... Their First Amendment rights, however, may be another matter. Those are taking a beating these days, right in the place that's supposed to be America's rowdiest free-speech zone: college campuses.
A student who speaks up about the right to own or carry a gun stands a good chance of getting suspended or even arrested:
• When a Central Connecticut State University senior fulfilled a communications-class assignment by giving a presentation on why students and professors should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus, his professor reported him to the police, who called him in for questioning. Professor Paula Anderson, questioned by a reporter from the school paper, was unrepentant: The student was a ''perceived risk'' and she had a ``responsibility to protect the well-being of our students.''
• Like old Soviet commissars clapping dissidents into psychiatric hospitals, administrators at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., responded to a student's e-mail criticizing school policy on concealed weapons by suspending him and ordering him to undergo a ``mental health examination.''
• Trying to recruit new members, the Young Conservatives of Texas club at Lone Star College near Houston passed out fliers lampooning gun-safety manuals. (''No matter how responsible he seems, never give your gun to a monkey.'') Administrators confiscated the fliers, threatened to disband the club and -- when the worried students sought legal counsel -- wrote their lawyers that any ''mention of firearms'' amounted to ''interference with the operation of the school or the rights of others'' because it ''brings fear and concern to students, faculty and staff.'' Oddly, the administrators did not suspend themselves, even though their own e-mail included a ``mention of firearms.''
• Tarrant County College, near Fort Worth, took the no-mention policy a step further, banning a student from wearing an empty holster to protest the campus ban on concealed guns. ''We're protecting the learning environment,'' explained Juan Garcia, the school's vice president for student development and, clearly, a devoted scholar of academic doublespeak. ...
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