Excited about unregulated firearms coming to Kansas State University’s campus? Well, be sure to thank Representative John Barker and Senator Jacob LaTurner. They refused to let the university campus-carry exemption bills even come up for a vote in the full House and Senate. So, thanks to them, the citizens who voted for them, and to all the NRA lackeys who create the laws in Kansas, as of July 1st, Kansas State University will be fully weaponized!
What does this mean for those of us who teach and study here? Well, this morning, the university shared with us its new Weapons Policy Training module. You see, as the announcement tells us,
On July 1, the university’s exemption from the concealed carry requirements of the Personal and Family Protection Act expires, meaning that the concealed carry of handguns will be allowed in university buildings at Kansas State University and other state universities. K-State continues its commitment to the safety of students, faculty and staff and all members of the K-State community.
The dark irony created by the juxtaposition of these two sentences is genius. They tell us, first, that “concealed carry of handguns will be allowed” all over K-State campus and, second, that “K-State continues its commitment to the safety of students, faculty and staff.” Because, you see, these two ideas are in no way incompatible! Hahahaha. Ha.
But, for more fun, let’s get to that Weapons Policy Training module, shall we?
Yep! “K-State Faculty/Staff.” That’s me. (For now, anyway.)
Ordinarily, I’d say “don’t repeat the same joke twice.” But I have to admit that the “dedicated to the safety and security” of everyone juxtaposed with WELCOME GUNS! is still pretty funny the second time around. Nicely played.
We have no choice about having armed and untrained students (to get a weapon, Kansas law requires no training, no background check, no license). But getting a choice of the order in which to complete the training makes me feel so much better. Thank you!
OK, I think I’ll start with “FAQ.”
Right, of course. It’s much more fun to be surprised by the firearm accidentally going off or by the student using it on a classmate or the instructor. Also, this policy helps protect the sensitive feelings of those people so cowardly that only being armed at all times makes them feel safe. Poor little snowflakes.
Dropping a gun into a backpack seems like such an easy way to store it. Why bother to secure the weapon? I mean, it’s not like someone could easily grab a classmate’s backpack or unzip the backpack and get the gun out. That’s highly unlikely. And since a person with no training on how to use a weapon will of course take all appropriate precautions, we can be confident that he (or she, but probably he) will leave the safety on.
Also, the need to keep the backpack “within the immediate reach of the individual” creates a fun new classroom game: Is That a Gun in Your Bag or Do You Suffer from Backpack Separation Anxiety? The game works like this: Watch your students, and see who keeps the backpack very close at all times. Is that student carrying? Could be! What about that student, over there? Hmmm. And why are those two students whispering near that satchel? Points will be awarded based on the ratio of correct answers to survivors.
So, then: office hours cancelled until further notice. Great! I’m learning so much from this module! Bonus: Not having office hours will save time, as will absenting myself from campus except when I absolutely have to be there. This Weapons Policy is looking better and better!
Introducing my new policy: A’s for all students! You are all brilliant, wonderful people! You all get A’s!
Another part of the genius of concealed carry: by making every student a potentially armed student (and thus an implicit threat), faculty can treat them accordingly. We can be spared the time of grading, by acknowledging that each and every one of our students is a certified genius! Also, since campus carry revokes the safety upon which freedom of speech depends, why bother laboring over challenging discussion questions? Fear inhibits discussion, and, well, we wouldn’t want a student to feel threatened by an intellectual challenge, now would we? Of course not. That would be rude. I mean: the very idea of challenging students to think! That’s so, I don’t know, pedagogically sound.
Extra credit question: Is there any chance that weaponizing the campus will lead to such egregious grade inflation that a degree from a Kansas university will become meaningless? Let’s find out!
Well, this has been a fun survey. I’d really love to take the rest of it, but no time at the moment. After all, I have an exit strategy to plan – er, I mean, work to do! I have work to do! Bye!
|To any academics who may be reading this: Is your university in a state or country with (relatively) competent governance? Or is it a private university (and thus not required to weaponize)? Does it seek an expert on children’s literature? Well, seek no further! Here is my curriculum vitae and a page devoted to my books (with selected reviews of same):
Drop me a line. (Email address is at right, under “A note on mp3s.”) I’d love to hear from you!
Related writing on this subject (by me, and on this blog unless otherwise indicated):
- “Just a Shot Away,” Inside Higher Ed., 12 Apr. 2016.
- “Firearms and Fascists: Does the Kansas House Believe in Democracy?” 8 Mar. 2017. I think we know the answer to this now.
- “Killing Higher Education, Literally: Kansas’ Campus Carry,” 1 Feb. 2017. Testimony. I was not able to deliver this in person.
- “Testify! Keeping Kansas Universities Gun-Free,” 26 Jan. 2017. My statement, delivered in person to the Kansas Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee at the state house.
- “Guest Editorial: Putting guns on campus is unsafe, disruptive to learning.” K-State Collegian, 21 Sept. 2016.
- “Armed and Unsafe: Why Kansas Universities Must Reject and Not Adapt to Weaponized Campuses,” 4 Sept. 2016. My statement to the university’s Weapons Advisory Work Group.
- “Why Campus Carry Threatens Higher Education,” 24 Mar. 2016
- “Guns vs. Schools,” 2 Dec. 2015. Includes a link to the Kansas State University Distinguished Professors’ statement.
- “When Will I Be Shot Dead?” 1 Oct. 2015.