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Guns on University of Utah Campuses:

The state legislature enacted a law barring "state and local entities from enacting or enforcing any [rule] that in 'any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property.'" The University of Utah, which generally bans students and employees from carrying guns while "on campus and 'while conducting university busines off campus,'" claimed that the state law interfered with the University's autonomy (guaranteed, according to the University, by the state constitution). Not so, the Utah Supreme Court just held: The Utah Constitution, it concluded, does not give the University autonomy; like other state government entities, the University is subject to legislative control -- "the legislature has the ability to generally manage all aspects of the University."

The Utah Supreme Court did not reach the University's claimed First Amendment academic freedom right to exclude guns (on the theory that the presence of guns on campus would "hamper[] the free exchange of ideas"); that issue is being litigated in federal court, though in my view the University's argument is a sure loser. There are at least two reasons for that: (1) The state law is content-neutral (in fact, speech-neutral), and would thus be at most subject to United States v. O'Brien scrutiny, which it would easily pass. (2) Even if state institutions have First Amendment rights to be free from federally imposed speech restrictions (a matter that's unsettled), I think they have no such rights to be free from restrictions imposed by their own supervisors in the state governance structure (here, the state legislature).

Thanks to John Bogart for the pointer.

Hans Bader:
The general rule is that the government has no First Amendment rights. CBS v. DNC, 412 U.S. 94, 139 (1973) (concurring opinion); Warner Cable Communications, Inc. v. City of Niceville, 911 F.2d 634, 638 (11th Cir. 1990); NAACP v. Hunt, 891 F.2d 1555, 1565 (11th Cir. 1990); Student Government Ass'n v. Board of Trustees, 868 F.2d 473, 481 (1st Cir. 1989); Estiverne v. Louisiana State Bar Ass'n, 863 F.2d 371, 379 (5th Cir. 1989).

But there is one California Court of Appeal decision saying that public universities, unlike most government institutions, have First Amendment rights.

That may be an outgrowth of the Supreme Court's loopy Bakke and Grutter decisions, which suggest that there is a First Amendment-based academic freedom interest vested in public universities that allows them to racially discriminate to achieve "diversity."

That idea has not, to date, been extended to other government institutions. Even government speakers like public broadcasters have been held not to have First Amendment rights.

And public school districts do not have First Amendment or academic freedom rights -- something that may be relevant to the K-12 race preference cases (Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle Sch. Dist. No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County) pending before the Supreme Court.
9.8.2006 6:17pm
Gordo:
My daughter was thinking about applying to the U of U - good academics, great nearby skiing, etc.

Sratch that one ...
9.8.2006 6:37pm
Gordo:
Make that "Scratch"
9.8.2006 6:37pm
gab (mail):
I'm surprised then that a few of them didn't blow their brains out last Saturday after they had their asses kicked by UCLA.
9.8.2006 6:40pm
Hans Bader:
By "public broadcasters" in my comment above, I meant government-owned broadcasters, not non-governmental, non-profit broadcasters, who certainly do have First Amendment rights.
9.8.2006 6:43pm
ksd:
O.k., I'll bite.

Gordo, why is the Univ of Utah now off the list? Do you believe that your daughter would be safer at a school that purports to prohibit firearms on campus? If so, what do you base that belief on?
9.8.2006 6:54pm
zooba:
Good thing Utah is in the 10th circuit, if it were in the 9th they'd probably get Reinhardt, who'd just cite Romer and hold that there is no rational basis to discriminate agains people who discriminate against gunowners.
9.8.2006 7:08pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Quaere whether a state-run university is a "person" within the meaning of the 14th Amendment?
9.8.2006 7:15pm
Sha_kri:
What about state courts? Are gun owners allowed to carry guns in state court rooms and why would that be exempt from the law passed. Not being a wise guy, just curious.
9.8.2006 8:01pm
Angus:
How about high schools or elementary schools? Are gun owners allowed to carry them into those setting in Utah?
9.8.2006 8:16pm
CDU (mail):
"How about high schools or elementary schools? Are gun owners allowed to carry them into those setting in Utah?"

Yes (with a CCW permit, of course).
9.8.2006 8:29pm
Master Shake:
As described, the statute would prevent the state and localities from passing or enforcing murder statutes (at least in the case of shooting deaths), noise ordinances (shooting off your Uzi at 3 a.m.), pistol whipping, and countless other offenses. Each of these does "in some way" restrict the use of firearms.
9.8.2006 8:32pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Hmmm. Whatever the legal merits, it seems to me that if you have a university campus where some people feel they either 1) need or 2) want to carry firearms, you have a problem already.

When I went to Cow College, most of the guys in my boarding house had guns, and some had lots and lots of guns. I don't believe it ever occurred to any of them that they needed to take them on campus.
9.8.2006 9:00pm
Peter (mail) (www):
My old department had some fairly stringent continuing education requirements so I spent my whole career going to classes, at least once class per year.
Few of my fellow students, nor the instructors, ever knew of the gun, or the badge.
Still, many people "need" to carry a gun on campus. Many others carry on campus because of the need to carry off campus. I park my car, what do I do with my shootin' iron? I certainly don't want to leave it in the car for theives.
9.8.2006 9:44pm
TJIC (www):

When I went to Cow College, most of the guys in my boarding house had guns, and some had lots and lots of guns. I don't believe it ever occurred to any of them that they needed to take them on campus.


Perhaps few of the guys you hung with were afraid of rapists, or of a stalker.

In a different demographic (female), these concerns might very well be real.
9.8.2006 9:50pm
Carolina:

When I went to Cow College, most of the guys in my boarding house had guns, and some had lots and lots of guns. I don't believe it ever occurred to any of them that they needed to take them on campus.


I don't know what the housing situation is like at Utah, but at least as far as the students go, the issue is likely dorms - not "taking guns to campus." I went to a college where 95%+ of students lived on-campus in dorms, and I had to keep my pistols in a locker in the University Police HQ. This was an incredible pain in the rear when I wanted to go to the pistol range. The marginal increase in security gained by forcing me to keep my self-declared pistols there instead of my dorm room seemed about zero to me.

Cheers to Utah!
9.8.2006 9:51pm
Evelyn Blaine (mail):
I have to assume that there are some exceptions hidden in the statute - as quoted, carrying one's gun to court, the State House, visiting inmates in a prison, to meet the Governor, etc., would all be protected against state regulation. And what about airports? Or if the President comes to visit? Federal preemption might be an issue there, but I imagine that often the Secret Service says to state authority X, "the President is going to be here, so use your administrative regulatory powers to make sure no one carries any guns in"; this statute would bar any such cooperation.

Personally, I'd be very offended if a student carried a firearm into any class I was teaching. It would seem a fundamental breach of civility -- almost as bad as if a friend felt obliged to strap on a pistol before coming over to one's house. Gibbon somewhere remarks that the Romans felt only barbarians would go about armed in the city in time of peace, and compares this unfavourably to the manners of his own age. I tend to agree.
9.8.2006 9:58pm
Carolina:

Gibbon somewhere remarks that the Romans felt only barbarians would go about armed in the city in time of peace, and compares this unfavourably to the manners of his own age. I tend to agree.


Wealthy Romans also lived in homes whose street-side facade was a windowless fortress because of the omnipresent threat of crime, so I'd take Gibbon's statement with a grain of salt.
9.8.2006 10:05pm
CDU (mail):
Federal law trumps state law, so you can't carry anywhere that it's illegal to under federal law (airports, jails, prisons, federal buildings and national parks). State law prohibits Carrying a concealed weapon in a mental institution. Other than that, there are no restrictions. Churches and private homes can prohibit you from carrying concealed (provided they inform you or post notice) but businesses cannot (even for their own employees).
9.8.2006 10:20pm
Some Anonymous Coward:
My daughter was thinking about applying to the U of U - good academics, great nearby skiing, etc.
Sratch that one.

7% of violent crimes are committed by somebody with a firearms.

25% of violent crimes are committed by blacks.

Does this mean that you're looking at predominately white schools for your daughter, too?
9.8.2006 11:26pm
K Parker (mail):
Evelyn Blaine,

as quoted, carrying one's gun to court, the State House, visiting inmates in a prison, to meet the Governor, etc., would all be protected against state regulation.


What??? Did you even read Eugene's post? This is entirely a state matter, the Utah State Supreme Court ruled that the Utah State Constitution did not allow the university to set up its own regulations in this matter, beyond what state law allows.
9.9.2006 12:19am
Acksiom (mail) (www):
Perhaps few of the guys you hung with were afraid of rapists, or of a stalker. In a different demographic (female), these concerns might very well be real.

However, since "Male college students were twice as likely to be victims of overall violence than female students," according to the American College Health Association's "Campus Violence White Paper", probably not.

These concerns on the part of females might very well exist, given; but compared to the common acceptance of violent victimization as an intrinsic standard cost of masculinity, they don't make for much of a counter-argument.

To say nothing of how that factoid ratio is probably a significant underestimation of the actual reality, as is usually the case in general, and even more particularly the case there in light of the blatant femelitist bias demonstrated throughout the report.

Women's "greater" fear of assault has far less to do with the actual rates of assault by gender than it does with people's belief in women's comparably elitist, privileged immmunity from personal risks and harms which for men are commonly accepted as standard and normal.

That might also have something to do with how and why, as of the last time I checked, the male suicide rate was 130% of the male and female homicide victimization rates combined. With the 20-24 age group having the highest male suicide rate of all.

Let's all really think about that for a moment, and try to imagine and consider the implications. Does it change your conceptualization of violence and gender at all?

It certainly suggests to me that what we really need instead of anti-gun activism -- or ignorant, reflexive, female chauvanism -- is an increase in compassionate outreach to men and boys.

No, wait. Make that some compassionate outreach to men and boys.

As in any.
9.9.2006 12:24am
Evelyn Blaine (mail):
K. Parker wrote:
What??? Did you even read Eugene's post? This is entirely a state matter, the Utah State Supreme Court ruled that the Utah State Constitution did not allow the university to set up its own regulations in this matter, beyond what state law allows.


Yes, I'm aware of that; except for the speculation about airports and visiting presidents, I was speaking only of state law. Perhaps I didn't state what I meant well: if the statute prevents "state and local entities from enacting or enforcing any [rule] that in 'any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property'", then presumably it would prevent those state entities which manage the grounds of courthouses, the Governor's mansion, etc., from making rules "restricting ... the possession of firearms" on the relevant public property. Of course, if there are other specific statutes making it illegal to carry firearms there, then they would prohibit the behaviour in question (unless they were held to be repealed by implication by the recent statute).

This was what I had in mind (but I don't know at all how this area of law works, so this is just speculation): I had assumed that when whoever was in charge of the Utah State House grounds, for example, made a rule forbidding guns within the State House, they were not putting into effect a specific statutory command, but using a general discretionary authority that comes with the responsibility of managing a piece of property. But this statute, if it's accurately described, would seem to bar any governmental actor from using that authority in a way that restricts the possession of firearms. So, absent a specific statutory prohibition of carrying firearms into area X, it would seem that one's right to carry firearms into area X would be protected against any actions of the Utah executive or subordinate legislative bodies, even if (in the absence of statute) those bodies might have been able to ban firearm possession on property they control in virtue of a general managerial authority.

As I said, I didn't phrase it very well, and this is all wholly speculative, as I haven't looked up the statute or read the decision or researched anything about general firearms law, or common-law rights to exclude armed individuals from one's property, or how those rights might translate to state agencies which don't really own the property but merely manage it, or any of the other complications that might be relevant. I don't usually post such guesswork, but I really just wrote it as an offhand comment, and I'm only drawing out my reasoning in this much detail to correct the misunderstanding about what I meant. In all honesty, I don't have time right now to look up the specific statute, so I won't post any more of these speculations. But if someone can find the exact text, I'd be interested to see it.
9.9.2006 1:18am
Broken Quanta (mail) (www):
K Parker,

According to the U's President, it's not "entirely a state matter." Here's text from an email he sent to all of us (I happen to work at the U) this evening:


As you might know, the Utah Supreme Court issued a decision this morning on the issue of guns on campus, ruling against the University on our arguments regarding the interpretation of State law. In light of that decision, the University has issued the following statement to the media. Please note this judicial decision resolves state issues, but federal constitutional issues remain to be considered. Until such time as a decision is rendered by the federal courts, our long-standing policy preventing firearms on campus will remain in force.


I'm not a lawyer, and I haven't followed the issue closely, but if Pres. Young is to be believed, then

1. This isn't the end of the road for the U's ban on firearms, and
2. the ban actually remains in effect while the federal suit plays out.

Of course, I have no idea what federal issues the U has raised and how plausible they are, but I figured I'd pass this on for y'all's information. Y'know, in case anybody was planning a ceremonial firearm-toting on campus tomorrow.
9.9.2006 1:29am
Harry Eagar (mail):
Not only can you not carry firearms into a federal court, you cannot carry firearms into a public hotel where federal judges are having a meeting. I know a guy who served a year hard for doing that.

If you are planning to discharge your firearm on campus, at what? If you're not planning to do that, you don't need it.
9.9.2006 2:03am
Evelyn Blaine (mail):
By the way, although I said I wouldn't post speculation again, let me explain what I meant by the Secret Service example, because I think it's interesting and I'd like to get an answer from someone who actually knows how this area of the law works. Again, this is just a priori analysis, and I'm only going through it in detail to make it clear to anyone who has actual knowledge of the question what I'm interested in learning.

I'm assuming that, if I carry a firearm in proximity to the President, even if I'm not threatening him and have no intention of harming him, then I'm doing something illegal and will problem be arrested. (Assume further that he's not in DC, or on a military base, or on any other federal enclave.) What law am I breaking? A couple of possibilities come to mind. Maybe there's a federal statute prohibiting carrying weapons within a certain distance of the President. I honestly don't know whether there is or not. Or maybe there's a federal statute delegating to the Secret Service the authority to establish firearms exclusion zones around the President and specifying penalties for disobedience of those regulations. If either of these is the case, then the answer's easy. (Information, anyone?) But if there isn't, then what? Well, I might be carrying the weapon somewhere where state law prohibits all possession of firearms. Or maybe there's a state statute prohibiting firearms possession in proximity to federal officials, although that would seem unlikely. But what if neither of those is the case? Presumably, under those circumstances, someone must have used some kind of discretionary authority granted under state law (statute or common) to prohibit firearms possession in the relevant area. My guess, then, would be that the Secret Service would have asked either the owner of the property (if it's private land) or the state agency managing the property (if it's public land) to use some such legal authority to keep people with firearms out, and if I did carry a firearm in the area, I'd be penalized under some general criminal statute punishing those who carry firearms into a given area X without the permission of the owner/manager of X. But if the Utah statute keeps Utah executive agencies and local governments from using such firearms-prohibition power, then the Secret Service would seem to have a problem (unless, of course, there's a relevant federal statute).

Regardless of the question of overriding federal law, something akin to that must happen whenever the president goes abroad: obviously the Secret Service wouldn't allow the president to travel somewhere where members of the public with guns could legally approach him, but they would be dependent on the laws of the host country to punish violators. So instead of Utah, imagine the sovereign nation of Utahia, which has a statute saying that "no national or local entity may enact or enforce any rule that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property". The U.S. President wants to visit, and the Secret Service calls up the head of the Utahia State Security Bureau and says "What can you do legally to keep people with guns away from the President?" It seems, if the statute really were phrased like that, then the head of the Utahia State Security Bureau would have to answer, "Sorry, nothing. Accept the possibility of people with guns or cancel your visit."

Now, it seems intuitively that there has to be some disanalogy between Utah and Utahia. But unless there's a federal statute of the type described above, where would the disanalogy come from? Of course federal agents can arrest people for violations of federal law, regardless of what the state has to say about it; under In re Neagle, they can probably also be protected from state judicial process even in the absence of a specific statute authorizing their actions. But they surely can't criminalize some action simply by proclamation, unless there's either a state or federal law prohibiting that action. If there are such laws, then the question's moot. But if not, then the Utah statute -- providing the summary given is accurate -- would seem to severely restrict their ability to call on the discretionary powers of state agencies to fill the gap.
9.9.2006 2:31am
Evelyn Blaine (mail):
Harry Eager wrote:
Not only can you not carry firearms into a federal court, you cannot carry firearms into a public hotel where federal judges are having a meeting. I know a guy who served a year hard for doing that.
Ok, I really should stop thinking about this, but I can't sleep and 18 USC beckoned. I don't understand how the situation Harry Eager describes could be possible. 18 USC 930 is very specific:
(g) As used in this section:
(1) The term "Federal facility" means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
[ ... ]
(3) The term "Federal court facility" means the courtroom, judges' chambers, witness rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells, offices of the court clerks, the United States attorney, and the United States marshal, probation and parole offices, and adjoining corridors of any court of the United States.
Unless the hotel in question had literally been taken over by the U.S. and turned into a temporary court, or a room in the hotel was "leased" and "regularly" used for meetings, I don't see how the statute applies. There's also an explicit notice requirement (section (h)). Is the incident of which you speak reported anywhere?
9.9.2006 2:54am
triticale (mail) (www):
If you are planning to discharge your firearm on campus, at what? If you're not planning to do that, you don't need it.
Do you have a fire extinguisher in your house? If so, does this mean you are planning to have a conflagration there? If not, what do you need it for?
9.9.2006 3:10am
Captain Holly (mail) (www):
I'm a Utah Concealed Weapons Permittee, and I'm also a former U of U employee. I was expecting the University to get its way on this issue (they tend to get their way on everything); this decision is a pleasant surprise.

I worked in the Animal Research Center (interestingly called the "ARC") for a while, and I carried in violation of the University policy because there were plenty of people on campus who weren't very friendly to animal research. Carrying on campus has never been a criminal violation, but I likely would have been fired had my supervisor found out (but then again, he was a CCW permittee, too, and probably carried himself for the same reasons).

Utah's pre-emption law only prevents local entities from restricting possession of firearms; cities have the authority to prohibit hunting or the discharge of firearms within their boundaries.
9.9.2006 11:34am
T. Gracchus (mail):
A couple of points re the Utah law. Firearms are barred from courthouses, an issue already litigated. The courts may bar weapons because they have inherent power to control their own operations and are a co-equal branch. The statute in fact says something contrary and the legislature seems in fact to have thought it a fine idea for people to carry guns into court. (All divorces and child custody fights being amicable, all criminal trials a matter of manners, and civil disputes never leading to lost tempers here in Zion.) Statute notwithstanding, private employers may bar employees from carrying or possessing firearms on their premises. Terminations on that baasis have already been litigated. It is extremely unlikely that the Legislature can require private employers to permit firearms. Private homeowners can bar anyone they please for any reason they please, and the statute on that point is simply dead letter. Churches and other fora which are regualrly open to the public may bar concealed firearms if they post, which may be either a sign at the location or (if I recall correctly) on a special web site.
A permit is not required to carry openly, but is required to carry concealed.
A large portion of Utah concealed weapon permits are possessed by folks who live elsewhere (I do not recall if it is a majority or what), apparently because the standards are low (which is certainly true).
Finally, Captain Holly's claim that the U usually gets its way is of a piece with his fantasy that he was in any danger because of his job.
9.9.2006 12:55pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Evelyn, I don't know if the judges case is in US Reports. The trial was in U.S. District Court in Honolulu. The crime occurred in a hotel on Maui, where a judical convention was being held, and it was reported in the newspaper I work for, The Maui News.

I did not myself report the trial, but I did write a story about the man's companion, when she went to prison for tax violations.

triticale, I do have a fire extinguisher in my house, and I do plan to discharge if there's a fire.

Many years ago, when I was a sportswriter, I covered a basketball game between two enthusiastic, some might say, bitter rivals. The gym had seats for 4,000 and perhaps 5,000 people squeezed in. As expected, the game was close and came down to a single point.

Not just a single point, but a disputed call. The crowd, as they say, went wild.

After the game was over, the opposing coaches and the officials got into a shouting match, which, as a reporter, I went down to listen to. Fans pressed close. A college guard marched back and forth menacingly with a pump-action 12-gauge. In a quiet moment, I asked, 'Is that thing loaded?' 'Yes,' he growled.

So I reported that. The next day the college president invited me to his office. I had made the school look bad.

No, I replied, it was bad. Under what circumstances was the guard going to discharge a shotgun in a room that was wall-to-wall people?

As for the UU animal lab, I understand the danger. The answer, of course, would be to guard it, the way courtrooms are guarded. Not to arm up for the shootout at the OK Corral.

Do you guys carry guns to your mother's birthday parties? I guess you probably do.
9.9.2006 2:30pm
NickM (mail) (www):
California courts have extended free-speech rights to other governmental entities, including city councils and school districts - including an unpublished appellate court decision holding that a school district had a First Amendment right to spend funds to promote the passage of a school bond.

Nick
9.9.2006 4:15pm
Connie (mail):
Captain Holly says he carried a gun because "there were plenty of people on campus who weren't very friendly to animal research." Ooh, I need a gun because people are UNFRIENDLY.

Apparently you never had cause to discharge your weapon on campus.
9.9.2006 4:57pm
PubliusFL:
"triticale, I do have a fire extinguisher in my house, and I do plan to discharge if there's a fire."

And someone who carries a firearm on campus probably plans to discharge it if necessary if they are assaulted. But they don't *expect* or *plan* to be assaulted any more than you expect or plan to have a fire in your home - I would hope.

"As for the UU animal lab, I understand the danger. The answer, of course, would be to guard it, the way courtrooms are guarded. Not to arm up for the shootout at the OK Corral."

Right. Assuming unlimited budgets.
9.9.2006 5:24pm
Captain Holly (mail) (www):

Captain Holly says he carried a gun because "there were plenty of people on campus who weren't very friendly to animal research." Ooh, I need a gun because people are UNFRIENDLY.



Unfriendly, no. Potentially violent, yes. When I worked in animal research there had already been several incidents of animal rights "actions" in Utah. Given the fact that animal rights activists have issued death threats to researchers in other states and in Great Britain (including a recent incident at UCLA, Professor Volokh's institution), it's not paranoid to want to be prepared.

But let's turn the tables, Connie. Do you walk past crowds of young men in dark alleyways at night? I mean, why be scared, just because it's dark and you don't know the men? I wouldn't be afraid; why would you?


Finally, Captain Holly's claim that the U usually gets its way is of a piece with his fantasy that he was in any danger because of his job.


Until the current Attorney General came into office, the University openly flouted the law. They still say they won't comply. And guess what? Nothing will happen to them. The Legislature will harrumph and pass a symbolic resolution but in the end the University will get its full budget, partly because most members of the Legislature are either U alumni (as is the Governor and two of the five Supreme Court Justices) or send their kids there. In the end, the U will get what it wants.

As for the idea that I was never in any danger from animal rights activists, you've clearly never worked in animal research. I find it odd that people who think that professors would be endangered by concealed weapon permittees -- who, by requirement, have no criminal record -- breezily dismiss any threat from shadowy animal rights activists, who regularly commit acts of vandalism, arson, and burglary.
9.9.2006 10:52pm
Andy Freeman (mail):
> Personally, I'd be very offended if a student carried a firearm into any class I was teaching. It would seem a fundamental breach of civility -- almost as bad as if a friend felt obliged to strap on a pistol before coming over to one's house.

Why the assumption that they're carrying because of you?

Assuming a typical class, they're carrying because they need to carry where they're coming from or where they're going to. What is your basis for inconveniencing or endangering them?

It must be nice to have friends who all live in safe areas that one can get to without going through unsafe areas. However, I'm confused why you feel that people who don't enjoy that luxury should behave as if they do.
9.10.2006 12:58am
markm (mail):
"As for the UU animal lab, I understand the danger. The answer, of course, would be to guard it, the way courtrooms are guarded." What did you mean by that? Every courtroom that I've ever been in was guarded by armed men, both inside the courtroom and at the entrances to the building.

Perhaps you meant that the guards were law enforcement officers? Aside from where the animal lab would get that budget, an armed, uniformed guard provides no better security than an employee with a concealed weapon permit can. There are plenty of law enforcement "professionals" that only go to the shooting range when required to fire maybe fifty rounds a year, shoot themselves and others accidentally while grossly violating the basic safety rules, and in general are neither as safe nor as effective with a weapon as the typical gun hobbyist.
9.10.2006 4:23pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
I gave up hunting when I was 17 when it dawned on me that everyone I went into the field with was drunk.

I've never known a citizen use a gun to stop a crime, and, thankfully, none of my personal acquaintances has ever been shot by a criminal; but I've had quite a few acquaintances killed in 'hunting accidents.'

Your experience may have differed. (And at the courthouse I go to, there is no armed guard at the entrance of the building, nor are there armed men inside the courtroom, except when escorting convicted criminals or at arraignments of suspected criminals. No armed men in the civil courtrooms.)
9.10.2006 7:39pm
therut:
BC (before Clinton) all the wringing of hands about firearms on University property was almost a non topic. I carried and had my firearm in my dorm in 1981 and at Medical School through 1986. Non issue but this was in BC time period. Now if I even had my firearm in my vehicle parked on the University Property I would be a criminal... Sigh...... So I just stay away from Univesity property and will not even drive through. Same with hospitals that place the sign. So I am limited in my travel and place of work..... Sigh...... And it was just a short time ago in history when I was not so oppressed by hand wringers.
9.10.2006 9:22pm
Mike Lorrey (mail) (www):
Connie, the Capt's comment that people were "not friendly to animal research" was a polite euphemism to explain the fact that there was an active and violent chapter of either PETA, or even ALF (a domestic terrorism group according to the FBI), who would not limit themselves to protesting, but would engage in destruction of property and/or assaults upon persons to achieve their political aims, both types of crimes being a legitimate cause of action for a person to defend themselves, others, or property with a firearm.

Personally, its too bad Utah isn't like my own state of New Hampshire, where the only place one cannot carry is in a courthouse. I don't even need a permit to carry openly. Perhaps if, as UofU claims, more Utah students carried openly, this would encourage the irrational left to make more calm, reasoned, and rational arguments for their positions. Is that inhibiting free speech on campus, or merely ensuring that speech on campus remains at high quality, as it should in our institutions of higher education?
9.10.2006 9:47pm
Gordo:
In a belated to answer to the above questions, I don't choose to send my daughter to a school where one of her fellow students, or her professor, could openly cart around a rifle to class, or where a prominent sidearm, and not be in violation of school policy and forced to put the gun away.
9.11.2006 12:10pm
Gordo:
eeeks! WEAR.
9.11.2006 12:11pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Gordo: you didn't answer the question as to why you feel that way.
9.11.2006 2:08pm
Gordo:
Because I believe that the open carrying of firearms in public by civilians will increase violence and fear of violence. Neither of these results are good, but especially not on a college campus. It's hard to imagine anyone wanting to engage in academic discourse, leading perhaps to argument, with a fellow student or professor that is openly armed.
9.13.2006 5:31pm
Joel:
For examples of why someone ought to want to attend a college where firearms carry is at least permitted if not encouraged, one can look to today's incident at Dawson College, Montreal; the 1989 incident at the Ecole Polytechnic, also in Montreal; and most on point given this blog's orientation, the 2002 incident at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy. That last one was stopped by a student, who had to retrieve his firearm from an off-campus vehicle. How many lives were cost by that delay, I wonder...
9.13.2006 5:32pm
Joel:
As for open firearms carry, I don't know.

However, expansion of concealed firearms carry has not, repeat not, resulted in an "increase (of) violence". As for the fear of violence, we've already got that, but on the part of the wrong parties: the innocent. We ought to put fear of violence where it belongs, in those who would oppress their fellow man...
9.13.2006 5:39pm