Anti-Gun Professor Won’t Pen Recommendation for Pro-Gun Student

There has always been a question of whether academia fosters an institutional hostility toward gun ownership. Well, if this anonymous post written by a professor is any indication, the answer is a resounding, “Yes, it sure does!”

Myrtle Lynn Payne, the pseudonym of the professor who wrote the article titled, “Guns, Pancakes, and Ambiguity” for the “The Chronicle of Higher Education,” makes it pretty clear that she is blinded by her anti-gun ideology when she acknowledges that she doesn’t want to give one of her students a recommendation because the young woman is an apparent firearms enthusiast.

Early on in the article, professor Payne describes her student, “Sarah.”

“Sarah” was a very nice young woman who turned up in one of my classes a year or so ago. Her academic abilities were not strong but she had great energy and was a class leader. Definitely a process, and not a content, type of gal. I did take special notice of her on the first day during a sharing activity we typically do at the beginning of my science lecture courses. Sarah shared that the most notable experience of her winter break was a visit to a gun range where she had fired an AK-47. I gave the usual “very good, moving on” response but was thinking, “Whoa, that’s disturbing.”

Apparently, exercising one’s constitutional right to keep and bear arms is disturbing. Who knew? I wonder if she thinks exercising other constitutional rights is also disturbing, e.g., attending a prayer breakfast or a public demonstration? My guess is the professor wouldn’t have an issue with those activities.

What is actually disturbing, though, is the ignorance of the professor. Consider what she says toward the end of the article. It’s astoundingly stupid.

She seems to be a good kid, Sarah. And I don’t know what she really thinks of gun advocacy and political failures that have cost us all these lives and our sense of safety as educators. I don’t know what she does on the weekends. I also don’t know if she understands emotions, or what real rage feels like. It seems to me no person who has truly experienced the full impact of their own emotions would ever go near a gun.

So what do I do? Do I write her a recommendation because I originally said yes? Do I say no and explain myself? Do I ignore her email?

First off, the insinuation that gun rights advocacy has “cost us all these lives” is insane. Plus, it’s factually not true. There has been a uniform reduction in gun homicides, property crime and violent crime since the expiration of the Clinton-Era ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ in 2004. As our lawful right to keep and bear arms was restored, albeit partially (the NFA still exists), the U.S. has actually become a safer place to live.

Of course, the drop in crime also coincides with another inconvenient development for anti-gunners, the expansion of liberalized concealed carry laws throughout the country. It is now easier to obtain a permit to carry than it’s ever been in modern times. And the result: crime is still down. Not up.

Second, I can’t think of a dumber statement one can make than this, “It seems to me no person who has truly experienced the full impact of their own emotions would ever go near a gun.” WTF! This statement implies that we’re all ticking time bombs just waiting to explode, that we have no agency, no ability to contain and control our emotions. Basically, we’re all homicidal, suicidal miscreants on the verge of exacting out our deepest darkest fantasies. That’s one helluva crazy assessment to make!

But suppose that were true for a moment. Then, one could argue that we should be forbidden to do all sorts of potentially dangerous activities, which means there ought to be prohibitions on everything from driving a car to chopping broccoli to skiing down a mountain. Any activity where we use a tool that can be wielded against ourselves or others ought to be off limits, at least according to the hoopleheaded reasoning of this professor.

What’s depressing is that Myrtle Lynn Payne is teaching the next generation. And she’s not alone. Don’t forget about Heidi Czerwiec, the University of North Dakota (UND) professor who has vowed to call 911 every time she sees ROTC cadets gathering on campus because it’s “highly inappropriate to conduct unnecessary military maneuvers in the middle of the quad.” Yup. These are the folks that are teaching your children.

While I hope that these two professors are the exception and not the norm, I’m doubtful that that’s the case. I think the observations of Georgetown University professor John Hasnas, a libertarian, are fairly accurate when it comes to the lack of ideological diversity in higher education. He wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:

In my experience, no search committee has ever been instructed to increase political or ideological diversity. On the contrary, I have been involved in searches in which the chairman of the selection committee stated that no libertarian candidates would be considered. Or the description of the position was changed when the best résumés appeared to be coming from applicants with right-of-center viewpoints. Or in which candidates were dismissed because of their association with conservative or libertarian institutions….

Predominantly liberal faculties identify merit with positions that are consistent with theirs, see little value in conservative and libertarian scholarship, and perpetuate the left-wing stranglehold on the academy.

When I look back at the professors I encountered in college, I’d have to agree with professor Hasnas. The majority were left-leaning, which in many cases but not all equates to anti-gun. So, the question is where does that leave us and future generations of gun owners? Shall we teach children and young adults to keep quiet about their involvement and active participation in the firearms community? Shall we tell them to omit such information from college applications?  Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, what can we do to change the anti-gun culture that exists in colleges and universities around the country?

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Paul Hillar May 5, 2016, 5:11 pm

    I was lucky enough when going through my senior year in High School, to have a fellow firearms and hunting enthusiast in my History Teacher. When we were studying The Revolutionary War,( they don’t do that now) we were to choose a subject to write a report on. I was lucky enough to find Revolutionary Firearms as a report subject. I was in HEAVEN! I made drawings, did in depth reports on types of firearms used, and even was allowed with permission from the Teacher and the Principle, to load and fire, a BLANK from my .45 cal. Kentucky Rifle, which I had built from a CVA kit when I was 14. I was in the spotlight that day, so I made sure everything was absolutely safe, and it went off without a hitch! No one hurt, everyone thought it was “cool”, and of course I was stoked and received an A+ for my efforts! Common sense is only common to those that have it, and most of that has been omitted or bread out or just downright ignored by the “educators” we have these days! We don’t need educators, we need TEACHERS! I “TEACH” Hunter Education, Bowhunting Education, Firearms Responsibility, Safety, Self Defense, Hand Loading, and I am a Gunsmith. I inherited my Father’s admiration for hunting ethically, the great outdoors and everything that goes with it, which was usually followed with a thump if not paying attention. So I feel it is MY responsibility to TEACH others in these fields. Unfortunately not everyone, INCLUDING PROFESSORS, will grab at the brass ring, and will go through life…UNEDUCATED! Paul Hillar P & R Sports

    • Keith Cunningham May 8, 2016, 8:53 pm

      Wow! You’d have about a snowball’s chance in hell of bringing your Kentucky Rifle within 1000 feet of any school nowadays. In fact, in MOST school districts these days if you even hinted at your intention to get their permission to bring a gun on campus you would be expelled from the school.
      As for the story above about liberals ruling academia I have to concur. I had a sociology professor that posited that garbage men remove more disease and pestilence from our communities than doctors cure. She believed that garbage men should be on a pay scale similar to a doctor with 8 years of training and expertise. Well…maybe we should be ensuring that the garbage men/women attend similar training and oversight as the MD does, huh?

  • rick May 1, 2016, 9:21 am

    With state colleges receiving approximately 44% of their funding from tax dollars (OUR MONEY) why do we tolerate this left wing 2A bigotry

  • Jay Warren Clark April 30, 2016, 5:26 pm

    Clearly this “professor” is a moron. That said, to paint the whole field of academics with a brush dipped in her paint bucket is just ludicrous. It is a kind of straw man argument silly enough for for a single person but ludicrous for a whole profession.
    One more thing. Those who criticize the gun culture and supporters of the Second Amendment often do so by what is called “using the extremes against the middle.” This is what you are doing here. You find this one extreme woman, clearly a moron, and use her to Paint the whole profession. That is unfair and just wrong.
    Now, I am a critic of education as a whole and “higher” education especially, but while there may be many at colleges and universities who lean to the Left, they nevertheless can read, and they know what a fallacious argument is and what it is not. Yours is completely fallacious and simply unjust. Indeed, you make us look just like those who are critical of us–and give them in fact more ammunition.
    Sure, tease the woman and make her feel as stupid as she really is, but be careful what you do with such. Help those who may be leaning in her direction to see a different, a more reasonable, way.
    Jay Warren Clark, San Diego State University, retired

    • Mr. Sparkles May 2, 2016, 1:47 pm

      Mr. Clark –
      I appreciate your position about not painting all instructors in places of education with the same brush but the problem with your argument is that it never comes out as a rebuttal to dingdongs like Myrtle Lynn Payne but as a rebuttal to legitimate rebuttal. A rebuttal to a rebuttal is support for the original argument so you in fact lose credibility from that fact alone. In addition, having spent the last 25 years putting four daughters through three public school systems and five college/universities I can assure you that it is in fact your views that are the exception as Ms. Pain, I mean Paine, speaks for the vocal majority of those in education who have little or no experience with firearms and while they openly suggest that young girls expose themselves to “alternative lifestyles” they have with one voice attempted to make our girls feel somehow politically incorrect for the fact that they have been brought up around, are comfortable with and own firearms in their own right. Please feel free to continue the support for firearms that you suggest in your comment but I ask that you also use your power as one of their own to help the “uneducated” educated understand that criticism for that which you do not understand is ignorance, not enlightenment.

    • Old_Warhorse December 16, 2016, 5:28 pm

      Well said, Mr. Clark, and thank you.

  • Scotty Gunn April 30, 2016, 4:06 pm

    I carry a gun every day, have for 30+ years. Guess I haven’t experienced the full impact of all my emotions…

    • Slick-Willy May 4, 2016, 12:12 pm

      I too carry daily – have for 29 years. I did so as part of my job as a police officer and continue to do so now as a private security contractor. I also carry when I’m not working. I can assure Miz Pain-intheass that I have experienced the entire range of human emotions, in both my professional and personal life. Furthermore I’ve never “snapped” – not even when dealing with complete morons like her. What concerns me the most is the fact that she is obviously unstable, lacks self-control or both AND this twitchy bitch is teaching young adults. Ahh, the progress we have made in this society !!!

  • Houstin April 30, 2016, 7:53 am

    …which then lead to the “If it feels Ok to you then it must be alright teachings in schools beginning in the middle ’60s.

  • Captain Jim Green April 30, 2016, 2:02 am

    I am a Professor also, but a very conservative one. I have taught at the university for the past 9 years and I am armed every single day in class. It’s legal on our campus and I encouraged my students to carry as well. It makes everyone much safer! Contrary to what the liberal progressives assert. They are completely out of touch with reality. More guns equals less crime… always! Former Naval Officer, Retired Airline Pilot, and current Tenured University Associate Professor

  • loupgarous April 29, 2016, 8:25 pm

    The professor: “I also don’t know if she understands emotions, or what real rage feels like. It seems to me no person who has truly experienced the full impact of their own emotions would ever go near a gun.”

    So she’s projecting her own inability to exercise emotional self-control on a student who suppored HER livelihood with paid tuition, just because they had a political disagreement.

    This professor’s a crook, plain and simple. She frankly admits that she based a decision on whether or not to make a purely academic recommendation on a consideration of the student’s politics.

    People have lost tenure as professors for lesser offenses, when a professor decided to base a decision on whether or not to support a student’s career on anything but the student’s ability as a student.

    The fact that this professor feels comfortable confessing that she’s politically corrupt in the performance of her job says volumes about how corrupt her own accession to a professorship had to have been.

    This professor has just revealed she’s essentially an incompetent who doesn’t see anything wrong with punishing a student for her politics.

    If the student in question had been denied a academic recommendation because she’s gone to a Bernie Sanders rally, the press would be full of outrage over this professor’s decision. In either case, the student was – by the rules for politically correctness = entitled to extra consideration because as a young woman, she lacked “white male privilege.” Now, we see how hollow that ethic really is.

    • loupgarous April 29, 2016, 8:32 pm

      You had me until you said “I loaded the .22 pistor with .22 shotgun ammunition so she can’t miss.”

      You would be guaranteeing that your wife might just be making her assailant angry, by firing a light pattern of tiny shot at him which would do NOTHING to prevent him from finishing his attack.

      In the event I just had to give my wife nothing but a .22 pistol for self-defense (9mm or .380 would be my choice), I’d load the weapon with metal-jacketed hollowpoints, and encourage her to practice at a gun range. I’ve done just that with my own wife, until I was happy she’d conquered her urge to flinch and overcompensate for muzzle climb.

      • loupgarous June 2, 2016, 3:55 pm

        I posted this comment on an entirely different article’s comment space. What’s happening here?

  • Dennis Pinkston April 29, 2016, 4:13 pm

    This professor has led a shielded life and never been around dangerous areas of a given town or country. How would she feel is someone broke into her house and told her they were going to rape and beat her up. Would she try to reach for the gun she so hates or would she willingly submit?? My wife has a gun in her bedside night stand and can get it in a second, and fire it. I loaded the .22 pistol with .22 shotgun ammunition so she can’t miss. My .357 with the same ammo type is under my pillow. I have to register for a gun permit every three years and it is no problem, takes about 5 minutes.

    • loupgarous April 29, 2016, 8:52 pm

      You had me until you said “I loaded the .22 pistor with .22 shotgun ammunition so she can’t miss.”

      You would be guaranteeing that your wife might just be making her assailant angry, by firing a light pattern of tiny shot at him which would do NOTHING to prevent him from finishing his attack.

      In the event I just had to give my wife nothing but a .22 pistol for self-defense (9mm or .380 would be my choice), I’d load the weapon with metal-jacketed hollowpoints, and encourage her to practice at a gun range. I’ve done just that with my own wife, until I was happy she’d conquered her urge to flinch and overcompensate for muzzle climb.

      Reply Link

    • B C April 30, 2016, 12:29 am

      REALLY?!?! u gave ur wife #12 RATSHOT!!! u really don’t have a clue, do u! from a .22 pistol, 6-inch barrel, #12 ratshot is as about as effective as rock salt! u need to give ur wife a slingshot with marbles. they’ll be more effective!

    • Scotty Gunn April 30, 2016, 4:08 pm

      Why not just load your gun with blanks? It’d have about the same effect-nothing.

  • Patrick Smith April 29, 2016, 2:39 pm

    Why share anything with academia? They’re government officials at this point. So they are not our friends, our buddies or even peers. They assume they’re our masters. We should treat them accordingly. Only stukach squeal to the apparatchiks.

  • Chris April 29, 2016, 1:31 pm

    She is clearly a bigot and she should be fired. Can you imagine if a conservative denied a recommendation to a liberal solely based on a distain for being gay? They would be fired in a hot second, yet here we have a constitutionaly protected civil right attacked and no one lifts a finger. We have to more to protect our rights.

    • loupgarous April 29, 2016, 9:00 pm

      Orwell said it best in “Animal Farm”: “Some animals are more equal than others.” In this case, the Jackasses think their bigotry is blessed and that any act, no matter how contemptible, to punish dissent or political diversity from their own views is good.

      I wonder what subject this professor teaches, where she feels comfortable punishing some students for their politics. It’s got to be a course in which essay questions figure strongly. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be able to say that she liked the student initially because “Her academic abilities were not strong but she had great energy and was a class leader. Definitely a process, and not a content, type of gal”.

      It sounds like someone explaining why Hillary Clinton ought to be President of the United States of America. Not so great on content, but “great energy.”

  • Kalashnikov Dude April 29, 2016, 1:13 pm

    It’s very simple. If this took place in a US institution, they need to lose all federal funding. They can blame the professor if the university so wishes. But My tax dollars have no business subsidizing this lunacy and I will not stand for it a minute longer. Al federal buildings must also recognize the highest law of our land or shutter them.Right now, today. Full Stop.

  • Chuck April 29, 2016, 1:00 pm

    College use to be a place where higher education in a field of your choice was the goal. Professors taught a pure subject and never interjected their personal agenda.
    That’s all gone by the wayside in this day and age. Courses have been liberalized and socialism is brainwashed into the students by Liberal Professors.

  • BJG April 29, 2016, 12:22 pm

    Typical “so called Professor” Liberal ideals only! All others stay away. She should be kicked out.

  • Godfrey Daniel April 29, 2016, 11:26 am

    Evidently Myrtle feels that her “personal feelings” trump a student’s accomplishments. Her “personal feelings” have no place in the classroom.

  • NATE Sands April 29, 2016, 10:59 am

    Sounds like the same thing as telling a gay you wont bake their cake.

  • Jason April 29, 2016, 10:44 am

    What really “disturbs” me is this line :
    “. I also don’t know if she understands emotions, or what real rage feels like. It seems to me no person who has truly experienced the full impact of their own emotions would ever go near a gun.”

    This Professor evidently has some kind of uncontrolled inner rage , and doesn’t trust her self around a firearm . She should seek help for these issues rather than projecting her emotional instability on to her students , who are just enjoying their rights responsibly.

  • Jeremiah April 29, 2016, 10:38 am

    HS Blannelberry writes, “So, the question is: where does that leave us and future generations of gun owners?”

    The answer is simple: Start many-more pre-pubescent pro-gun youth programs and (besides safety and marksmanship) indoctrinate the youthful to ignore the anti-gunners who they will probably encounter in their young/adult years.

  • Opey April 29, 2016, 10:34 am

    The professor that speaks of emotion making herself untrustworthy near firearms is in obvious need of psychological help. Not only should she be kept at distance from our youth she should be a “prohibited person” and treated as such.

  • Chuck C April 29, 2016, 10:02 am

    “Whoa, that’s disturbing.” How about an AK-74 instead? Seriously, aren’t these libs always telling us how they’re not the judgmental ones, how they’re open to all viewpoints? Pfft, yeah right.

  • DaveyJ April 29, 2016, 8:57 am

    Professors need to realize how absolutely essential to America the Right To Bear Arms is. I am a former professor, PhD Envirionmental Scientist, etc. it would not be a student I would fail to endorse! On the other hand, I have had professors who failed to appreciate the wisdom of our founding fathers, and who were anti-gun. Most of them were pretty incompetent people all the way around. There is an adage- Those who can’t do, teach!

    • Chuck C April 29, 2016, 10:04 am

      …and those who can’t teach, teach gym.

      • Paul Hillar May 5, 2016, 5:35 pm

        I wouldn’t say that! My “GYM” Teacher/Wrestling Coach/ Auto Shop Teacher/ Hunting buddy was quite smart!

  • Rob April 29, 2016, 8:51 am

    It is well known that college campuses are a haven for the ultra-liberal faction in our society. Most have never worked in the real world and have experienced life though books, not actions. Nothing is going to change this. BTW, I contacted Heidi Czerwiec after reading about her calling 911 upon seeing the ROTC activity. There was more to this story than posted on the pro-gun blog I read about it on. She was not the nut case she was made out to be.

  • Chuck April 29, 2016, 7:21 am

    Communist infiltrated our colleges and universities shortly after WWII and began their work. I expect nothing less from any of them.

    • rt66paul April 29, 2016, 2:48 pm

      our colleges and universities were infiltrated a long time before that. The was a strong socialist side before the 1929 crash and all through the 30s. We were at the brink of revolution then.

    • loupgarous April 29, 2016, 8:43 pm

      Woodrow Wilson was the president of Princeton University before being elected President of the United States as a Democrat, promising Americans he was “Too Proud to Fight” in World War I, then, after his election. committed our troops to ground warfare in Europe in many cases under foreign commanders. He also reversed all of Theodore Roosevelt’s courageous acts to promote qualified African-Americans into the Federal Civil Service, requiring all applicants for Federal jobs to attach a photo of themselves to their applications to make racial discrimination almost automatic. He was essentially the KKK’s candidate.

      Since then, all the Democratic Party’s done in the intervening years is to keep college campuses corrupt, just in pursuit of leftist causes.

      This professor has a bad case of Woodrow Wilson Syndrome, putting her politics and personal feelings ahead of her duty to promote the careers of ‘natural leaders’ in the student body. She actually confessed that she retaliated against a young woman who’d come to her for a recommendation to punish her choice to exercise an enumerated civil right.

      Woodrow Wilson’s looking up from Hell and smiling.

  • Bruce April 29, 2016, 6:59 am

    You may start to wonder how nutty the thinking of people like this is in other areas…
    …these are insane people and they teach our children

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