• Guns in the college classroom

    By Aeron Haynie August 11, 2011 11:48 am UTC

    On the same day that we learned recall elections did not give Democrats control over the Wisconsin state Senate, professors were informed that the recently passed concealed weapons law allows individuals to bring a “gun, electric weapon (e.g., taser), billyclub, and a knife other than a switchblade” onto college campuses.

    No, I am not making this up. On July 8, 2011 Governor Walker signed WI Act 35 into law, which allows concealed weapons in most public spaces: Excluded are police stations, prisons, courthouses and schools. Although the University of Wisconsin system requested that college campuses to be included in the list of gun-free zones, the (Republican-controlled) legislature "declined" to insert this provision. The university can, however, post signage at the entrance to buildings declaring guns prohibited.

    In an email from the University system faculty are advised that although we can “notify” students in our syllabi that guns are prohibited in our classes if we are teaching in a building where a sign is posted, we don't have the legal right, as individual instructors, to demand this.

    Really? Is this what we've come to in our state?

    Undoubtedly I will get numerous comments explaining why I’m actually safer now that it’s legal for me, as an instructor, to carry a gun.

    I’m not particularly interested in entering into debates with those think that campuses are appropriate places for deadly weapons.

    I am, however, interested in how we, as faculty, respond to continued attacks on our workplace, rights, and safety.

    Let’s go back to the results of the recent recall elections. Although many news media called the results of the recall elections a “failure” for Democrats, they were not. Previous to this week’s election, only two legislators have ever been recalled in Wisconsin history: that number has just doubled. The results of the recall election show the importance of organizing and working together.

    Although some doubt that momentum will carry over to the recall of Governor Walker, I say, just watch us.



Comments on Guns in the college classroom

  • Credentialed not Educated
  • Posted by Curious Cat , Marketing Director on August 11, 2011 at 4:16pm UTC
  • Interesting. No matter how educated one is, they still have a lot to learn. It is apparent that education does not rid one completely of silly notions and biases.

    Lastly, the professor is a poor spin artist. When unions, activist groups, and others pour more money into a recall election than the combined total of all monies spent in the general election and all it does is flip two seats [one of which was a gimme due to the politicians infidelities...which seat is likely to go back to republicans next year] then it is a big gigantic failure. No matter how you spin it. A lot of money was spent on making changes that have zero impact.

  • This changes everything
  • Posted by Ellen Rosewall , Associate Professor of Arts Management at University of Wisconsin - Green Bay on August 11, 2011 at 5:02pm UTC
  • Aeron, thank you for this insightful comment. I have to say my outlook toward teaching has changed profoundly during these past six months, as our right to collective bargaining has been taken away and now we are told that we do not have the right to ask students to come to school without weapons.

    I wasn't terribly concerned about the concealed weapons law until I heard a story about a wedding where the bride asked her family not to carry, and they refused, saying it was their right to bring concealed weapons anywhere, even a wedding, and nobody was going to take their rights away.

    I can't imagine why ANYONE would want to enter the teaching profession under the conditions we are facing. There are some who claim that the ultimate goal of these draconian provisions is to increase the ignorance, and therefore the gullibility, of the population. I don't doubt it.
  • Support your assertions.
  • Posted by AJPARRILLO , Assistant Professor at UWGB on August 11, 2011 at 6:30pm UTC
  • "Interesting. No matter how educated one is, they still have a lot to learn. It is apparent that education does not rid one completely of silly notions and biases."

    Though it appears that ad hoc attacks are the norm and this is just another case, I am willing to entertain an explanation. Please, expand with some evidence of "silly notions and biases." Support your assertions, Curious Cat...if that is your real name.