When the state legislature decides to weaponize our classrooms, how do we respond? What should we do when the phrase “killing higher education” ceases being a metaphor and becomes state policy?
I tackle these questions in “Just a Shot Away,” published today in Inside Higher Ed. Here’s the opening:
Shortly after the Virginia Tech massacre, a mentally disturbed former student of mine contacted Kansas State University (where I teach), saying it would be too bad if something like Virginia Tech happened at Kansas State — and if I, in particular, were the target of the shooting. The university recognized the email for the threat it was, and contacted me. Fortunately, I was then out of town. Before I returned, the university determined that the ex-student, who had been expelled for several reasons, sent the email from his home abroad.
Students, faculty members, and administrators at American colleges and universities all know that, at any time, we could be shot dead. Mostly, we try not to think about it — until another mass shooting, such as at Umpqua Community College in Oregon (nine killed, nine wounded, October 2015), or the University of California at Santa Barbara (six killed, fifteen wounded, May 2014). Then, we are forced again to face the possibility that, one day, we too may join the next sad, inevitable list of the murdered.
As I say, the rest is over at Inside Higher Ed. No subscription required.
Further resources that may be of interest:
In Higher Education
- American Association of University Professors, “‘Campus Carry’ Laws,” AAUP, 12 Nov. 2015
- Ian Bogost, “The armed campus in the anxiety age,” The Atlantic, 9 Mar. 2016
- Fermin Debrabander, “How Guns Could Censor College Classrooms,” The Atlantic, 4 Mar. 2016.
- Elizabeth Dodd, “Argument is War: Are You Down With That? The Threat of Campus Carry in Kansas,” Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice Newsletter Spring 2016. Note: To read the article, scroll down to page 3.
- “Guns on Campus,” Everytown for Gun Safety, 9 July 2015. Resources.
- Greg Hampikan, “When May I Shoot a Student?” New York Times, 27 Apr. 2014.
- Nate Kreuter, “Concealed in Our Classrooms,” Inside Higher Ed, 12 Apr. 2016.
- Philip Nel, “Guns vs. Schools,” Nine Kinds of Pie (this blog), 2 Dec. 2015
- Philip Nel, “When will I be shot dead?” Nine Kinds of Pie (this blog, again), 1 Oct. 2015
- Danielle S, “Campus Gun Carry Will Ruin Social Justice in the Classroom,” MamaDemics, 2 Mar. 2016
- Zack Beauchamp, “A huge international study of gun control finds strong evidence that it actually works,” Vox, 29 Feb. 2016
- Editorial Board, “The Concealed-Carry Fantasy,” New York Times, 26 Oct. 2015
- David Ropeik, “The Secret Weapon Gun Control Advocates Should Use: Antonin Scalia,” HuffPost Politics, 9 Dec. 2015)
Activism Against Campus Carry in Kansas
- Kansas Coalition for a Gun-Free Campus (KU group, on Facebook)
- Kansas Coalition for a Gun-Free Campus (KU group’s website)
- Kansas State University Distinguished Professors, statement on campus carry (2 Dec 2015)
- Keep Guns Off Campus (KU group)
- Stop Campus Carry: see, especially, Further Reading & Vote.