American colleges are supposed to be about educating young people so they can venture out into the world and take their place among the rest of us, the realm of gainful employment and soul-crushing debt. It’s the natural order of things.
Of course, it didn’t use to be. College used to be more affordable. It also used to be primarily about educating people too.
These days, it seems like colleges are more about pushing ideology than education. To make matters worse, a Kansas Democrat has filed a bill to allow colleges to use taxpayer money to lobby for gun control.
A Democrat lawmaker in Kansas has filed a bill that would allow for the use of “state appropriated moneys to lobby on gun control issues.”
State Rep. Brandon Woodard filed Kansas House Bill 2036 Wednesday, which he said on his Facebook page would “repeal the ‘gag order’ that restricts university leaders from advocating on gun safety issues.”
But university leaders in Kansas are already allowed to advocate for gun safety issues. Woodard’s bill would repeal an existing state statute that restricts money appropriated by the state legislature from being used to promote gun control. Woodard argues that since university leaders are salaried employees, a distinction cannot be made between their personal time and the time they spend in their official capacities.
Benjamin Ristow, Vice President of College Republicans at Kansas State University, expressed concern about Woodard’s bill when speaking with Campus Reform.
“If state agents were now allowed to openly propagandize the issue in their official capacity, there would undoubtedly be consequences,” Ristow said. “State agents in higher education, who are on the whole already overwhelmingly anti-campus carry, would be released from their requirement to even present a facade of neutrality, and instead state agents and state money would likely be used to attack the rights of the state’s citizens.”
And that’s the problem.
Look, it’s really not that hard to make a distinction between personal time and official capacities. We do it everywhere else, and it’s not that difficult. If it’s during business hours or an official function, it’s during their official capacities. If it’s not, then it’s not. This is a distinction that isn’t all that difficult in the grand scheme of things.
Removing this block will allow school officials to lobby for gun control at any time they so choose, even while they’re working for the State of Kansas, and that introduces a problem.
You see, Kansas has a lot of pro-gun taxpayers. These people often donate money to groups like the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and state organizations to protect their gun rights. Not all of them, mind you, but many.
Then, these good folks will turn around and pay their taxes only to have some of that tax money be used to work against their interests.
Oddly enough, I suspect Woodard doesn’t see an issue with that for some silly reason.
While working for a college doesn’t and shouldn’t prevent people from expressing their beliefs, the requirement they do so on their time exists for a reason. People don’t want government employees pushing for political issues on the taxpayer’s dime.
Why is this so hard for people like Woodard to grasp?
Maybe because he doesn’t want to?