To hear the anti-gun left tell it, gun owners are nothing but a bunch of racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobic rednecks. We get our news from only Fox News and FreeRepublic.com. We’re a bunch of mind-numbed robots who listen everyday for our marching orders daily from Rush Limbaugh. Our idea of diversity is tuning in to Larry Elder.
If it’s different from us and our gun-totin’ friends, we hate it.
So then, what should we make of “Professor Myrtle Lynn Payne”? The professor, writing under pseudonym, is in a quandary over writing a recommendation for one of her students. “Sarah” is a good student. She’s not necessarily a great student, but “she had great energy and was a class leader. Definitely a process, and not a content, type of gal.”. Sarah wants to be a teacher, but she apparently has one devastating character flaw: Sarah is insufficiently terrified of firearms.
“Professor Payne” had promised to write the recommendation for Sarah, but that was before the Umpqua Community College shooting. (Which Sarah didn’t commit, by the way.)
She seems to be a good kid, Sarah. And I don’t know what she really thinks of gun advocacy and political failures that have cost us all these lives and our sense of safety as educators. I don’t know what she does on the weekends. I also don’t know if she understands emotions, or what real rage feels like. It seems to me no person who has truly experienced the full impact of their own emotions would ever go near a gun.
So what do I do? Do I write her a recommendation because I originally said yes? Do I say no and explain myself? Do I ignore her email?
No wonder she’s using a pseudonym.
All she knows about Sarah is that she once fired an AK at a range and that she may have a CCW. These are both lawful activities. The latter shows that Sarah can pass an intensive background check, so there’s little doubt as to her quality of character. And it’s not like “Professor Payne” is unfamiliar with firearms. Her father owned a Browning over-and-under. Had he committed suicide with that Browning, we might understand why she thinks others should be appalled by firearms; but, he died of natural causes.
So what’s going on here?
One answer is that “Professor Payne” wants to trash the career of an insufficiently liberal student, but she doesn’t want to get caught doing it. A simpler answer is that she’s just being a bigot, knows it, and she’s hoping that others will giver her some cover for her actions. A check of the comments shows that her fellow educators aren’t rushing to her defense. Most are appalled that she’s letting her own biases color her thinking about this student. But, that’s standard procedure in academia.
Anti-gun college professors may accuse gun owners of hating those who don’t look like them, but it’s the academy that’s shut its doors to outsiders. They hide behind their ivy-covered walls and refuse to admit staff that may not hew to their political views. “Payne” is hardly an anomaly. The overwhelming majority of college staff are liberals and most of them are anti-gun. When a conservative or libertarian applies for a teaching position, their application is round-filed (In the blue bin, of course!) as quickly as possible.
The harm done to students should be obvious. They receive only one side of an argument. By exposing them to more than one opinion, students learn critical thinking. They learn to evaluate arguments. They to distinguish between emotional appeals and logical arguments.
Several years ago, this Members’ Council was approached by a professor from one of our local universities. She realized that her students, who were studying firearms policy and paying a lot of money to do so, were only hearing arguments from groups like the Brady Campaign. Most had never handled a firearm. And while she’s no friend to gun owners, she recognized the harm being done to her students and reached out to us for help. We presented pro-gun information to the students as well as safety information. We then took them to the range where many fired guns for the first time. They were all grateful for the opportunity to have practical experience with firearms and contact with actual gun owners.
Now you’ll note that I’m being vague about this professor’s identity. She’s no longer at the same institution, but she did get into hot water over exposing her students to “those people”. I’m being cagey about her identity so that her good deed doesn’t get punished by her current employer. While I don’t agree with her politics, she’s a good instructor and I don’t want to see her suffer again for giving her students a well rounded education.
In short, I don’t want to risk exposing her to the bigots hiding behind those ivy-covered walls.