There is little doubt that this will be the most controversial column I’ve written to date. But sometimes when working in a university environment one is exposed to ideas that one simply cannot repudiate. And this requires a modification of views – even if those views are deeply held - or very fun, or both.
Such an occasion happened last week on Empty Holster Day – an event sponsored by the College Republicans at UNC-Wilmington. It began as an event designed to convince campus leftists that our laws should be modified to allow those above 21 years of age (with valid concealed carry permits) to carry on campus. But the event actually backfired, so to speak.
First (and Second) Amendment hero Tyler Millage – a junior at UNCW - organized the event. Beforehand, he invited Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo to attend. After the always accessible Chancellor ignored both of his emails he posted an open letter to DePaolo on Face Book – and even brought a hard copy to her office. That got her attention and she responded ninety minutes later saying it would be inappropriate for her to attend and thus interject herself into the debate.
Then, after the local news showed up, UNCW released a written statement opposing our position on the gun issue. The statement was released by UNCW Marketing and Communications. That’s the office in charge of disseminating DePaolo’s political views to the tax-paying public at taxpayer expense. They always keep her name out so she won’t have to actually defend her views. DePaolo is also an English Professor – a position perfect for people who have strong feelings but lack the courage to defend them.
This was reminiscent of the time two female students were murdered at UNCW – both by male students with prior criminal records. I argued for background checks to protect the students. The university (DePaolo) disagreed. ABC’s 20/20 invited both me and DePaolo to express our views on national television. I accepted. She declined. This was after DePaolo publicly expressed the need for open communication on the issue – thus revealing her lack of courage and integrity.
But the same thing cannot be said of the UNCW political science professor who ultimately changed my views on gun control. He had really strong feelings and a willingness to face people who disagreed with his views. That’s why he came to visit our “Empty Holster Day” table last Tuesday.
But, unfortunately, the political science professor let his feelings get the better of him, which led directly to my change of heart on gun control. He began hurling epithets like “stupid, ignorant, and crazy” to the nineteen year old Millage. He so badly disrupted the event that the College Republican President called me in my office asking that I come over to try and calm him down.
I gladly complied with her request – largely because I know that these events generate intelligent debate until the first professor shows up.
When I got to the table, I was told that the political science professor said I am “unqualified” to discuss the issue because I am a “right wing nut job.” I ask if it was true that he said that about me. The professor admitted the quote was accurate.
Next, I calmly let him know that 60% of the refereed studies indicate that CCW laws reduce homicide rates while 40% show they have no effect. And none provide evidence that they actually increase homicide rates. I owe the professor an apology because I actually misquoted the number of studies indicating CCW laws reduce homicide rates. The number is actually 15, not nine as I had claimed. Thus, he was right to predict I would present a biased argument. But it was biased in his favor.
After he admitted he had read none of the literature on the topic, I made two requests: First, I asked that he familiarize himself with the literature so he can offer “qualified” commentary. Second, I asked that he stop yelling and hurling epithets at the students.
Surprisingly, the professor responded well to the rebuke. He apologized to me and then he apologized to the students. Then, with the professor under control, the students were able to resume with an informed debate on an important topic. I went back to my office and read the Book of Joshua.
As I was reading the Bible in my office, I reflected on all the childish name-calling by the professor. It was then I realized that a partial gun ban is necessary. Specifically, I concluded that liberals cannot be allowed to own guns, much less carry them on our college campuses. If they cannot control their emotions enough to engage in rational debate, they cannot be expected to handle a firearm responsibly. Handguns were not made for people with shaking hands and raised voices. They were made for those with self-control.
Maybe some will object to the notion that a constitutional right can only belong to one segment of the population. Or maybe their objections will be drowned out by campus feminists shouting “my body, my choice.”
Dr. Adams will speak at Elon University on Thursday, May 1st at 7:30 p.m. He’ll buy a gun the next day.