Pharyngula

Should this student have been suspended?

This is a troubling story if you just read the right-wing perspective: a student at Hamline University (an excellent liberal arts college in the Twin Cities) was suspended for writing a letter to the university administration. That shouldn’t happen, I’d say — we want to encourage free speech. Even if the student seems to be a bit of a far-right nut, and if the letter was supporting that lunatic idea that school massacres wouldn’t happen if everyone were carrying a concealed weapon, people should have the privilege of expressing their opinions.

So I read John Leo’s opinion piece on the issue and was actually agreeing with him, which was a curious sensation in itself. He didn’t actually quote any pieces of the letter in question, though, which was a little odd. So I looked up the letter from Troy Scheffler on the web. Uh-oh.

I was wondering why a swastika painted by some frustrated ladies in their bathroom turned somehow into red flags of a hate crime but you dont consider an asian guy admittedly killing people because he hated them not hate motivated… Anyhow, in response to your most recent email concerning a vigil for people most likely nobody in the school knows; I would like to comment on your claims of upped “security”. I attend a MPLS cohort so I dont see any security in the area ever. Infact it seems the dirty bums on the street are the only ones patrolling anything. I would suggest if you are truley concerned about student security, you lift a ridiculous conceal carry campus ban and let the students worry about their own “security”. VA Tech just recently passed their conceal carry permit ban; we can all see how well that worked for criminal minds. Ironically, many students from VA Tech are in online forums which I can direct you to complaining that 32 people wouldnt have died in the students rights were not infringed by

banning their legal right to carry their arms on their person. They take the argument that they would have shot the guy before he was able to massacre that many people; I on the other hand would argue that the guy wouldnt have even attempted this atrocity not only if we didnt pay for everybody and their mother to come here for free to soak up tuition funds but also that by knowing law abiding citizens carried weapons to defend themselves that criminals wouldnt be so bold to commit crimes against them…

As usual, Im sure this plea of common sense will fall on deaf ears as I recently responded to a general email notifying students of the conceal carry ban…

On a lighter note… For a “Christian” university, I am very disappointed in Hamline. With the motif of the curriculum, the atheist professors, jewish and other non-Christian staff, I would charge the school with wanton misrepresentation.

Yes, I obviously feel that Hamline has been a serious let down, so far I am almost finished with half of my MAPA degree and havent even cracked a book. All the books that came in plastic wrap are still in plastic wrap despite the ridiculous amounts students are charged. I have yet to hear a student in my cohort that is happy with the curriculum or quality of professors. Why does this school charge so much for such a substandard education?

Furthermore, why are you diversity initiatives anti-Euro American (ie white folks)? All over the university grounds I see loads of leftist propaganda, why not warn a student before they enroll at Hamline? It took me complaining to a few different people before even the hamline website finally included white people in the random pictures on the main page. If I remember corrextly it was like 1 white in a picture out of like 12… Now it is obviously better but just goes to show how biased this university is and the painstaking efforts of diversity pandering it does at the expense of people that are actually planning on contributing back to the TAXPAYERS that are footing the bill for your iversity initiatives. In fact, 3 out of 3 students just in my class that are “minorities” are planning on returning to Africa and all 3 are getting a free education ON MY DOLLAR. I bet the staff here is wondering how a swastika ended up in a bathroom… More people than you can imagine are tired of this all. It’s just sad that they resort to petty vandalism rather than speak their mind like I am.

Please stop alienating the students that are working hard every day to pay for their tuition. Maybe you can instruct your staff on sensitivity training towards us “privilaged white folk”. If your staff is going to continually berate the evil white male for this privilage and his racist tendencies, at least have them explain where to find the privilages and point out the evil people that are ruining the world. Strange for how horribly racist Europeans and other white people are that everyone seems to want to exploit our generosity. Maybe someday the favor will be returned but I doubt it seeing what I have so far…

Thanks for your time…

Respectfully,

Troy Scheffler

Uh, that is a mildly disturbing letter. I’d be worried about the student who wrote that myself — it’s disjointed and rambling, and while it certainly doesn’t have any direct threats in it, I’d want this kid to get psychiatric help right away.

The request for the right to carry concealed weapons is something I consider wrong, but I can see how someone would argue for it, and should have the right to argue for it. But then, “on a lighter note,” he spends the rest of the letter complaining about the presence of atheists, Jews, and non-Christians at the university, and expressing his resentment at the minorities allowed into the school. And there’s also the narcissism of thinking that he’s paying for other students to attend, and he’s so smart that he doesn’t even need to open a book.

So no direct threats, but instead a letter that says, “Please let me carry a gun, and by the way, anyone who is not a white Christian is inferior and shouldn’t be here.”

Now I think Hamline did exactly the right thing: they suspended Scheffler and told him to get a psychiatric evaluation and clean bill of health before they’d let him stalk the corridors again.

There was another alternative, though, one that Scheffler might have found worthwhile. They could have given a couple of dozen other students guns and told them to keep an eye on him, and shoot him if he made any suspicious moves. That wouldn’t have ended well (why, what if the armed students were minorities?), so Hamline made a wise decision.

(via Canadian Cynic)

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?
    October 30, 2007

    I am a concealed carry license holder in the state of Kentucky, and I’m proud to be. Gun control laws, specifically bans are a silly notion, because it requires that law abiding citizens not own or carry a firearm in a world in which criminals could care less about breaking the law. Wake up!

    For the probably tenth time: you have not even considered the possibility that the bad guy might draw faster than you. In fact, if he has good reasons to suspect you have a gun, he will make damn sure of drawing and shooting before you can draw. If you’re afraid of being shot, buy a bulletproof vest.

    Not to mention comment 83.

    However the most likely reason is that for a multitude of reasons US society is pretty violent compared to Western Europe.

    It should be tested if one of the “multitude of reasons” is the easy availability of guns…

  2. #2 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 1, 2007

    I point you to this article and more specifically to the example cases in which the citizenry that just try to defend themselves are now the outlaws and the criminals prevail.

    “In 1999 Tony Martin, a 55-year-old Norfolk farmer living alone in a shabby farmhouse, awakened to the sound of breaking glass as two burglars, both with long criminal records, burst into his home. He had been robbed six times before, and his village, like 70 percent of rural English communities, had no police presence. He sneaked downstairs with a shotgun and shot at the intruders. Martin received life in prison for killing one burglar, 10 years for wounding the second, and a year for having an unregistered shotgun. The wounded burglar, having served 18 months of a three-year sentence, is now free and has been granted 5,000 of legal assistance to sue Martin.”

    Well, over here, excess of self-defense is a crime. You have the right to kill someone who is trying to kill you, but not someone who is stealing your stuff. IMHO that should be obvious.

  3. #3 David Marjanovi?
    November 3, 2007

    Besides, a 21” blade is not a “knife”. It’s a sword or a machete.

    I don’t think people should be allowed to carry swords around on a campus any more than guns…