Since I’m a professor I notice stories about professor’s rights. I’m all for having my rights. But there are some rights I don’t think professors need to have or should have:
The Nevada System of Higher Education’s Board of Regents has endorsed a plan that would encourage faculty and staff members to go about their business armed with guns that could be used to thwart an attack like the one that took 32 lives at Virginia Tech in April. According to the Web site of KLAS, a local television station in Las Vegas, the regents approved a plan under which the system would pay a $3,000 fee for each faculty or staff member who wanted to take a 21-week training course in how to use firearms. The plan got mixed reviews from the students KLAS interviewed. (Andrew Mytelka, Chronicle for Higher Education)
What’s the idea here? That armed staff and faculty will be able to intervene if a crazed student starts shooting people? Anyone who thinks that has never been to a faculty meeting. Who’s going to protect the students and administration from a crazed professor? (Since university administration’s aggressions are of the passive variety we don’t have to worry about them). Should we arm students and deans, too? Put guns in everyone’s hands?
When everyone is armed, crazy people and evil people will be armed, too. Many more than are armed now. And they don’t care about dying. I’ll take my $3000 training money in cash, please.
Update (6/29/07, 5 pm): In a comment on the story in the Chronicle, John Kuhlman, Manager of Public Information, Nevada System of Higher Education has said the KLAS story is not correct. Will not correct yet. They haven’t rejected the idea either. They haven’t decided yet because they don’t have “enough information”:
First, the Nevada Board of Regents did not endorse any plan to arm faculty and staff. The regents decided there was not enough information to make any kind of decision on this topic so they directed the campus police chiefs to draft a plan. That plan will be presented to the regents at their August meeting. At that time, the regents may, or may not, implement a plan to arm faculty and staff.
To repeat: No decision has been made that would arm faculty and staff at any Nevada System of Higher Education campus.
I’d speculate this subject isn’t one that will yield to more information. But what do I know? I’m just a professor. Unarmed and pedantic.