I received the following email today at my university email:
The Regents Professors (RPs) at the UofA, ASU, and NAU have launched a campaign to signal to ABOR (and the state’s legislature and governor as well) our deep concern about, and fervent opposition to, the pending legislation that would permit the carrying of concealed handguns on our campuses and prohibit the Universities from limiting that right. See attached a recent editorial in the Arizona Republic regarding SB 1467 as well as the key provision of the bill itself.
We believe that guns have no place in an academic setting and fear that passage of this ill-conceived legislation would result in great and lasting damage to our Universities. We believe that we must act to try to prevent our Universities from becoming armed camps where all of us would be less safe and secure, less willing to engage in open and honest discourse, and less able to do our work and therefore less likely to continue to work and study.
As a first step, the tri-University RPs have produced a “Gun Safety Charter” that now is online and available for affirmation or rejection by all University faculty, students, and staff.
There is a link to a survey for university-affiliated persons (and I won’t post the link, as that would skew the results which are already non-scientific as they are and don’t need the whole internet involved) that describes the “charter”. The charter is included below in its entirety:
We affirm that no student should be obligated to be in the presence of an armed faculty or staff member, and no faculty or staff member should be obligated to be in the presence of an armed student on the university campuses of Arizona. In the event that SB 1467 is enacted into law, we request action by the Arizona Board of Regents to segregate the campuses into armed and weapons-free communities. When such segregation cannot be enforced, protective action should include the provision of police protection, the substitution of electronic communication for personal interaction, and the cancelation of classes as a last resort.
So, professors are encouraging the state to segregate campuses because of people wanting to exercise their rights? Would these segregated facilities also be “separate but equal”?1
- I’m extremely reluctant to compare the gun rights movement with the civil rights movement, as the civil rights movement encompassed numerous rights that were being actively denied to large numbers of Americans, as well as violence committed against many people. The gun rights movement is nowhere near as pivotal or important as the civil rights movement, and I’m hesitant to mention them together in the same article lest people get the idea that I consider them to be on the same level of importance. While gun rights are a key freedom in the US, putting the two movements on equal standing would be grossly unfair to the civil rights movement. Still, there are troubling similarities nonetheless. [↩]