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Mon Mar 10, 2014, 01:43 PM

When May I Shoot a Student?

When May I Shoot a Student?

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/28/opinion/when-may-i-shoot-a-student.html?_r=0
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/28/1281076/-When-May-I-Shoot-a-Student?detail=email

This op-ed in the NYTimes this morning by Prof. Greg Hampikian, Boise State University in Idaho, has written a must-read masterpiece of weaponized snark. The Idaho legislature has a bill pending that would allow students on campus to carry guns. A taste...

BOISE, Idaho — TO the chief counsel of the Idaho State Legislature:

In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?
...

I have had encounters with disgruntled students over the years, some of whom seemed quite upset, but I always assumed that when they reached into their backpacks they were going for a pencil. Since I carry a pen to lecture, I did not feel outgunned; and because there are no working sharpeners in the lecture hall, the most they could get off is a single point. But now that we’ll all be packing heat, I would like legal instruction in the rules of classroom engagement.
...

I assume that if a student shoots first, I am allowed to empty my clip; but given the velocity of firearms, and my aging reflexes, I’d like to be proactive. For example, if I am working out a long equation on the board and several students try to correct me using their laser sights, am I allowed to fire a warning shot?


Wonderful read, worth going to KOs and NYT.

35 replies, 1662 views

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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply When May I Shoot a Student? (Original post)
marble falls Mar 2014 OP
herding cats Mar 2014 #1
hack89 Mar 2014 #2
joeglow3 Mar 2014 #3
Bandit Mar 2014 #4
friendly_iconoclast Mar 2014 #7
marble falls Mar 2014 #16
friendly_iconoclast Mar 2014 #20
marble falls Mar 2014 #23
friendly_iconoclast Mar 2014 #24
Vattel Mar 2014 #34
Bazinga Mar 2014 #33
joeglow3 Mar 2014 #22
tridim Mar 2014 #6
friendly_iconoclast Mar 2014 #8
tridim Mar 2014 #10
friendly_iconoclast Mar 2014 #13
hack89 Mar 2014 #11
tridim Mar 2014 #12
hack89 Mar 2014 #15
Lordquinton Mar 2014 #17
hack89 Mar 2014 #18
friendly_iconoclast Mar 2014 #19
Lordquinton Mar 2014 #29
hack89 Mar 2014 #31
mbperrin Mar 2014 #21
Lost_Count Mar 2014 #5
LineNew Reply ,
blkmusclmachine Mar 2014 #9
aikoaiko Mar 2014 #14
sharkmeister Mar 2014 #25
asjr Mar 2014 #26
marble falls Mar 2014 #27
Doctor_J Mar 2014 #28
IDemo Mar 2014 #30
hack89 Mar 2014 #32
Bazinga Mar 2014 #35

Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 01:59 PM

1. Excellent read!

The man has a way with words.

This bit:

In terms of the campus murder rate — zero at present — I think that we can all agree that guns don’t kill people, people with guns do. Which is why encouraging guns on campus makes so much sense. Bad guys go where there are no guns, so by adding guns to campus more bad guys will spend their year abroad in London. Britain has incredibly restrictive laws — their cops don’t even have guns! — and gun deaths there are a tiny fraction of what they are in America. It’s a perfect place for bad guys.


Pointed out the logical failure of thought process involved in this legislation perfectly.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 02:06 PM

2. What an idiot.

classic case of ignoring the most likely threat (an angry student with an illegal gun, which is more likely given the typical age of college students) while hyperventilating over the extremely rare threat (a 21 year old student with a CCW).

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Response to hack89 (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 02:20 PM

3. Exactly my thought

If he has never feared a disgruntled student who may pull an illegally carried gun, why is his fear suddenly shooting up about it from someone with a CCW. I understand the point he is trying to make, but am extremely disappointed that this is the reasoning employed by a college professor who is educating our next batch of leaders.

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Response to joeglow3 (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:07 PM

4. Whoosh right over the head

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Response to Bandit (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:12 PM

7. It certainly went over *someone's* head...

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:40 PM

16. Made me go back and reread my post. Its them. Sad part is you can bet that these scenerios ....

are rationalized by "Conservatives" as they rewrite armed carry laws all over the country state by state.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #16)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:55 PM

20. This is *already* legal in next-door Utah and Washington State

And has been for years. If this was a problem, I'm sure you could find plenty of
examples online for us to demonstrate why...

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #20)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 04:22 PM

23. Because more guns will lead to fewer gun events? You tell me.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #23)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 04:31 PM

24. AFAIK, there hasn't *been* any gun events in college classrooms in UT and WA

I may be wrong- if I am, no doubt one of our resident gun control advocates
will provide examples.

However, If I am correct, then there's no reason not to allow it in Idaho...

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #24)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 06:47 AM

34. Hmmm, it all depends, doesn't it.

Gun incidents on college campuses are not likely to be common regardless of whether guns are allowed on campus. The worry is that if they are allowed, they will, at least in the long run, be more common. Is that worry reasonable? The fact that guns are allowed on campuses in WA and UT and there have not been any incidents yet doesn't settle the issue. But I am not sure if there is conclusive evidence one way or the other. At least I haven't seen any.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #23)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 06:29 AM

33. It certainly hasn't led to more gun incidents. n/t

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Response to Bandit (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 04:20 PM

22. Exactly

There are many states that have allowed this for years. I would expect a college professor to use some for of scientific measures, especially considering there is so much readily information about the topic he is discussing. Instead, he ignores all that and puts forth an irrational argument with no basis in fact. And this guy is educating our children

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Response to hack89 (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:08 PM

6. Is an angry student with an illegal gun the same as an angry student with a legal gun?

Are they both expendable without trial? Or does the prof need to ask the student if the gun is legal before murdering him?

The professor needs to know because the lethal decision will need to be made in a split-second, with no training and no experience. Is her or she immune from prosecution in every case?

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Response to tridim (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:14 PM

8. Hmm, which is worse- a professor who doesn't understand law...

...or an internet poster that thinks self-defense = murder?

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #8)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:19 PM

10. You said "an angry student with an illegal gun"

You said nothing about pointing or firing the gun.

The prof wants these details too, and nobody in the gun-nut fantasy-world thinks about these practical scenarios. It's all black and fucking white to them. Shoot first, ask questions later.

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Response to tridim (Reply #10)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:34 PM

13. Two points: 1) I'm not the one who said it, and 2) You're hyperventilating

No wonder you lot can't get anywhere politically-
the disinterested observer will note both spittle-flecked hyperbole
and an entirely unearned sense of superiority their opponents...

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Response to tridim (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:24 PM

11. The legality of the gun is irrelevant when it comes to self defense

the rules for self defense have not changed - if you reasonably feel your life is in danger than you can defend yourself. It has been that way for a very long time. CCW does not change the rules of self defense.

My point is that adding CCW to the mix doesn't change anything nor does it put him in greater danger. The demographics of colleges say that an illegal gun owner will always be a greater threat - a threat that the professor has been living with for a long time with no apparent problems. He has no need to change his behavior.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:32 PM

12. Define self-defense in context of your scenario.

It sounds like if you saw an "angry student" with any gun, you wouldn't hesitate to mow him down.

Do you really think that is smart?

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Response to tridim (Reply #12)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:40 PM

15. If the student had the gun out and was pointing at me

or was yelling "I want to fucking kill you" then it would be self defense. A reasonable person would assume that there was an immediate threat.

If I saw the gun in his backpack or in a holster it would not be self defense - a reasonable person would assume that there was no immediate threat.

The mere presence of a gun does not constitute a threat (despite what many here believe) - it is that actions of the person with the gun that matter. There is tons of case law on this - it is not complicated or new.

btw, where did I ever say that I would mow done a student? What I said was that the more likely threat would be a student with an illegal gun. Since the professor has been living with that threat for a long time with no issues, he does not need to all of a sudden change his behavior because of the possibility of a CCW holder being in his class. That's all.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #11)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:43 PM

17. Yes, it it dos change it

Before this type of law, you see a gun, and you know it's not supposed to be there. With this kind of law you see a gun and have no idea if it's illegal, or if the person has a CCW. It increases danger for that alone.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #17)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:48 PM

18. The mere presence of a gun does not indicate an immediate threat

or need for self defense. If you are threatened then you can shot the other guy. If you are not threatened you cannot shot the other guy. The actions of the guy with the gun are the deciding factors, not the legality of the gun.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #18)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:52 PM

19. Oh, you and your "facts". There's no need for those here...

<Sarcasm mode to OFF>

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Response to hack89 (Reply #18)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 03:36 AM

29. Well, not anymore

In a place where, traditionally, guns are not permitted, and you only ever see them when they are a threat, that long standing rule is being taken down, leaving many who were once secure in their knowledge that if they see a gun it doesn't belong there now have to just hope that it isn't an illegal gun.

Despite your claims, guns don't advertise whether or not they are illegal. There is no way to know until it is used. That is the problem with the "Illegal guns" argument, it has no touch with reality.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #29)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 06:19 AM

31. Let's get back to the OP shall we

The professor is not even talking about visible guns. He is talking about what he should do when a student reaches into a backpack. In that scenario hasn't the danger always been there? Hasn't he always been faced with the danger go a student pulling out an illegal gun and shooting him? And even with CCW, isn't getting shoot with an illegal gun still the greater threat? So there is no need for the professor to change his behavior because he is not in any greater danger than he was before.

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Response to tridim (Reply #6)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 04:06 PM

21. You're overlooking the idea that having a gun legally will make a particular

group of students SOOOOOOOOOO happy that professor ratings will soar!! Yes, hand them out like dinner mints - they're the salvation of the current classroom malaise!!!

Woo-hoo!

Or probly not.

College profs have it so good - they can shoot their students, clearly. At public school, don't say a cuss word when a student throws desks at you and the other students - you'll be the one written up. ONLY wish I was kidding.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:08 PM

5. So... He's willing to shoot you but not willing to break the law that says he shouldn't have it?

 

Say that one again?

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:17 PM

9. ,

,

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 03:38 PM

14. The standard for a justified use of lethal force hasn't changed.


Its still the reasonable person standard for fearing for one's life or grave harm.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 04:50 PM

25. Thanks note got a reply

I e-mailed him "Thanks for hilarious editorial" and he replied. I'm going to presume he is ok with me pasting it here:


Thank you for reading, and for writing. I was very surprised by the many responses that “When May I Shoot a Student” received—on both sides of the issue. I hope you will continue the debate by writing a letter to the paper, a congressperson, or otherwise keeping the guns discussion going. This debate must be led by the people, and not the lobbyists.

I’ll be on the Today Show about this topic tomorow, Monday March 10, 2014, and I wrote an earlier guns piece after confronting burglars (in the Blue Review)

http://thebluereview.org/a-george-zimmerman-sans-gun/

If you are interested in my book Exit to Freedom with Calvin Johnson, which is the story of his DNA exoneration, it is available through the University of GA press, or on Amazon. If you read it, let me know what you think. Some other audios, and essays can be found at http://biology.boisestate.edu/faculty-and-staff/faculty/greg-hampikian/

Also, please consider joining me on Twitter https://twitter.com/Greghampikian

Finally, if you want to support the work I do as volunteer director of the Idaho Innocence Project please go to http://innocenceproject.boisestate.edu

We have a court date this Friday in the Sarah Pearce case, and are hoping for the best—stay tuned!

Thanks Again, Greg

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 04:51 PM

26. Am I wrong in thinking this professor

was using this to make a point? He is not actually going to shoot a student.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 05:38 PM

27. No,man, its OK, he won the right to shoot one student during a charity event and he's just ...

daydreaming about how he'd do it.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Mon Mar 10, 2014, 11:46 PM

28. probably when the student takes the first step toward him

The Dunn case certainly rules out having to wait until the backpack is accessed.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 04:22 AM

30. A real Grand Canyon of sarchasm on this thread

The professor was in no way dreaming about actually shooting one of his students. He was using satire to illustrate just how idiotic his state's "guns on campus" bill is.

Greg Hampikian is a DNA expert, founder of the Idaho Innocence Project and co-founder of Innocence Projects in Ireland, France and Georgia. He provided expert witness testimony in the Amanda Knox trial.

He is not a George Zimmerman wannabe.



Sarchasm - the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it

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Response to IDemo (Reply #30)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 06:21 AM

32. I certainly understood that.

My point was his fear is misplaced. That's all.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 06:54 AM

35. I had a great conversation about this with DanTex last time this article was posted.

(See http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024579056 )

In summary my point was this; if responsible adults can be trusted with bearing arms in their own self-defense off campus, why can they no longer be trusted with that responsibility on campus?

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