A University of Kansas professor resigned earlier this month ostensibly due to fear of the state’s new campus carry law, which is set to take effect at public universities on July 1.
Citing concerns about armed students discussing “sensitive and highly charged topics,” Associate Professor Jake Dorman published an op-ed in which he states that “Kansas can have great universities, or it can have concealed carry in classrooms, but it cannot have both.”
Kansas passed a law in 2013 that allowed anyone to carry a firearm in public buildings, but the law included a four-year exemption for universities. That exemption will expire on July 1, and Prof. Dorman doesn’t want to be around to see what happens.
In his column, Dorman chides his fellow Kansans for allowing campus carry, noting that in order for the state to run a “premier university” it must recruit professors 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.”
He believes that allowing students to carry firearms into the classroom will have a “chilling effect on free speech” as heated arguments could “easily” become “lethal.”
Strangely, Dorman doesn’t mention the evidence and examples of violence and bloodshed in other states that have allowed students to carry concealed weapons on campus. That’s likely because remarkably few students have shot their classmates or professors in the “heated arguments” Dorman fears. Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Tennessee, and Texas have all passed campus carry bills, and thus far the shrill warnings of the anti-gun lobby haven’t come to fruition.
Dorman argues that “concealed carry has proven to be a failure,” noting that “campus shootings have become all too frequent, and arming students has done nothing to quell active shooter situations.” He avoids naming specific instances because, again, there aren’t any.
Campus shootings still occur, of course, but no statistics exist for active shooter scenarios that never happen. We don’t know how many students have reconsidered murderous actions for fear of facing down an armed student who refuses to be a victim. Furthermore, campus shootings don’t occur regularly enough (thank goodness) to allow many opportunities for armed, law-abiding students to stop them.
Of course, Dorman may be leaving the university for which he feels so much “affection” for an entirely unrelated reason. He didn’t known until this month that the campus carry bill would survive efforts to overturn it, and three weeks usually isn’t enough time to secure a position at another university. He may be doing nothing more than attempting to secure some good-old-fashioned PR and score brownie points with the anti-gun administration at his new university.
Whatever the reason, next semester Prof. Dorman will be happily teaching rooms full of students who, if an active shooter situation does occur, will have absolutely no ability to defend themselves.