Bang, you’re fired

To argue that an armed student could have stopped the Virginia Tech killer, an adjunct professor at Boston’s Emmanuel College pointed a Magic Marker at students in his class and said, “Bang” several times. A student he’d prepared earlier “shot” Nicholas Winset, a financial accounting instructor, with an imaginary gun.

“Why did I stop?” Winset asked his 23 undergraduate students , before someone replied that the “gunman” was shot.

“So guns maybe aren’t all bad,” Winset told the group.

He was fired — two weeks before the end of the semester — and barred from campus. The administration’s statement says the school prohibits “any behavior or action which makes light of or mimics the terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech.”

Winset said the Catholic college urged instructors to discuss the tragedy with students. He spent five minutes discussing victimhood, nonviolence and gun control before moving on to accounting.

Emmanuel accuses the professor of incivility.

The college said on Monday that Winset’s firing “had nothing to do with academic freedom” but rather “his insensitivity toward the students who were murdered at Virginia Tech” and “his use of obscene and discriminatory language which is not tolerated from students, faculty or staff at this institution.”

Winset was “disparaging the victims as rich white kids combined with an obscene epithet. He did not do this as part of an open debate with his students,” the statement said.

This must be the first time in modern history that someone on a college campus got in trouble for referring to rich white people.

The only student interviewed said he didn’t think his classmates were upset or offended, but someone must have said something to someone.

Winset had told Emmanuel before the incident that he was moving on to another job, but apparently they couldn’t tolerate him on campus for the final two weeks. What’s open debate going to sound like at Emmanuel in the future? Kind of quiet.

Winset has posted a defense on YouTube.

Classically Liberal provides several examples of school (and mall) killers who were stopped by armed resistance.

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  1. wayne martin says:

    Digging around in the Vietnam-era scrap book, a couple of names pop up:

    Angela Davis:

    Benadette Dohrn:

    Bernadette Dohrn, Weatherman, murderer and now Professor at one of the most prestigious law schools in the country, Northwestern in Evanston Ill. Not exactly clear if Ms. Dohrn has ever passed the Bar for any state in the US, but her foray into domestic terrorism didn’t seem to faze the “powers what be” at Northwestern.

    Wonder if those same powers at Emmanuel would have any problem inviting these two paragons of virtue to the Campus, while firing instructor Nicholas Winset, and barring him from their Campus?

    Clearly Instructor Winset ran into an anti-gun mindset at this campus. Instructors were told to discuss the events on the VT campus. He did and got fired. I hope he is able to find a very good lawyer quickly.

  2. Hm, this isn’t the whole story.

    I saw the CNN interview.

    He wasn’t trying to make a point about gun control.

    His point was that he didn’t think it was a tragedy or even a big deal.

    He made light of it.

    It’s not a case of academic freedom.

  3. wayne martin says:

    Nicholas Winsett has recorded a self-interview on You-Tube–





    Much of his self-interview is about issues such as victimization, guns and affiliated topics.

    > His point was that he didn’t think it was
    > a tragedy or even a big deal.


    He was barred from the Campus for “incivility”, though?

    > It’s not a case of academic freedom.

    Hmmm .. not certain exactly what “academic freedom” is .. but this would certainly seem to be a place where such a concept does not exist.

  4. The article on armed resistance is compelling, and makes me reconsider my belief that it is safer to control loose firearms in the population. Is there any way to calculate the trade-offs? It would be a complex calculation with the following variables: the number in murders of passion or opportunity that results from reckless individuals having a gun in their hands when they are arguing, committing a burglery, or interacting with a rival gang. This number should decrease with strict gun control. The number of children killed while playing with improperly stored firearms, this number should decrease with strict gun control but could also be mitigated by education and licensing programs. The number of people killed by crazed mass murders on a shooting spree in a “gun free zone”, vs the number killed when concealed firearms are common and an armed response is likely. Do the mass murderer deaths outweigh the deaths from passion/opportunity/accidents? What other variables are in this equation, like education or licensing programs, if such could be made acceptable to pro-gun groups? Guns would still be out there, even with strict gun control laws: who would have them, and who would not?
    Thank you for this thought-provoking article.