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 (145)

  • G-Man

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    After reading other comments I’d like to address the couple of dissenters and fence riders to challenge you folks to think this all the way through to its logical conclusion.

    First let me just get two things out of the way to set the platform: 1.) There is no way we will ever be free of the evil men do; and 2.) There is no question that the Constitution protects every single eligible and law abiding U.S. citizen’s right to carry a firearm.

    Those certain dissenters that disagree completely that there should be a Second Amendment don’t even qualify to engage in this conversation.

    So those that remain must be the half-measured dissenters which partially agree with the Second Amendment and for unknown reasons somehow think they make the world safer by placing limitations on the protections it was intended to offer. So let us examine the lack of rational behind such infringements…

    Imagine for a moment that there was a constitutional amendment which guaranteed your right to wear protective equipment and goggles every time you used a woodchipper or band saw. But then I came along and infringed on your right by instituting my own subordinate laws which placed limitations on exactly how, when and where you could exercise your constitutional right to use your goggles for such protection.

    Or how about I said you can only have one protective lens over one eye but not the other (synonymous with magazine limitations). Well just as we non-dissenters feel about infringements upon the Second Amendment, I would think you all would pitch a fit and simply not stand for such ludicrousness where your eyesight, safety and a woodchipper are all concerned.

    So now that I’ve got you dissenting folks oriented properly against the adverse effects and undefended half-measures caused by your infringements, let us now move on to the causation behind your unwarranted fears to begin with:

    The safety offered by the Second Amendment applies anywhere in our country, for example: malls, parks, buildings, transit hubs and roadways just to name a few. There is no place that is any more or less subject to the evil people can bring into these places. Therefore there is absolutely no logic behind singling schools out as exclusively exempt from the protections guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

    So let’s ponder for a moment just how illogical it is to reduce one’s right to defend their self in one place, over that of another. A reasonable person would have to agree the entire concept looks absolutely preposterous; especially when your bans don’t even attempt to offer me additional security to replace that which you’ve stripped me of providing myself.

    So that just leaves one final point for examination, which is – the types of people that are actually in possession of the instrument you fear. Well, there are only 2 types of concealed carriers: those that want to kill you, and those that don’t want to be killed.

    So out of the sum of all those you fear carrying on campus, it turns out you only ever have to worry about the type that wants you dead. The problem is – your bans only remove guns from the law abiding half that never wanted to kill you in the first place. But that second half will ignore your laws and find their target anyway. There is no ban you could ever implement that would diminish that fact.

    The resounding flaw in your logic to ban concealed carry is the assumption that everyone will honor the mere words you’ve scribed on paper. Time and again you dissenters have been tragically proven wrong. No one actually believes a disturbed student hell-bent on blowing his class away has ever changed his mind simply because there is a ban on carrying the gun to do it with.

    And let me remind all you dissenters, there is a ban on murder too… yet we all see how that’s been working out.

    Reply

    • dprato

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      I agree with your position on the 2nd Amendment. I would only add that when any of us who in fact use common sense, logic and obey the law as written start to question the common sense, logic or failure to agree with the laws of the land of those who don’t a couple of things need to be kept in mind. Those folks don’t really care about common sense, logic or what the law says, period. They don’t care what you or I think whether we can substantiate our positions with facts or not. In my opinion, it is a total waste of time to even bother engaging them in any kind of intellectual discussion and we would be better off simply addressing one another than trying to engage them in an honest debate. I no longer waste my time trying to convince them of anything.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ dprato,

      I completely share your sentiment and have been tempted many times to toss in the towel as there are much better things we should all be spending our valuable time on.

      However, I encourage you to not do that. Because even though they may lack the intellect to comprehend our logic and wisdom to ever change their minds, our persistence to display it still serves to show them our strong will and resolve to never give in.

      I feel it is our intellectual attempts to consistently engage them no matter what – is what makes us their strongest opposition. And it is that opposition which keeps them at bay one argument at a time… one day at a time.

      But to sustain such an effective force against them requires every freedom-loving American to join that fight and engage them every chance we get.

      Reply

    • dprato

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      I do understand your point of view and i actually do engage them although somewhat less. I save it for the people who are being totally ridiculous and basically go with my gut feelings on who I should and should not respond to.
      After listening to the back and forth on the Trump post, it further convinced me that the “ongoing” conversation with people like Wood and the other guy whose name I have already forgotten was a total waste of time on the part of all of us because it was clear they both fit my previous description and no matter what anyone said they were going to disagree.

      I will continue to engage them but not endlessly as I did with the guy whose name I forgot. After the first two exchanges I told him to take a hike and when he tried to contact me again I just clicked him off and didn’t hear from him again.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ dprato,

      I’ll give you that one… cutting conversations with those “being totally ridiculous” is something I should do more often.

      Reply

  • Dragon

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    Every time I read or hear about some left-wing liberal going bananas over people exercising their Second Amendment rights, I am reminded that I once determined a pathological condition that explains why they are as they are. The condition is called CESDS…..Cerebral Electrochemical Synaptic Dysfunction Syndrome. It is essentially a pathology in which the thinking part of the brain…..the cerebrum…..cannot properly transmit the electrochemical nerve impulses across the gaps…..the synapses…..between the neurons or individual nerve cells. This condition is manifested with symptoms that include, but are not limited to, a complete failure to rationally and pragmatically form valid thoughts leading to valid conclusions.

    Reply

  • Mike in Flag

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    Seems like two wins to me. Students can be armed if they wish, and liberal elitist professors will leave.

    Reply

    • eagle

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      Yup, yup! 2 BIG wins!

      Reply

  • dave

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    ok, ccw for the 21 year old students. that makes the TEACHER look even more ANTI GUN and less bright than i realized. thank you sir.

    Reply

  • Mike

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    Beta male.

    Reply

  • dave

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    maybe i do not have the WHOLE PICTURE. what is the minimum age to own and carry in that state. i assumed 21 years old, like drinking. if it is only 18, i see a problem there. many 18 year old kids are VERY SCARY, if they are carrying. i still OBJECT to college teachers brain washing OUR kids, instead of teaching them to think and become adults. maybe i am out of touch, with the current civil discourse in our class rooms.

    Reply

    • Dave Dolbee

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      The age is 21 for CCW. The only exceptions would be those under 21 can carry at home, on their own land, or at their fixed place of business. ~Dave Dolbee

      Reply

  • dave

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    well, the good news is, HE will not be around to spread his ANTI GUN VIEWS, in front of people, who have the legal right to carry. the PROBLEM is HE thinks as an ELITIST. only HE sees the light shinning down the path of learning. perhaps being unemployed, for a while, might add to his knowledge, but that would be giving HIM credit for some CRITICAL THINKING. i wonder if he skipped that class, when he was a student.

    Reply

  • KTCarpentry

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    I will admit first, that I have not attended any state university, nor have I earned a degree. However, his arguments are ludicrous!
    Without progressive bastions on the coast, there would be​ no one intelligent enough to teach? I am so glad he deigned to lower himself enough to Grace the Midwest with his illustrious presence. And his facts on campus shootings is pitifully incorrect. I do not have the facts at my fingertips, but it seems to me that the overwhelming majority of mass shootings take place in gun free zones. As a non-tenured professor in a state school, he should be, at least capable, of doing a bit of research before climbing the pulpit. At least he got another job. Shouldn’t be difficult for a liberal college professor.

    Reply

  • Daniel

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    No question. Students should be allowed to carry concealed or openly. It is basically our Constitutional right, although I believe those who are mentally impaired should not carry. This professor needs to go back and study history, or perhaps go off to one of these “touchy-feely” schools and find his “safe space” and hide. Incidentally, the school shootings of recent news, would not have been so severe if a teacher/principal/security officer, had their weapon on their person.

    Reply

  • art

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    the safest place for men and women is appendix carry. concealed actions that come as a surprise is the safest way to carry you have more control over the gun. i have seen videos of guns being taken at the 4 to5 setting . they come up from behind and yank the pistol out and are gone.. i believe it is the easiest place to hide your gun also. of course you have to wear un-tucked baggy shirt, i mean blouse. your chest if you have good posture will keep the gun from printing. the holster should be hard sided and completely cover the trigger. if the gun does not come out of the holster it will not fire. when pulling the gun out keep your trigger finger straight and off the trigger, if you do not touch the trigger it won’t fire. when it comes time to holster it, do it very carefully and if possible take the holster off and put the gun in pointed in a safe direction.do let everyone know you are carrying is also a good idea.

    Reply

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