‘Cowboy up,’ campus conservatives

Stop whining and “cowboy  up,” David French tells campus conservatives and Christians, who complain that they’re “silenced” or “afraid” to express their views.  Students complain they’ll be ridiculed by their professors or attacked by their classmates if they speak up. French, formerly of FIRE and now director of the Alliance Defense Fund’s Center for Academic Freedom, tells students not to complain unless they’re facing real censorship.

. . .  here is what these folks are really saying: “There are many things that I value far more than my conservative (or, sadly, Christian) principles, including the regard of all my peers, the ease of my academic career, and feeling welcome and accepted during the Thursday-Sunday party circuit. Please change the university so that I can speak my mind without any cost or consequence.”

I have two words for these people: Cowboy up. . . . If you are afraid professors won’t grade you fairly, put them to the test and respond appropriately if their bias manifests itself (you’ll be surprised how well you might do). If you don’t think people will like you, grow a thicker skin and see what happens. I still have dear lefty friends from my law school days, and I never pulled any punches in my conversations with them (and still don’t). But, above all. Stop whining. Please.

Nobody has the right not to be offended, writes Erin O’Connor at Critical Mass.

Yes!

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Comments

  1. Yes!

    I had a graduate course (I should have known it would be trouble – Education & International Politics) where the professor was a bigot and heavily leftist and anti-American. Although most of the class disagreed with her, only myself and 1 white male (who received most of her scorn) spoke up. After a couple of days, even the break-time conversations dwindled. Far from enhancing the interaction between the members of the class, her openly biased outlook froze the conversation – most were too afraid of a lowered grade, or ridicule during class. God forbid that they be called the “r” word (racist – although she also disdained Republicans).

    It’s not worth shutting down to get the grade. In fact, I only lost a slight bit – I got a B in the class, the only one in my graduate transcript. I point to it proudly, as the price of speaking my mind.

  2. Donalbain says:

    The poor hard done by Christians. When will they ever get a break?
    Still, if they hang in there, they might one day break through the barriers and one day a Christian might hold the office of President in the USA.

  3. Donalbain…there are plenty of conservatives & libertarians who are not Christians.

    Why do so many “progressives” find it necessary to stereotype their political opponents in obviously-incorrect ways?

  4. I think the article is basically good but glosses over the difference between “not invited to good parties” and “loss of grade”. I consider the latter to be de facto censorship, using the power of an institution to punish speech. Recommendations are a grey area, but because those are optional not as serious as grades.

  5. Margo/Mom says:

    Personally I have always found the best antidote to be doing good work. I have pulled A’s from profs with whom I disagreed, and never felt a need to hush up. On the other hand, I have shared classroom space with others who tried to cover their deficiencies with elaborate accounts of the ways in which some set of majority (or minority) beliefs was keeping them from being able to perform their research, or do their work, or speak their mind.

    Democracy never was easy.

  6. Also, if someone is scared to express his opinions in a college environment, how will he behave when the stakes are much higher?

    See my post conformity kills.

  7. I don’t know if it is that simple. Four years ago, there was an incident on my campus where a student did not immediately answer when asked if she vote for Kerry after the election. The student she was talking to slapped her across the face. Christian students regularly get insulted in class by faculty and other students, and heterosexual students have been called “breeders” during class discussions in required courses (and no, the instructor didn’t do anything about it or explain that such insults are unacceptable — the student who used the term is oppressed after all). At some point, expecting students to make themselves targets isn’t reasonable. It isn’t a lot better for conservative faculty.

  8. Sharon McEachern says:

    At first when I saw your headline suggesting conservatives “cowboy up,” it made me think of the conservative Texans who made it legal for teachers to carry guns into their classrooms. This was back in September. Does anyone know how that’s going, heard anything new?

    If you need to remind yourself about this horrible decision, you can read:

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/2008/09/texas-teachers.html.

  9. The last time I was called “breeder,” I responded by calling the individual “evolutionary dead end.”

    I’ve never felt a need to keep silent in class. Then again, my usual contribution was asking progressives to explain their positions with logic rather than emotion. When asked to do likewise, I usually complied, and then explained that I hate politicians no matter what their stripe, and that realpolitik always made things worse.

  10. Richard Aubrey says:

    So, Sharon, what’s the problem.

    Law enforcement reviewed mass shootings. Turns out the perps offed themselves at the FIRST sign of resistance. So the cops have a doctrine of first on scene charges in. Waiting costs an average of several lives per minute.
    If some of the folks already there are armed, it’s over much faster with fewer dead.
    Other than that guns are icky, what’s the problem?

  11. Maybe if it was such a horrible decision Sharon, we’d be hearing a lot more about it… like all those poor dead little children shot by their maniacal conservative Republican teachers.

    Unless… maybe… just maybe… people who legally own guns deserve a little more credit than that.

  12. I think that MOST faculty members in fact bend over backwards to be fair to students with whom they disagree. I have known a few profs who openly admitted that they punished students for ideological differences, and so far, they have all been leftists. On the whole, though, most students don’t have much to worry about.

    The same cannot be said for young faculty. Unless they are very sure of tolerant colleagues, they had best keep their heads down until they have tenure.

  13. Andy Freeman says:

    If McEachern’s concerns had any basis in reality, she’d have been able to cite actual problems that occurred during the hundred or so years when teachers and students took guns to school. After all, the ban that she’s defending is relatively new.

    Yet, she couldn’t.

  14. Margo/Mom says:

    Andy:

    Of course, being able to cite problems during that hundred or so years (which years? which states? what was the prevalence? how many guns per school?), would assume that someone was keeping statistics. Were they?

    But, speaking of stats, here are some from the U of Michigan Health System website:

    “When researchers studied the 30,000 accidental gun deaths of Americans of all ages that occurred between 1979-1997, they found that preschoolers aged 0-4 were 17 times more likely to die from a gun accident in the 4 states with the most guns versus the 4 states with the least guns. Likewise, school kids aged 5-14 were over 13 times more at risk of accidental firearm death in the states with high gun ownership rates. The findings indicate that gun availability is associated with accidental death by shooting.”

    Now–this does not equate to causality. There may be something in the water in those high ownership states that both causes high rates of ownership AND loony-tunes gun toting practices. But, I would still consider it a red flag if I were considering a policy to put guns in schools.

    But back to the question at hand. Chem Prof–face slapping is an assault, no matter who does it or why. To my knowledge there are no free speech protections associated with it. I have attended a good many college classes, as a Christian, and I cannot recall a single incident in which I, or anyone else was insulted by faculty or students–or that it was ever a topic of discussion. Just my .02 worth. I have probably endured greater slings an arrows on this blog for articulating a liberal, or parent oriented, or disability consious point of view. I get lumps from teachers all the time. Because we disagree. That’s the way it goes.

    I would suggest that anyone in charge of a classroom who doesn’t intervene if students are being called “breeders” (or faggots, or the simple mis-application of “gay” to mean substandard–as frequently heard from school-age kids), is amiss not to direct the discourse to a higher level of examination than name calling.

  15. Alright I’m going to participate in a thread hijack:

    “When researchers studied the 30,000 accidental gun deaths of Americans of all ages that occurred between 1979-1997, they found that preschoolers aged 0-4 were 17 times more likely to die from a gun accident in the 4 states with the most guns versus the 4 states with the least guns. Likewise, school kids aged 5-14 were over 13 times more at risk of accidental firearm death in the states with high gun ownership rates. The findings indicate that gun availability is associated with accidental death by shooting.”

    (1) Normalizing accident rates against each other (17 times as likely, etc.) destroys all information about the absolute number of gun deaths. For instance in 2000, 174 children (0-18 year olds) died in accidental shootings in the US (http://www.childdeathreview.org/causesAF.htm). That same year, 1610 children (0-17) were murdered with firearms (http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/194609.pdf). That’s an order of magnitude difference with murder being dominant.

    (2) The rates of accident death does correlate to availability. However violent crime rates do not positively correlate to availability. In fact statisticians like John Lott have argued that they inversely correlate to availability. This is because low civilian firearms availability skews the balance of power towards criminals. In other words, it makes honest citizens easier targets.

    (3) Now if you want to reduce total gun death in children (or any population), what should you do? Do you want to reduce availability in order to reduce accidental deaths or do you want to encourage it (or at least remain neutral to it) in order to reduce violent deaths which are the dominant form of firearms mortality?

    As for the main gist of the article, I wrote a fairly conservative-themed term paper for class in American Religious history taught by a fairly liberal history professor. He gave me an A because he said it was well argued and well supported. But he was an open-minded guy. Some of my friends who took similar religious-themed classes fared poorly with less open-minded professors.

  16. Margo/Mom says:

    Mr. Baptist:

    The American Pediatric Association has a much more complete set of data and analysis regarding gun ownership and injuries to children: http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics%3b105/4/888. One factor that must always be considered in pumping up the gun factor for protection is the likelihood of being confronted by the berserk shooter. Incidents of school shootings are actually miniscule, statistically–albeit tragic and shocking when they do occur. But the over-reaction of arming teachers–thus increasing the likelihood of not only accidental injury or death, but also of homicide or suicide–must be weighed against this statistical likelihood. We may have limited control about guns in our communities–but we have far more control with regard to the guns in our homes and schools. The fact that they are purchased only for protection does not guarantee that they will only be used that way. Guns tend to change hands rapidly and easily. Arming the good guys just seems to up the ante all around.

  17. Margo/Mom,

    I agree, to a point. Those who are not prepared to use the gun in their own defense are liable to get it taken from them and used on them, with the bad guy keeping it afterward.

    However. Past that point, I disagree. Guns are not the cause of violence. Nor are they the cause of suicide. They will not go off by themselves.

    And where guns and children are concerned, most people just disobey simple gun safety rules. It’s up to each parent to lock their guns up and teach their children the rules: if you see a gun, stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult. When they’re old enough, teach them how to handle guns safely.

    It’s odd that people who think abstinece-only sex ed doesn’t work expect that abstinece-only gun education will.

  18. Margo/Mom says:

    I know of two cases locally in which guns owned by police officers (their own personal weapons) were stolen. Those are the ones that I know of–because the guns showed up in the commission of crimes. But they had changed hands so many times (one over the course of only a few days), that the trail was completely lost.

    I am quite sure that in the district that opted to allow teachers to bring guns to school it is up to the teachers to ensure that they are properly locked and stored, just as it is the responsibility of school bus drivers to ensure that all the children get off the bus. But not a school year goes by that we don’t hear of several incidents of children being left on buses.

    Again–you gotta weigh the benefits of being able to confront an armed intruder in the highly unlikely event that one enters the school–against the very real likelihood that someone will be less than perfect in their ability to maintain a strict separation between guns and children and that something very bad will happen: either an accident from a tempted youngster, or an immature judgement that results in homicide or suicide–because that immature person had access to a gun.

  19. Well, on a college campus, remember you’re dealing with a lot of young people in the late stages of adolescence. Everything is a drama. If a professor disagrees with them, they’re being “silenced,” etc.

    Not to say it doesn’t happen, but I hardly think it is a huge crises. I’ve been to a number of different universities in different areas of the country, taken all kinds of classes, and expressed all kinds of strong opinions contrary to those of the instructors’, and I’ve never noticed any repercussions at all.

    French is right: quit the whining.

  20. Dick Eagleson says:

    Margo/Mom,

    The American Pediatric Association has, like most medical societies, long since been captured by left-wing idealogues as part of the “long march through the institutions” that has been under way since the 1960’s. The AMA and the American Psychological Association are two other groups with activist leadership cadres that routinely use their organizations as platforms to push left-wing agenda items – not infrequently anti-gun in nature – unrelated to their core areas of competence.

    Even prestigious medical journals are infected with these fifth-columnists peddling various forms of pernicious nonsense under cover of putative professional expertise. The Journal of the AMA has embarrassed itself this way on several occasions by publishing pseudo-research paid for by doctrinaire anti-gun organizations such as the Joyce Foundation. In a somewhat related incident, the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet published a truly ludicrous piece of alleged “research” purporting to prove that the U.S. military had killed a million Iraqi civilians in the first year of the Iraq War. This piece of tripe was subject to no real peer review before publication, was rushed into print just before the 2004 U.S. presidential elections with the obvious intent of influencing same, and has been thoroughly debunked since by honest researchers in several countries. Doctors have no relevant expertise in analyzing problems of societal violence superior to those possessed by the ordinary citizen, but that does not prevent the ideologically motivated and dishonest among them from continuing to hijack the credibility of legitimate organizations to peddle their pet bits of propaganda.

    I live in Los Angeles. The gun deaths of small children in this part of the world are due almost exclusively to the depredations of the neo-tribal street gangs that have become endemic here over the past 40-odd years. California has had no significant change in its quite restrictive concealed carry laws during this time. The rate of such killings, while still, lamentably, not zero, is much lower than it was 20 years ago. The main reason for this decline was the passage and enforcement of a so-called 3-strikes law that required mandatory life sentences without parole upon a third felony conviction. Controlling criminals is a proven method of controlling gun violence.

    Unfortunately, those of your general political persuasion fought 3-strikes tooth and nail and still make periodic efforts to water it down or repeal it. It was only passed because California has an initiative process that allows citizens to bypass the leftist dinosaurs in the state legislature when they obdurately block needed legislation.

    As to school shootings, yes, they are statistically rare, but there have, nonetheless, been enough of them to allow objective study and for some conclusions to be drawn. Mr. Aubrey summarized these rather concisely above. Prompt resistance at the point of initiation is the major factor in limiting or eliminating the deaths of innocents in such incidents. Police departments accept this research-based conclusion and have modified their tactical doctrines to match.

    Against these realities you posit the “real likelihood of not only accidental injury or death, but also of homicide or suicide” – by which I take it that you believe such a probability to be so high as to way more than negate any putative positive effects of even sparse concealed gun carry by teachers or other school staff. I have no doubt that you believe this to be true. Liberals tend, in my experience, to believe quite sincerely in all sorts of things that are demonstrably nonsense and to be exceedingly reluctant to acknowledge error in such matters. I will simply observe that comparable predictions of widespread mayhem, “blood in the streets,” “a return to the Wild West,” etc., have been made by your ideological fellow travelers every time concealed carry permit liberalization was up for consideration in any of the 20-odd U.S. states that have adopted same over the past 20 or so years. In every case the liberal crepe-hangers were proven quite wrong. The weight of experience and legitimate research, thus, strongly suggest your fears of widespread tragedy in the corridors of education should school staff be permitted voluntary concealed carry of personal firearms will prove comparably illusory.

  21. Andy Freeman says:

    > Of course, being able to cite problems during that hundred or so years (which years? which states? what was the prevalence? how many guns per school?), would assume that someone was keeping statistics. Were they?

    We’re talking nationwide upto the late 1950s and later in many places, so yes, “they” were tracking murders and the like.

    The “gun free school zones” act was passed in 1990. In some communities, it meant that kids had to go home after hunting in the morning.

    It’s unclear how kids getting killed at home has any relevance to the question of whether arming teachers is a bad idea.

  22. Andy Freeman says:

    > Incidents of school shootings are actually miniscule, statistically–albeit tragic and shocking when they do occur. But the over-reaction of arming teachers–thus increasing the likelihood of not only accidental injury or death, but also of homicide or suicide–must be weighed against this statistical likelihood.

    “over-reaction” is a conclusion. Let’s look at the data.

    School shootings are a relatively recent phenomena. They basically started in the 80s, when “legal guns” were becoming rare on campus.

    We’ve yet to see any evidence of accidents, suicide, or murders associated with said legal guns.

    Thus the actual correlation/trend is “fewer legal guns, more school shootings”.

    Care to go with “correlation is not causation”? Or, are you going with “teachers having guns causes other folks to do bad things other places”?

    One of the more fascinating bits of gun control research came from the Rochester youth study. It found that kids who were introduced to guns by parents and authority figures used them differently than kids who “learned on the street”. Both groups were just as likely to “get into trouble”, but the folks who learned about guns from parents and authority figures were far less likely to use guns criminally than the ones who learned elsewhere.

    Which leads to today’s question. Suppose we were pretty sure that “with gun” safety education in school reduced crime, accidents, etc. Would Margo/Mom support it? (Note – she doesn’t get to assume that they don’t – that’s another argument.)

    On the assumption that Margo/Mom would oppose with gun safety education even if it reduced with-gun problems, I’ll ask why? (That opposition tells us that crime and the like aren’t the basis for her position.)

  23. Andy Freeman says:

    BTW – I slightly misstated the results of the Rochester Youth Study.

    The comparisons were between two groups – learn from parents/authority figures and everyone else.

    Every kid in the “learn from parent/authority figure” group had knowledge/experience. The gun crime rate for that group was the fraction who went bad with guns. The crime rate was the fraction who went bad, gun or not.

    Some fraction of the “everyone else” group didn’t ever learn about guns. However, they were still counted for the denominator of the “everyone else” group along with the ones who learned elsewhere. The numerator for that group’s gun-crime rate are the ones who both learned elsewhere and went bad with guns. The numerator for that group’s crime rate is the ones who went bad, gun or no gun.

    In short, the larger the fraction who didn’t learn at all, the larger the benefit of teaching by parents/authority figures with respect to guncrime. (As I said, parents teaching kids about guns seemed to have no effect on whether they went bad, just whether they used guns when they did.)

    I mention that to point out how the groups were defined so we don’t end up inventing scenarios that don’t reflect reality.

  24. I don’t know if the US Secret Service has already been implicated in some giant left wing conspiracy, but they have a pretty thorough of 25 years of “targetted” incidents of school violence (shootings). They include recommendations, in conjunction with the US Department of Education (although I am sure someone will find fault with THEIR objectivity). Oddly, none of their recommendations is supportive or arming teachers (or anyone else on campus), but rather moves in the opposite direction. They also point out that most incidents are VERY short (less than five minutes) and not brought to an end by law enforcement (or shooting), but by other preventive measures applied within the school (lockdowns, etc).

    http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/Sections/NEWS/PDFs/061002_Safe_Schools.pdf

  25. Donalbain from the UK says:

    Err.. the article refers to Christians. That is why I did.

  26. Andy Freeman says:

    > They also point out that most incidents are VERY short (less than five minutes) and not brought to an end by law enforcement (or shooting)

    Since the law enforcement procedure that the SS recommended was “wait until the response team has evaluated the situation”, it’s not surprising that law enforcement hasn’t brought any school shooting incidents to an end. However, it is fair to point out that five minutes doesn’t give police much time to show up AND do something useful. (Five minutes will never be enough time to get a response team on scene. It’s barely enough time for the closest officer to arrive.)

    However, teachers don’t have to show up – they’re already there.

    We do have a couple of incidents that were stopped. One involved unarmed students who rushed the gunman. The others involved armed teachers. At least one was threatened with being fired for his trouble.

    > rather moves in the opposite direction

    It has illegal to shoot kids at school for a long time. We don’t have to theorize about the effect of a law forbidding guns at school – we’ve seen that such laws did not stop folks who wanted to shoot kids from doing so.

    The law did disarm folks who have stopped such incidents.

    I think that stopping such incidents is a good thing. Does Margo/Mom have any incidents where her fears were realized?

    Let’s get scientific. What evidence would Margo/Mom accept as suggesting that allowing teachers to be armed was a good thing? (Note – I’m not asking if such evidence exists. I’m asking whether her position is falsifiable.)

    I’ll be happy to answer the analogous question. I think that actual incidents such as the ones that Margo/Mom has expressed concern about (teachers going rogue, teachers losing control of guns, teachers missing attackers and shooting students, etc) would be evidence against allowing teachers to be armed. In addition, if there was some amount of “arming” yet teachers didn’t stop any incidents, I’d take that as evidence against allowing teachers to be armed.

    Note the word “actual” – we can imagine lots of things, but it’s important to distinguish between the ones that happen and the ones that don’t. Past experience is no guarantee of the future, but ….

    I’ve often heard the argument “if it protected one child, it would be worth it”. Does that argument apply to a teacher protecting said child by using a gun?

  27. Richard Aubrey says:

    Andy.
    Ref yr. last question: No. Guns are icky.

  28. Andy:

    Near as I can tell, the hypothesis that you are proposing is that armed teachers provide a protective factor that outweighs any risk that may be associated with the introduction of guns into schools. And you seem to asking me what sort of evidence that I would accept that this is the case. It really isn’t up to me to set a new standard of evidence. There are already commonly accepted standards for research and scientific validity. Just as an example of the way that they apply, the FDA has set the following expectations for health care claims of products:

    The standard of scientific validity for a health claim includes two components: 1) that the totality of the publicly available evidence supports the substance/disease relationship that is the subject of the claim, and 2) that there is significant scientific agreement among qualified experts that the relationship is valid.

    There is a whole lot more explanation than that on their site: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/SSAguide.html. But the FDA didn’t invent this stuff. They are merely applying the culmination of a number of best practice agreements deriving from the agreement of researchers, ethicists, legal experts, etc. over time.

    So, in this case, I–or someone else–would look for a preponderance of evidence and general agreement from qualified experts. I have offered the opinions–based on evidence, from two sets of qualified experts: Pediatricians and the Secret Service. One might look further into research from other law enforcement or public health experts, both in the US or in other countries.

    That is–if the concern for validating one’s opinions is a serious one. If on the other hand, if the attempt is merely to shout down the opposition, or to sling red herrings (“guns are icky”)–well, that’s where this blog started out, isn’t it?

  29. Richard Aubrey says:

    Margo. Neither of the sources you cite has anything to do with armed teachers.
    With proper legislation, one could, theoretically, allow for armed teachers even in a strongly anti-gun state. There is no necessary connection between gun ownership and a law that allows for armed teachers.
    We do have some evidence. Two situations were cited, one with an armed principle–Pearl, MS, I believe–and another when some gun-savvy kids heard the firing pin go down on an empty chamber and jumped the guy. Kip Kinkle.d There was a law school in which an armed student stopped a shooter.
    And there was a case in PA where a teacher got shotgun from his car to stop a potential shooter. Dan Blather referred to that as “detained” without reference to the gun.
    You need to find cases where legally carrying teachers and school staff were involved in some shooting, other than stopping one.
    I say the issue is that guns are “icky” because you bring up irrelevancies as if they are on point. You wouldn’t do that if you were actually interested in the issue.

  30. Margo/Mom says:

    Richard:

    One source involves data (as opposed to anecdotes) about the presence of guns in an environment where children are present. The other involves recommendations for the prevention of school shootings, based on a study of shootings that did occur in schools and an analysis of commonalities in the situation–particularly those factors which might have warranted preventive action.

    The status of research into the effectiveness of any gun legislation on criminal outcomes (such as killings) is very limited–very few studies of high enough quality to warrant conclusions–on one side or the other. I would want to be very careful to guard against over-reactions that take us far afield into untested and potentially very lethal waters in order to protect against a statistically very small risk.

  31. Andy Freeman says:

    > And you seem to asking me what sort of evidence that I would accept that this is the case. It really isn’t up to me to set a new standard of evidence. There are already commonly accepted standards for research and scientific validity.

    Those standards have to do with the reliability of the evidence, not its “character”, which is what I asked about.

    We previously found out that Margo/Mom (incorrectly) thinks that “we used chemicals” is doing science. Now we find that she also thinks that “listening to scientists” is doing science. Again, she’s wrong.

    > two sets of qualified experts: Pediatricians and the Secret Service.

    What makes pediatricians or the secret service “qualified experts”?

    Pediatricians treat diseases in children. School shootings are not a disease. The Secret Service protects the president and addresses counterfeiting. While both involve carrying guns, so does hunting.

    Note that the Secret Service’s initial recommendation, wait until a response team arrives and plan an entrance, has been abandoned. (Since every school shooting has taken less time than it takes for a response team to arrive, does Margo really believe that their initial recommendation was an effective way to protect children?)

    > I would want to be very careful to guard against over-reactions that take us far afield into untested and potentially very lethal waters in order to protect against a statistically very small risk.

    I note that Margo/Mom supports other measures to “protect against a statistically very small risk”, so what makes allowing armed teachers different?

    How many years of teachers carrying without incident would constitute “testing”?

    Margo/Mom believes that teachers who carry present certain risks, that certain bad things would happen with significant frequency. I’ve merely asked for evidence supporting that claim. Heck – it would be nice if Margo could point to a single incident.

  32. Andy:

    I doubt that it matters what I offer up to you, as your mind is firmly convinced. However, since you prefer to dwell in the anecdotal–here are two quickies that I picked up from google. Mind you, the number of places that allow pistol packin’ teachers is quite small, as the world is a saner place than you would hope to promote. However I quick search brought up an accidental shooting by a legislator and former school principal and an accident that occured in the home of law enforcement personnel. My take is that the law enforcement personnel would have an equivalent amount of training to any provided to teachers in a gun permissive school situation (and a greater stake in protecting their own children than any that could ever be expected of a teacher in protecting their school charges). I would also judge that the former principal derives from the same basic stock (as regards intellect, training, etc) as teachers, and would have about the same amount of common sense and ability to adhere to rules with regard to the safety of firearms.

    Again–I don’t expect to change your mind.

  33. Sorry–forgot the links: http://waldo.jaquith.org/blog/2006/01/reid-gun-ga/
    http://stopourshootings.org/case_studies/casey_gillespie.html
    But, I have every faith that you will find a way to discount these as well.

  34. Andy Freeman says:

    > I doubt that it matters what I offer up to you, as your mind is firmly convinced.

    Note that Margo still hasn’t told us what kind of data would change her position. That’s a relevant question if we’re to treat this as a scientific issue instead of one of faith.

    I’ve answered the same question, and yet she thinks that my position is faith.

    > Mind you, the number of places that allow pistol packin’ teachers is quite small, as the world is a saner place than you would hope to promote.

    The US pre-1950 is small? Who knew.

    I note that police get into car accidents. Using Margo-logic, that means that teachers shouldn’t be allowed to drive to school.

    Of course, there is a relevant difference – we know that teachers do run into students (rarely, but it does happen). On the other hand, we still don’t have any instances of teachers doing bad things with guns.

    100 or so years of experience and yet Margo still can’t come up with any supporting evidence for her position.

    And, what do we do about the incidents where armed teachers have made the difference?

  35. Here’s another interesting anecdote. An 8 year old accidentally shot by an Uzi. At the hands of a police chief. At a training event at a sportsmans club. http://www.abc40tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=9739400

  36. Andy–I challenged you earlier to present relevant data from that 100 or so years. I did find a clipping from 1911 of a teacher accidentally shooting the guy running a shooting gallery (again, since you like anecdotes). But how many teachers were actually carrying guns to during that time? Who was tracking data on accidental (or otherwise) shootings in schools from that time? Come on–support your argument. What was the rate of accidents, of deadly violence. How did the schools with and without guns compare?

  37. Here’s a long list of police officers accidentally shot by other police officers: http://www.policeone.com/police/products/articles/116587/

    Incidentally–when you google teachers+accidental+shooting, a lot of pages that include those words in totally unrelated ways come up. Just a reminder of lots of other irresponsible things that happen at the hand of at least some teachers: duct taping kids to their chairs, sexual involvement, etc. These are not the majority of teachers–just a reminder of what reliance on anecdote gets you. And a bit of lingering doubt about whether ALL teachers ought to be entrusted with duct tape, let alone guns.

  38. In Utah–where I understand teachers are not prohibited from bringing guns to school, a man accidentally shot and killed a toilet http://www.sltrib.com/ci_11454021?IADID=Search-www.sltrib.com-www.sltrib.com He was licensed to carry.

    Andy–this is too much fun, but I really have to move on. You can carry on by yourself, if you wish.

  39. Andy Freeman says:

    I note that Margo still hasn’t produced any incidents involving teachers at schools.

    Yes, teachers outside of schools do dumb things. If that’s the standard, then I’ll repeat my observation that Margo has no problems with teachers driving to school even though we know that teachers driving to school have killed and injured students and there’s no benefit to students from teacher’s driving to school. (The principal’s car suffices for any emergency transportation.)

    So, here we have a case where the cost/benefit is worse than that of teachers carrying. If it’s all about the cost/benefit, then surely Margo is at least as interested in requiring teachers to park a block or so away.

    What? She doesn’t care about greater risks? She only cares about guns?

    Who knew.