Back in 2013, the Kansas state legislature approved a campus carry bill that would allow legal concealed carry holders to lawfully carry on college campuses across the state, but delayed enactment of the law until 2017. In the weeks before the new campus carry law kicked in, anti-gun activists and academics warned that scenes from the Wild West would soon be playing out as drunken frat boys engaged in shootouts, disgruntled students would pull guns on their professors, and accidental shootings would become a new regular feature in the student union.
Some professors even retired or relocated rather than teach on a campus where firearms might be present, like these educators at Kansas State.
Philip Nel, a distinguished professor in English, said he is taking a leave of absence during the fall semester. During the leave, he will look for a new job or fellowships, he said.
“I’m still looking for another job and applying for fellowships because I would like to continue to do my job, but in a place where I’m allowed to do my job, rather than in a place that is weaponized and unsafe,” he said.
Nel, who has worked for the university since 2000, said he knows more faculty members who are working to leave K-State but won’t go on the record because of fear they would be targeted by gun activists and organizations like the National Rifle Association.
He said if he does not find another job by the spring, he will continue teaching at K-State, but his time on campus would be limited. He said he will teach online and cancel all of his office hours.
Ruth Miller, a K-State electrical and computer engineering professor, said she and her husband Keith, who is a part-time faculty member for K-State, decided to move to Pennsylvania this summer before the law goes into effect.
While the two will live out of state, they will continue to teach online classes at K-State, with Ruth planning to retire next spring. Because Keith is not a full-time professor, he may continue to teach online classes, but they will not return to Manhattan or set foot on campus, they said.
It’s been three years now since the state’s campus carry law took effect, and the fears of the gun control advocates haven’t come to pass. Campus carry hasn’t turned Kansas into the Wild West. In fact, it’s really been a non-issue, as the Kansas State Collegian reports:
The allowance for concealed carry of handguns at Kansas State and other Kansas Board of Regents schools began on July 1, 2017.
In accordance with state law, KBOR approved this new weapons policy, and since then, there have been no direct incidents on campus involving a concealed carrier…
“Kansas State University police have no reports of policy violations or open carry incidents on campus last year,” Bradli Millington, lieutenant with the K-State Police Department, said in an email.
Additionally, since the introduction of the campus carry policy, no traditionally alcohol-heavy events likeFake Patty’s Day have seen any weapon-related incidents.
Zero incidents. Not a handful. Not a plethora. Not a flood.
According to gun control activists, this wasn’t supposed to happen. We were supposed to see the streets of Manhattan, Kansas look like a scene out of Mad Max. Instead, things have been quiet. Those students and faculty who are legally carrying concealed on campus haven’t created any problems at all.
Do you think any of these professors who decided to flee the state over the supposed dangerousness of the state’s campus carry law have any regrets? Do they wish, perhaps, that they had applied some of the critical thinking skills that they’re supposed to be teaching to students to their own situation? If they had, they would have quickly realized that campus carry has never been an issue in states where it’s legal.
Instead they bought into the lies and fear-mongering on the part of gun control groups who convinced them that anarchy was imminent with the passage of campus carry in Kansas. They decided they simply couldn’t trust their colleagues or their students, so they ran away to places they believed were safer.
It turns out they should have ignored the scare tactics by Shannon Watts and her gun control-loving allies and stuck around. The anti-gun hype over Kansas’ campus carry law turns out to have been much ado about nothing. Nothing, that is, except objecting to law-abiding Americans exercising their constitutional rights.