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 (146)

  • edbytes

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    Hoplophobes assume the a man without a gun is unarmed, peaceful and harmless. There are no dangerous weapons only dangerous men. This professor has obviously never had a poke in the nose for saying some nonsense like for example that guns don’t really protect you and you obviously lose control if you have a gun.
    Robert Heinlein said An armed society is a polite society although Thomas Jefferson may have agreed.
    When a right is denied it becomes a privilege.

    Reply

  • David Emery

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    Yet another insane liberal.

    Reply

  • Festus

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    OK, so here’s the plan: Forget working on the media, dimocrats, etc. and stick to supporting legislators, administrators and governors who have reasonable views on firearms and the guts stand behind their beliefs by trusting those who lawfully carry a firearm! If those goals were to be met, many of the chicken little professors, administrators, students and others who are part of the current problem with “higher” education would leave for Berkeley, Harvard, Columbia and other loon institutions. Send your kids to schools that treat gun owners with respect and want to enhance, not diminish, their rights! Problem solved.

    Hey, it’s working in Kansas!

    Reply

  • Ostlander

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    G’driddance. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way to Massachusetts professor.

    Reply

  • Barbara Fee

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    In a way i can understand Professor Cowardlys response to guns.
    Thanks to public education with “higher education” at for forefront, the pussification of American youth with emphasis on young men has been destroying America since the 1960s.
    Why should students be trusted with guns when they cant get the most basic laws of biology right?
    Its too complicated for teachers and students to understand there are only TWO genders, male and female, so it’s no wonder guns are the ultimate in “mysterious” and “evil”. Well beyond the ability of college age people to understand let alone operate with any type of responsibility.
    No I say. NO! Students have a responsibility to be victims.
    Could you imagine if students at UC Berkeley had concealed carry permits when they were violently assaulted by cowardly thugs over a speaker they didnt like? My God they could have stopped the violence, saved property from being destroyed and worse yet would have allowed an opinion that they disagreed with to be heard.
    We cant have that!

    Reply

  • Aardvark

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    I would like to see the evidence of the professors claims about not being able to have a great university if concealed carry is allowed (he quit, so now that university is destined to fail?), or how campus carry is a failure, or how the students that might carry have no training, or how concealed carry has done nothing to quell active shooter situations (how would he know if a potential active shooter decided not to go to that university because he knew students might be armed?). This guy is making up all kind of assumptions based solely on his feelings. Good riddance!

    Reply

  • JohnE

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    He is well within his rights to run away to perceived safer places. Kansas is lucky to get rid of such a closed minded individual. Professors should allow all points of view to be expressed.

    I find it interesting that he states Conceal and carry is a failure yet all the facts show the oppisit. He also states school shootings are on the rise yet there are to few to have enough to be statistically significant and 99% of schools are dangerous gun free zones. Has there been a shooting on a campus the permits guns. People like this professor need to start questioning the retoric they get from our propoganda new media and dig for the real truith.

    Reply

  • Bob H

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    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Maybe it would be best for all if all colleges allows Concealed carry and we could drive all the ” best trained professors necessarily means recruiting from coastal areas and progressive college towns” out of all schools.

    Reply

  • davud

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    i find it ironic that the writer attacks the professor’s character in defense of ‘honest’ debate.

    Reply

    • Mike in Flag

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      Calling him “gun phobic” is not an attack as much as a true description.

      Reply

    • Aardvark

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      The professor showed his narcissistic attitude in his statements. The writer is perfectly justified in “attacking the professors character”, as you put it.

      Reply

    • SDN

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      Can’t attack what the professor ain’t got.

      Reply

    • buurga

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      What is ironic about it? Honest debate is merely obstructing another point of view. It has nothing to do with what the view is.

      Reply

    • Lou Newton

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      How about this assistant Professor attacking the intelligence of all of Kansas stating they certainly can not provide teachers of his caliber without getting them from out of state. One does not have to attack this mans character, his own arrogance does the job. His own letter reveals a man who I would not want to teach any of my children.

      Reply

    • frett

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      How did he attack his character?

      Reply

    • ThomasD

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      I fail to see anywhere in the writer’s comments an “attack on the professor’s character”. If anything, the professor is attacking the character of every law abiding student who decides to carry for self defense. Instead of running away from the school he taught at, the professor should have created an educational program at KU to ensure the “untrained” students could get properly trained to handle active shooter situations.

      Reply

    • Greg Vossler

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      I see no evidence of an “attack on the professors’ character”. I did however see the author calling attention to the good doctor’s elitist explanation of why we concealed carry permit holders are just not bright enough to figure it out for ourselves.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ davud,

      Our actions define our character. When one’s actions become the very center of “honest” debate, only a fool claims such character to be off limits to scrutiny.

      Reply

    • Bo

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      @davud, I find it ironic that you did not recognize the irony in the article. As far as honest debate, the professor offers only dishonest platitudes and cliches tossed about by the noble learned elite (NOTE: IRONY here) which bear no resemblance to the truth. And don’t give me that different people can find different truths. Truth is black and white; it is either true or false, much as woman cannot be a little bit pregnant. Mixing truth with a lie will still ultimately be a lie.
      Now, to go back more than 45 years, to the days when I was in the Army doing SAR and recon, we had a little book called the Ranger Handbook. And, if memory serves me correctly, it had a chapter (or more, I have slept since then) on setting up an ambush to ruin the bad guys’ day. You looked for a site that offered the maximum potential for casualties and minimum cover for protection or resistance. Those areas exist today in our society and are sanctioned by our government as GUN FREE ZONE. And every mass shooting in the US (of which I am aware) happened in a GUN FREE ZONE! Coincidence? I think not!
      Einstein is rumored to have said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The more the people seek refuge in GFZ’s, the more people die. The more people ban guns, the more people die. In fact, look at the crime statistics in all of the major cities in the US with Gun Control laws. Is there any of them that have low crime rates? Uh, that would be a resounding not no, but no to the Hell NO!
      I could go on but you get my drift. To all of you who served or are active duty now, thank you for your service. It is different now than when I came home those many years ago. We owe you all a debt that too many do not understand (Many of those are in the VA but that is an entirely new topic that I will not belabor.)

      Reply

  • bear59801

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    Jacob D: don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. And don’t come back.

    Reply

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