Lawsuit Filed Over University Blocking Pro-Gun Rally

Let’s be perfectly honest about college for a moment. While there’s a lot of good things about sending our kids to get a college education, we also have to acknowledge that colleges are uber progressive places that care little about people’s rights. They’re just not interested in things like free speech, much less the Second Amendment.

In fact, one college managed to take a dump on both and now it finds itself being sued over it.

A group of students filed a lawsuit against Montclair State University on Wednesday, arguing that the school squashed their freedom of speech by shutting down a pro-gun-rights demonstration on campus.

A campus police officer told the students that under university policy, anyone who wants to speak on campus has to obtain permission at least two weeks in advance and that the dean’s office would assign a time and place to speak, according to the lawsuit. 

The requirement imposes an unconstitutional prior restraint on all students, MSU sophomore Mena Botros and the student group Young Americans for Liberty argued in the lawsuit. They are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal advocacy group that says it defends religious freedom.

“A public university is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, but that marketplace can’t function if officials impose burdensome restraints on speech or if they can selectively enforce those restraints against disfavored groups,” said Michael Ross, legal counsel with the Alliance.

The dean of the university argues that the school is committed to free speech, but that they need to do things this way so as to prevent disruptions to classes.

Of course, that sounds nice, but I’ve covered a lot of university shenanigans through the years for our now sister site PJ Media. I’ve seen how this works.

You see, when the administration decides on the place and time, favored speech is given prominence while disfavored speech is relegated to the nether regions of the university. One conservative speaker had her talk scheduled on an evening during midterms when few people would be able to attend without jeopardizing their studies, just to name one example.

I don’t think anyone argues that the university has an interest in keeping distractions to a minimum, but that doesn’t mean they’re justified in trampling the rights of students either.  We all know how a gun rights demonstration would go under these circumstances and I’m glad these students have filed suit.

Montclair State University, even if they’re sincere in their efforts and planned to act in a completely unmalicious manner, does not have the authority to trample the rights of students. My hope is that this lawsuit not only slaps the university down, but also sends a clear message to college campuses across the United States that this kind of behavior isn’t acceptable.

We already know they don’t like guns, but disliking free speech as well just shows you their true stripes.

All our rights matter or none of them do. Maybe after these students win in court, we’ll get the chance to write about the pro-gun demonstration on a college campus.