So my local paper ran a really dumb anti-CCW editorial. It was so riddled with nonsense, distortions, and falsehoods that it was just begging for a fisking. As usual, the original is in italics and my comments are in bold.
In our opinion: Utah gun law that canceled USU speech is an embarrassment
The only embarrassment here is the dreck that passes for writing at the Deseret News now.
The inability of Utah State University to impose reasonable protections for a speaker who had received death threats is more than just an embarrassment to the state. It is alarming.
No. It isn’t, and we’ll get to why later. This is typical breathless editorial speak, used by the willfully manipulative to sway the useful idiots. When you start breaking down the actual facts it is neither alarming nor embarrassing. It is Utah following the rule of law as opposed to the freak out cause of the day.
It should not, however, be surprising, especially to anyone who remembers the struggles a decade ago over Utah’s loose concealed permit carrier law.
I remember the “struggles” rather well. In fact I’m one of the people that testified against the University of Utah’s highly paid lobbyist in front of the Justice Committee at the State Legislature. Like this editorial, all he could do was appeal to raw emotion and wishful thinking.
It’s time to revisit that law and allow schools the freedom to protect the public.
Let’s see… Historically, what has protected the public better? Law abiding types carrying firearms for personal defense, or No Guns Allowed signs? Think hard.
Rather than repeat myself, here is an essay where I broke down in great detail why Utah allowing concealed weapon permit holders to carry firearms inside of schools makes sense. I wrote it after Sandy Hook, and it has become one of the most widely read essays on the topic of gun control there is.
Basically, whenever they start talking about “protecting the public” their ideas usually do the exact opposite.
It’s time Utah law stood up for safety, not the empowerment of bullies.
I’m curious about the definition of “bullies” here. A loaded term. You couldn’t possibly mean the public speaker who demanded a state change its policies to suit her ill-informed opinions on safety, and when she didn’t get her way—even though a suitable work around was readily, legally, available—instead asked for a boycott of the entire state until they gave in to her whims?
A decade ago, the University of Utah decided to continue enforcing a 25-year-old campus ban on firearms despite a new law that made concealed weapons fair game at schools.
A state institution having to obey state law? Crazy.
That resulted in a lawsuit that ended in 2006 when the Utah Supreme Court ruled the university had no authority to impose a policy contrary to state law.
Yep. It was a very sad day when the U discovered that despite wasting tons of tax payer and tuition money on a case that basically consisted of screaming Academic Freedom over and over again, our state constitution still applied to them.
The university — the only institution of higher learning in Utah willing to carry the fight — next tried to lobby and work with lawmakers to craft a compromise.
Their “compromise” was just their same old illegal ban in a fancy new wrapper. We exposed it for what it was and defeated it.
What they ended up with was a 2007 law that allows any student living in a dormitory to specify that he or she does not wish to room with a concealed weapon permit holder — nothing more.
Yep. Because before that their suggestions included things like declaring whatever building they wanted off limits at any time (which quickly turned into All of Them). They had a long wish list of restrictions to make CCW so incredibly cumbersome and difficult to legally comply with that it would have been a de facto ban.
This wasn’t just about students either. It also affected everyone that worked for the university as well. Professors, employees, clerks, didn’t matter. They were out of luck.
Churches, it should be noted, also expressed concern over the law and, unlike schools, were allowed to publicly declare their own no-guns policies.
The finer points of law elude the Deseret News. Our CCW law treats different types of property in different manners. Churches are private property. A private university would be private property. The University of Utah is owned by the state and paid for with tax payer funds.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns this newspaper, subsequently registered its no-gun position.
As a Mormon and a professional writer, it offends me that my church owns a newspaper that sucks this badly.
The church issued a statement asking us not to carry guns at church, but then left it up to the discretion of the local bishops. In the decade since the only time my CCW has ever been of concern to any of my bishops was when one wanted to know if I was prepared to shoot a bear (long story, but yes, obviously).
The issue, both then and now, is not about the wisdom of allowing people who have passed special courses to legally carry a concealed weapon. This makes sense under the Second Amendment to the Constitution, although it should not apply under all circumstances and it is a myth to believe the issuance of such a permit is a guarantee against crime.
Wow. There’s a lot of BS in that paragraph. He pays lip service to the Second Amendment, then immediately says to infringe the one that says it shouldn’t be infringed. Also, nobody believes that a permit is a guarantee against crime. That’s a straw man. Trust me, I taught the Utah CCW course to thousands, and nobody thinks of their handgun as a cross that wards off vampires.
No, the issue is common sense.
Common sense suggests that it is a lot harder to commit mass murder when your targets can shoot back.
Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to speak about how women are portrayed in popular media, and especially in video games.
I’ve never gotten into GamerGate here on the blog, but basically Anita Sarkeesian is a professional victim, Social Justice Warrior, who thinks you are enjoying yourself wrong, and if you disagree you are a racist, homophobic, misogynist.
If you are a regular blog reader who followed Sad Puppies at all, same thing, same crusaders, same song, different industry.
Late Monday, someone sent an email to about a dozen USU offices threatening a deadly massacre if she were allowed to speak. It threatened “the deadliest school shooting in American history.”
As somebody who has gotten lots of death threats, anybody who sends a death threat is scum. They are vermin.
However, they are also a fact of life on the internet, and if you have enough of an audience and take a stand for anything, you will receive threats against your life. That big gun control blog post I linked above? That one had a million readers in the first month and got me on Huckabee. I had several “caring liberals” threaten to murder my entire family over that one.
Any moron with an internet connection can send a threat. The last thing you want to do is publicize these things. The people sending the threats are losers seeking attention. By publishing their threats far and wide and cancelling events, you’ve given them power.
School officials and law enforcement said they determined the threat was not credible, but that really didn’t matter.
Hold on… The TRUTH didn’t matter?
It wasn’t just the USU police, but the FBI that specialize in internet crimes that said this threat was bunk. Hell, I’m not exactly a cybercrimes expert, but I read it and scoffed. It was written like it came from somebody whose knowledge of weapons and violence came from reading the newspaper (hint, actual gun experts don’t talk about their “semi-automatic” weapons).
Not to mention they tracked it back to originating in Brazil, so he’d have to fly to another continent, catch another flight to Utah, and last time I looked the TSA frowns on pipe bombs in your carry-on luggage. So logistically after he comes to another hemisphere, he could try to illegally procure weapons as a non-resident or procure bomb materials on unfamiliar territory, without attracting attention, all while planning an attack on new ground in a very short period of time, and then pull it off in a place where the audience can shoot him.
Since I’m guessing this guy isn’t Frank Castle, I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over it.
Under Utah law, Utah State University had no choice but to let people with permits carry guns into the hall, and they had no mechanism for determining who had such a permit and who was, in fact, carrying a weapon.
Wow… No. Does anybody fact check anything in these things? There are several mistakes here.
First off, USU did have a choice because there is a provision in the law for a normally open to the public establishment to temporarily become a Secure Facility. The legislature worked this out with the US Secret Service prior to presidential and vice presidential visits. The facility may be secured, and CCW prohibited, provided that admission is controlled, and lockers are provided for any guests who are carrying firearms so that they can safely store their weapons. Then they control the entrance and exits. That usually means guards and metal detectors.
USU chose not to go this route because the FBI said the threat was bunk.
Next error, there is no mechanism for determining who had a permit? Uh… It is a little laminated red card with your picture on it you carry in your wallet like a driver’s license or any other state issued ID. If you want to make sure a permit is legit, you can call the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification and they can tell you if a permit is valid or not in a couple of seconds. Gun dealers do this every time they sell a gun in Utah to a permit holder when the buyer fills out a 4473 form for the BATF. Hell, the database is online! Police can access it whenever they want.
And another problem, he says there is no mechanism for determining who is in fact carrying a weapon… Think about that critically for a moment. There is no way to know if the hypothetical mass murderer is carrying a weapon either, because he sure as hell isn’t going to tell you, and he’s certainly not going to decide to call it a day and not go commit the couple hundred felonies he had planned because of your No Guns Allowed sign.
News flash, the people who get permits aren’t the ones you need to worry about.
Sarkeesian, who said she has spoken in the face of death threats elsewhere, canceled her speech, citing concern over that law.
And then Sarkeesian called for all of her followers to boycott the state of Utah.
So give into the demands of a professional victim, or continue to protect our children from mass murder… tough call.
Common sense would dictate that a university could prohibit weapons and set up metal detectors at an event that has been targeted with death threats.
USU actually had the option of doing just that and creating a legal Secure Facility, but they chose to listen to the FBI, save their money, and not hassle their students and faculty instead. Go Aggies.
If an armed officer were present, this would be a much more effective counter to any attack than the crossfire of multiple weapons carriers.
Oh bull crap. So in the last decade of us allowing guns in schools, do you have any examples of these terrible Wild West style crossfire shootouts between multiple permit holders in Utah? Heck, expand it beyond Utah. Of the millions and millions of permit holders out there, do you have any examples of these hypothetical mistaken identity crossfires?
Not that any of this would actually matter, because come on… why the hell would somebody smart, capable, and wise enough to take the necessary steps to carry a gun to provide for their own safety want to listen to a professional victim feminist whine about gamers for an hour? I’ve got a gut feeling that hall would be the closest thing to a gun free zone on campus that day regardless.
As far as armed officers being present, I would suspect that the USU police would have an officer present at any large speaking engagement, especially one with any sort of potential for conflict of any sort.
But common sense has been brushed aside.
You keep using the term, but last time I checked “wishful thinking” and “emotionally laden nonsense” weren’t synonyms with “common sense”. If you say something stupid and then call it common sense, that doesn’t make it sensible. It is still stupid. Sort of like “social justice” or “economic fairness”.
For whatever reason, the gaming community has attracted an element that threatens to kill feminists.
And Social Justice Warriors have attracted an element that threaten to kill conservative authors. Cry me a river.
Such threats should not be taken lightly,
I’m doing a book signing at the U of U bookstore on Halloween day. Since these are Larry Correia fans, I’m assuming there will be so many concealed weapons there that it will be like the opposite of a gun free zone, and probably the safest place on campus. 🙂
nor should arguments that a room full of people with concealed weapons is a deterrent to a deranged criminal be given credence.
A room full of people with concealed weapons isn’t a deterrent to committing violent crime? Maybe if your bad guy is on a kamikaze mission. And hate to break it to you, but if that’s what you’re up against, he isn’t going to give a crap about your cops or metal detectors either. For anybody else not trying to commit suicide, getting shot a couple dozen times by bystanders is usually a pretty strong deterrent. That’s why mass shooters keep attacking gun free zones instead of shooting ranges or police stations. I go into great detail on that point in the above link, so basically let me say that paragraph is one of the most willfully ignorant piles of dreck I’ve ever had the displeasure of fisking.
Utah lawmakers need to change this silly and potentially dangerous law.
That’s the beauty of having fifty states. If you don’t like this one, feel free to pack your stuff and go to one of the other ones more to your liking. Utah actually loves our kids, so we don’t feel like making it easier for psychopaths to kill large numbers of them to placate your angst.