and applaud their achievement.  

Although they labor in relative obscurity (at least in the US) each guy gets one moment of glory unequalled in his sport.  Then he gets his name engraved on Lord Stanley's Cup, where it is hoisted in celebration again every following year by the winners.  

The home team has won every game so far in this series, but that doesn't usually mean much in Game 7's.  Whether it's the Pens or the Wings, I'll be looking forward to celebrating the winner.
Don Dresden Wrote:The home team has won every game so far in this series, but that doesn't usually mean much in Game 7's.  

Nice call Don.  Great finals, but I always feel gypped when there are two US teams playing.  They don't play "O Canada" before the game when there is no Canadian team playing.  

I went to a baseball game years ago when Montreal was in town and they played the Canadian anthem before the game.  Girlfriend asks why they are playing the Canadian anthem, "I thought they only did that at hockey games!"

I think the US should invade Canada and steal their national anthem, because I like it better than ours, and it's faster and easier to sing too, which makes it even more American.  

Saw a movie years ago called "Missouri Breaks," where Jack Nicholson and his merry band of horse thieves sneak into Canada to steal horses from the Mounties.  Their theory was that once they crossed back into the US they were home free because the Mounties can't cross the border to come after them.  Somebody forgot to tell the Mounties, because they crossed the border, tracked down the thieves, took back their horses, and didn't say "please" either.  

So I suppose if we stole their national anthem they would just come down and steal it back.  But until then every US sporting event would start off like a proper hockey game, and that would be fun. "...We stand on guaaaaaard forrrrr theeeeeeee!"
Albert Hidel Wrote:Saw a movie years ago called "Missouri Breaks," where Jack Nicholson and his merry band of horse thieves sneak into Canada to steal horses from the Mounties. Their theory was that once they crossed back into the US they were home free because the Mounties can't cross the border to come after them. Somebody forgot to tell the Mounties, because they crossed the border, tracked down the thieves, took back their horses, and didn't say "please" either.

Some smugglers on the Great Lakes have had a shock recently. Police services from either country used to stop at the imaginary line somewhere in the middle. An agreement now allows coast guard or police from either side to pursue accross the border. They arrest the bad guys and sort out jurisdiction later.

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