By Dean Weingarten
The Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas, Austin, says he cannot stand the idea of licensed gun carriers at the University, so he will leave. From ktar.com:
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A prominent dean at the University of Texas said Thursday he is leaving the state for another job in large part because of the new Texas law that will allow concealed handguns in public college classrooms.
This is a sign of a phobia. It makes no logical sense for the reasons stated in the article.. If Fritz Steiner thinks it will make the campus more dangerous, there is no evidence to support it. Several states already have concealed carry on campus, and there have not been any shootouts or murders because of it. Moreover, there have been murders done with concealed weapons on campus by people who do not have concealed carry permits. The danger of being shot already exists, by people who are not worried about rules for carrying guns, when they are willing to commit murder.
Similarly, the argument that controversial speech will be chilled if people think there might be armed citizens in attendance makes no sense. Those people could already be there without a change in the law, the most dangerous ones likely already are. It is especially laughable considering the intense chilling of free speech that already exists on most college campuses. Try to give a lecture on the case against abortion, or against calling the partnership of same sex couples “marriage”. Try to start a conversation about “black privilege”.
The people who have concealed carry permits are perhaps the most law abiding and least dangerous group in the country. They are far more law abiding than police officers. The argument simply makes no sense when you consider that the people who will be carrying firearms are required to keep them concealed. How will anyone know that they are present? If they are paranoid about people having concealed weapons that they cannot see, why aren’t they paranoid about it now?
It is more likely that heated arguments will happen on the freeway or in a bar than in an academic setting; yet people with concealed carry permits have an exemplary record in those places, just as they do in academic settings.
There are a number of theories about what is driving these silly arguments.
1. The bad faith theory – The people making the arguments do not really believe what they say. They simply want power and will lie to keep it.
2. The phobia theory – The people making these arguments are terrified of guns, and it drives them to irrational decisions based on emotion.
3. The ignorance theory – The people making the arguments are simply regurgitating the arguments put forward by people from 1. and 2.
4. The Utopian theory – This is a combination of all of the above. People might know that danger will not be increased, but the goal of elimination of all guns will be impeded; they want that long term goal because of 2. and 3. They think number 1 (bad faith) is fine if it advances the long term goal.
5. The excuse theory – Guns are not really important to the decision, but it gains him credibility with his peers. The real reason may be anything from an existing shakey position to family, climate, or career advancement.
I suspect that Fritz Steiner falls into the number 4 position, as do a great many disarmists. They do not like guns; or they do not like guns in the hands of political adversaries; they want the state to remove them, and they are willing to say or do whatever it takes to reach that goal.
A combination of emotion, ignorance, and bad faith likely fuels their desires. It does not surprise me that one of Fritz Steiner’s degrees is “Master of Community Planning”. I do not doubt that Dr. Steiner is intelligent, I simply doubt his motives and judgement. I suspect that our assumptions about human nature and the nature of the universe differ.
Second Amendment supporters should support the decision of people such as Fritz Steiner to leave Austin. When those disarmists go elsewhere, the place they leave is strengthened as a Second Amendment stronghold.
It is a little like the social “shunning” of smokers. They have been crowded into smaller and smaller acceptable places. If someone finds the Second Amendment offensive, how appropriate is it to have them teaching impressionable minds? Should we pay for professors who advocate for the destruction of the Constitution? We have been doing so for decades.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.