Posts Tagged ‘NRA’

American College Professor Quits After Legislature Allows Guns on Campus

October 16, 2015

It’s a cliché that America has a gun culture, and that the American right is absolutely determined to protect gun ownership and will go to extreme lengths to do so. This piece from The Young Turks shows how absurd the right’s determination to allow American citizens to carry firearms has become. A professor of economics at Texas University has decided to spend part of next year teaching in Australia, as he fears for his safety. The Texas legislature has just passed a law allowing people to carry concealed guns on university campuses. The lecturer, Daniel Hamermesh, teaches microeconomics and is afraid that under this law, a disgruntled student could shoot him with a gun he had legally brought to class.

I realise that after the recent horrendous school shootings in America, some people believe that students should have the right to carry guns for their self-defence. Universities are places of learning and culture. They are the very last places people should take firearms. It might be thought that Mamermesh’s reaction to the law is somewhat exaggerated in itself, but I think it’s quite reasonable. Over here in Britain there are a terrible number of assaults every year on school teachers by angry pupils or their parents. I haven’t heard of any university lecturers being assaulted, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some were. There’s the same pressure at Uni to get good grades, and this has increased with the massive increase in tuition fees. Like their fellows on this side of the pond, many American students are trapped in ‘generation rent’ because the expense of their university education and the immense debts they have accrued mean that they will never be able to afford to buy their own home. Some academics have also commented on the sense of entitlement of some of their students, and the ill grace and bitter resentment they feel when their expectations of a good mark are not fulfilled. Going back to the 1980s, there was a case where one doctoral student blew away his rival with a gun after the rival student won a particularly prestigious scientific award for which they had both been competing. So, I don’t think it at all unreasonable that the professor should feel worried for his safety. And even if the students don’t decide to take a pot shot at a particularly annoying lecturer, there’s always the danger of accidents. I realise that the NRA stress that guns aren’t toys and urge gun owners to treat them responsibly, but not everybody has that mentality. People have been injured or killed messing around with firearms, and unfortunately there have been a number of scandals already at some universities from the drunken antics of some of the boys in university fraternities. So, rather than the new law making campus more secure and safer, it’s made it a much more dangerous place.

Here’s the video about it by The Young Turks.

I know that this is very much an American issue, but Piers Morgan aside, there are people over here in the Conservatives, who share the Republicans’ love of guns and would want Brits also to have the same right to bear arms. The legal ability to carry guns also carries with it the dangers of death or severe injury through deliberate malice, stupidity or simply sheer bad luck. The threat of gun violence is simply too high a price to pay. Especially in a place of learning, which should be preparing young men and women for their lives, rather than endangering them.