UT professors sue to stop campus carry, calling new gun policy ‘overly solicitous’

UT professors sue to stop campus carry, calling new gun policy ‘overly solicitous’
University of Texas

A headline like that is bound to get some attention.

“Overly solicitous”?  I think that expression does not mean what they think it means.  But you be the judge.  Here’s how the professors explained it in their lawsuit cited by the Texas Tribune:

Three University of Texas at Austin professors sued their university and the state on Wednesday, claiming Texas’ new campus carry law is forcing the school to impose “overly-solicitous, dangerously-experimental gun policies” that violate the First and Second Amendments.

The professors — Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter — are asking a federal judge to grant an injunction that would block the law before the first day of class. In the suit, professors say they teach courses that touch emotional issues like gay rights and abortion. The possibility of guns on campus could stifle class discussion, which is a violation of the First Amendment, the suit says.

“Compelling professors at a public university to allow, without any limitation or restriction, students to carry concealed guns in their classrooms chills their First Amendment rights to academic freedom,” the lawsuit says. …

The suit adds: “If the state is to force them to admit guns into their classrooms, then the officials responsible for the compulsory policy must establish that there is a substantial reason for the policy and that their regulation of the concealed carrying of handguns on college campuses is ‘well-regulated.’ Current facts indicate that they cannot do so.”

The professors also claim that the law violates the 14th Amendment, which promises equal protection under the law.

There’s more.  But since not one sentence cited from their lawsuit’s brief makes sense, I guess it’s no real surprise that they seem to have festooned the whole performance-art evolution with a decoration like “overly solicitous.”  Maybe the syllables just sounded kind of juicy to them.

You can read the story backward and forward, from what I can tell, and not discern what is supposed to be “overly solicitous,” let alone why.  But one could at least riff endlessly on the idea of “overly solicitous campus carry,” which would be a great name for a rock band.

Given the widely acknowledged stampede to clamp down on free speech on campuses — a stampede fomented by the left — it would be encouraging to see these professors so zealous for free speech, if one thought they really meant it.

But the specious nonsense laid out in their lawsuit makes clear that they’re just trying to push what they see as emotional buttons, in order to get their way.  If they found free speech dead in their lunchbox, they’d poke at it for signs of “white privilege” and put it on trial for mansplaining, before sticking its head on a pike to rot on the I-35 bridge over Dean Keeton Street.

The comment of a campus carry proponent may not be the decisive last word on a subject that cuts across some legitimately disputable matters.  But it does have the virtue of empirical rationality.

Antonia Okafor, southwest regional director for the group, said in a statement that the claim that the law is “dangerously experimental” is “on its face, laughable.” Campus carry has been allowed on more than 100 college campuses across the country, she said.

“To put it in terms these professors should understand, the clinical trials are over, and campus carry has been shown to pose little risk to public safety,” she said.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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