Skip to comments.Anti-Gun Wacko of The Week: Professor Jerry Peterson
Posted on 08/21/2012 8:31:47 PM PDT by JohnPierce
Those of us who spend our time defending gun rights are used to dealing with the emotionally charged and twisted logic of those on the other side of the issue. But every once in a while, someone takes a position so ridiculous, so asinine, that they deserve special attention.
Such a person is Professor Jerry Peterson of the University of Colorado. Professor Peterson, who is a scholar of some renown in nuclear physics circles, was elevated to the exalted position of Anti-Gun Wacko of The Week because of his reaction to the University of Colorados announcement that permit holders cannot be barred from bringing their firearms onto campus.
The Universitys announcement is part of their larger response to the Colorado Supreme Courts ruling in Regents of the University of Colorado v. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. And while the University has acted fairly silly itself by presenting plans to require permit holders to live in segregated housing, Professor Peterson easily maintained his lead in the Wacko of The Week category by publicly declaring that if any student dares to exercise their rights in his classroom, he will stop the class.
My own personal policy in my classes is if I am aware that there is a firearm in the class registered or unregistered, concealed or unconcealed the class session is immediately canceled.
If I thought it would do any good, I would remind Professor Peterson that Arizona, like almost all other states, does not have registration. But alas, I fear it would be for naught. But I am still disappointed in the good professor. By making such a statement, he demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of gun laws that I find shocking in a scholar of his stature.
As for why he would short-change the education of his students, he stated that I want my students to feel unconstrained in their discussions.
Wait what? This is a professor of physics we are talking about, right? Perhaps he teaches physics in a much more confrontational way than I remember from my undergrad years. I can only imagine what a day in his class might be like.
Student 1: I think the Hamilton-Jacobi Equation clearly demonstrates that all particles behave fundamentally as wave form projections.
Student 2: Listen you bastard We can ascertain electron positions with unlimited precision which would not be possible if you accept a complete wave form hypothesis.
Student 1: Thats it. I demand satisfaction. Slap leather!
And while this imaginary exchange gets funnier and funnier in my head every time I think about it, in reality the University needs to remind the good professor that he is there to serve the educational needs of the students, not to rule his own little fiefdom.
Did someone say NUCLEAR?
It's like the most pathetic, despicable nutjobs seem to flock there. Perhaps it's the oxygen deprived atmosphere, makes 'em feel more normal...
I carry in Boulder every time I go there. He should move to North Korea to get his utopia. And no coming back!!!
You are correct sir. I had (thankfully) forgotten about him. :)
I think the guy is stupid, but I’m willing to give a professor, individually, some leeway here. If they can ban cell phones, gum chewing, even talking in their classroom, then they can probably ban firearms. The class is a voluntary association between the professor and the students, and if the students don’t like the rules he sets, they don’t have to take his class.
To be fair to his students, he should probably announce this on the first day of class, so anyone who wants to drop his class can do it without penalty if they don’t like the policy.
If the perfesser PAID for the room I might agree. He doesn’t. The taxpayers do. End of story. If he does not want to be in a place where free people can exercise their rights he should go elsewhere.
The problem with that argument is that we already traditionally grant professors the power, in their own classrooms, to abridge all sorts of rights, as a condition of the voluntary association that the professor and students are entering into. As I said, they can ban all sorts of things, even to the point of banning you from speaking. Therefore, if they have the prerogative to abridge your 1st Amendment rights, it stands to reason that they also have the ability to abridge your 2nd Amendment rights.
The fact that the classroom is paid for by taxpayers really doesn’t change anything. There are plenty of situations where rights are abridged in a publicly owned venue, for example, you cannot carry your firearm into a courtroom, or the Capitol building, which are also paid for by the taxpayer.
However, those prohibitions are implemented by the legislature or the judiciary as an exercise of their governmental powers. An individual professor has no such power.
“An individual professor has no such power.”
Doe the professor not have the power to prevent you from speaking in his classroom, or exercising your religion, as a condition of your participation in the class? Does he not have the power to restrict your liberties in a whole myriad of ways that are not formally delineated in advance by some legislative authority?
It appears the University agrees with me.
University of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano is reported to have told faculty that:
I have the utmost respect for Professor Peterson, who is an old friend and valued colleague, but I want to make clear that if the student carrying the weapon has a concealed-carry permit, the position implied by Professor Petersons comments directly violates Colorado law and the operating principles of the campus
He went on to add that any faculty members who do so will be in violation of their contracts and face disciplinary action.
Well, that is fine. The university has every right to restrict what the professor can or can’t ban in his classroom. I just don’t agree with them that this would be the default situation, if the university took no position on the matter.
Obviously, the state law does not force universities to allow firearms in every part of campus under every circumstance. They still have the ability to institute bans of a less than campus-wide scope, so it stands to reason, absent any specific policy by the university prohibiting it, the professor would be able to institute such a ban in his classroom.
The University itself said the “Professor Petersons comments directly violates Colorado law.” I don’t know how much clearer I can make it.
Uh, yeah I got that. That was the entire point of my second paragraph, that I believe the university is incorrect in their interpretation of the law.