You Make the Call: Gun-Phobic Professor Quits Over Campus Carry

By Dave Dolbee published on in Concealed Carry, General, News

Who would have thought that simply passing campus carry at a state university could have such an effect? Although my daughter won’t be going to college for at least a decade, Kansas University is looking pretty good. I carry, and want my children to have the same option whether at home or college. However, at least one Kansas professor disagrees. His open letter makes some rather outrageous claims to supporters of the Second Amendment.

Students for Concealed Carry logo

The Backstory

In 2013, the Kansas Legislature passed legislation allowing lawful gun owners to carry concealed handguns on all Kansas university campuses and in campus buildings, beginning July 1, 2017. In order to be in compliance with state law, the Kansas Board of Regents approved its new weapons policy on January 20, 2016. This policy applies to all Regents institutions, but allows each university to determine some specific ways to implement the policy on their campuses. The Regents asked KU and the other institutions to submit their policies by October 2016.

After eight months of work—headed by its university-wide Weapons Policy Advisory Committee and two campus implementation committees—KU submitted its draft weapons policy to the Regents on October 10. The Regents governance committee approved its policy at the November board meeting. The policy was approved by the full board December 14, 2016.

And the Professor Who Can’t Handle It

Jacob Dorman: Why I’m resigning from KU, an Open Letter

In light of the state of Kansas’ apparent determination to allow the concealed carry of firearms in the classrooms of the University of Kansas, I am writing to tender my resignation effective two weeks from today as an associate professor of history and American studies at the university. I have accepted a job in a state that bans concealed carry in classrooms.

I proudly served as a KU professor for a decade, from 2007 until 2017, and have a great deal of affection and gratitude to the university, Lawrence and the state of Kansas. Kansas is a great and beautiful state that is refreshingly different than the coasts. I have enjoyed getting to know Kansans from all parts of the state as my students, neighbors and friends, and I’ve especially benefited from getting to know Kansans from rural communities where gun ownership and hard work are equally a way of life. But Kansas will never secure the future that it deserves if it weakens its institutions of higher learning by driving off faculty members or applicants who feel as I do that there is no place for firearms in classrooms. Kansas can have great universities, or it can have concealed carry in classrooms, but it cannot have both.

Associate Professor Jason Dorman

Associate Professor Jason Dorman

In practical terms, concealed carry has proven to be a failure. Campus shootings have become all too frequent, and arming students has done nothing to quell active shooter situations because students do not have the training to effectively combat shooters and rightly fear becoming identified as suspects themselves. But beyond the fact that concealed carry does not deter gun violence, the citizens and elected representatives of Kansas must recognize that this is a small state, and in order to run a premier university, which is necessary for the health and wealth of the state, it must recruit professors from out of state. Recruiting the best trained professors necessarily means recruiting from coastal areas and progressive college towns where most people do not believe that randomly arming untrained students is a proper exercise of the Second Amendment’s protection of a well-regulated militia.

Moreover, we discuss sensitive and highly charged topics in my classroom, concerning anti-religious bias, racism, sexism, classism and many other indexes of oppression and discrimination. Students need to be able to express themselves respectfully and freely, and they cannot do so about heated topics if they know that fellow students are armed and that an argument could easily be lethal. Guns in the classroom will have a chilling effect on free speech and hinder the university’s mission to facilitate dialogue across lines of division. That stifling of dialogue will hurt all students, including the ones with guns in their pockets.

Let us not let the NRA destroy the future of the state of Kansas with a specious argument about the Second Amendment. Guns do not belong in classrooms any more than they belong in courtrooms, but a university simply cannot afford metal detectors at every entrance. Kansas faces a very clear choice: does it want excellent universities with world class faculty, or does it want to create an exodus of faculty like myself who have options to teach in states that ban weapons in classrooms? Does Kansas want to reinvent itself as a center of innovation and prosperity, and attract the minds that will create the jobs that the state needs to be prosperous for the 21st century, or does it want third-rate universities that will not find the cures, patent the drugs, train the engineers, start the companies, or innovate the laws and social programs that will bring the state lasting prosperity and health?

This is the truly concealed question that faces Kansas’ citizens and legislators in the concealed carry debate. I hope for the sake of the future of the great state of Kansas that its Legislature will make the right decision and take a stand against weapons in classrooms, and in favor of excellence in education.

Kansas University blue and white logo

Conclusion

It is quite obvious the professor thinks quite highly of himself. Of course, how could Kansas, or any midwest state for that matter, ever hope to produce an intellectual of his caliber? “Recruiting the best trained professors necessarily means recruiting from coastal areas and progressive college towns…” And how about the absurd accusation that people cannot have an intelligent or honest conversation if there is the possibility of a student being armed? How many students are returning military with multiple combat tours? I mean, “randomly arming untrained students…” really? I suppose this means the people educated in coastal, ivy league universities are the product of schools that mold young minds instead of teaching them to actually think and reason for themselves.

You Make the Call

I’ll admit it; I’ve earned several degrees from a coastal schools, including some from liberal schools, including UCLA which Dorman also attended. However, before that, I did a couple of hitches in the military including time in the sandbox in the first Gulf War. So, what do you think? Should students be allowed to carry on campus? Is Prof. Dorman rightfully afraid to teach at KU, or just another gun hater? Was Thomas Jefferson correct when he said, “An armed society is a polite society” or would the potential presence of a firearm stifle open dialogue? Did the Jayhawks ranking just go up in your estimation?

Share your answers, as well as your opinion, on this this story and the author’s points in the comment section.

SLRule

Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (143)

  • B.R. Neeley

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    Why was my post disallowed? I used no profanity, didn’t attack anyone, what gives?

    Reply

    • Dave Dolbee

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      I do not see where any of your comments wee moderated for any reason. Please submit it again. ~Dave Dolbee

      Reply

  • BJ Snodgrass Jr.

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    I support campus concealed carry. It is a right and one that if taken away, will lead to all others being taken away. The colleges need to get back to being a institution of higher learning not a left leaning, snow flake, mommy’s boy not being able to contribute to society.

    Reply

  • Jerry

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    “My opinion is that only mature, trained and vetted students should be allowed to carry on campus. It should be an earned privilege though. That said, it is so easy for officialdom to politically bias evaluations”

    You might want to take a good look at the wording of the 2nd Amendment.
    There are NO “qualifiers” or “exceptions” in it, as to who CAN or CANNOT “keep and bear Arms”. AND, it is the “supreme Law of the Land”, (Article VI, Paragraph 2)

    Reply

  • CD

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    Interesting suggestions. Would you say a rape victim shouldn’t try to defend themselves because they haven’t been trained to do so?
    I agree training is good but the right to carry is just that. Under current law if they can carry off campus I see no reason not to carry on campus.
    When I was on a campus at night; it was a very dangerous place. Just off campus was much safer. Perhaps criminals know campus was full of defenceless people?
    I doubt anybody will miss this guy, except the next unlucky students who get stuck with a history professor who hasn’t learned from history.

    Reply

  • Robert Irwin

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    To the police officer(s) involved in this conversation. Whether you like campus carry or concealed/open carry or not, it’s here. Time and experience will tell us whether some civilians should not practice that right just like there are police who shouldn’t be officers carrying a firearm. Those that shouldn’t will be weeded out by their unlawful actions which will be prosecuted in our justice system. The large majority of LTC holders will carry lawfully and respond to threats responsibly. And officer, if you are attacked by a perp, LTC holders will be the most likely to respond and help you. Note recent situations in the news from Florida and I believe Oklahoma. In a dangerous society which is getting worse by the minute, the LTC holder is a definite deterrent and we are everywhere.

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Robert Irwin,

      I don’t think you are really speaking to anyone. From what I caught out of the anti-comments, only one post claimed to be law enforcement; and another post stated they were a member of school faculty (not even law enforcement). The latter claim was supposedly that most officers on his campus took issue with students carrying; a very questionable statement at best.

      With 35 years in law enforcement myself, my particular position affords me the opportunity to interact with literally thousands of officers and task forces at all levels across the nation. I can assure you the overwhelming majority of officers across our nation support the Second Amendment in all places.

      I will admit from time-to-time I have encountered the odd-ball small town department with a culture of anti-gun sentiment, but that is quickly explained away by their local politics and extreme nepotism in their hiring practices.

      So rest assured these two posts are insignificant, if true at all.

      Reply

  • Navy shooter

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    As that reporter did some months back, said professor will probably claim PTSD from the trauma……

    Reply

  • BJ Snodgrass Jr.

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    Totally disagree with the professor’s article, like the fact that he moved on. The faculty need to concentrate on their instruction of the school’s students, leave the business of concealed carry to the constitution. Don’t understand why schools refuse to embrace the constitution, have a firearms class, club, competition, etc. This country grew up with firearms as a normal part of life, need to get back to the basics.

    Reply

    • Ricochet007

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      Back to the basics is right, when there were fewer liberals and even fewer gun laws, crime rates were also lower, so for a conclusion that makes more sense the that of the professor, more liberals and more gun laws equal more crime. We can’t outlaw liberals, but if we got rid of the gun laws, maybe they’d be so scared they’d leave the country like he did Kansas and we’d all be better off for it.

      Reply

  • edbytes

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    Neil Gardner, an armed man, saved lives at Columbine.

    Reply

  • Chuckbone56

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    One of the responsibilities of a free people is self defense. My daughter is currently attending university and the girl is armed. She is aware that she is her first line if defense. My father was a policeman for thirty years in a large city and he taught me that if you are not armed at all times in all places you are stupid. He would know. Teaching your children to survive is the natural thing caring parents do. We live with wolves among us so raise your children to be like the sheepdog. Look like a sheep but fight like a wolf. Above all survive!

    Reply

    • wood

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      “Straw” Polls on the topic of guns on campus only inflame and already open wound on both the right and the left. A n d as G-man points out are Laws, that enable or disable the lawful carry of guns, are over turned by higher courts that is.GOOD.

      Unfortunately, it is “Without prejudice” OR ” with prejudice” and that makes for more and more litigation on guns and not focusing on wackows that get guns by league or illegal means.

      Reply

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