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Discussion Topic: On Public Universities And Guns

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February 13, 2009

Discussion Topic: On Public Universities And Guns

By Dave Hurteau

From Oregon’s KATU News:

A Western Oregon University student has been suspended after a confrontation with campus security last month over a concealed firearm and knife he brought on campus.

A university student disciplinary panel determined Tuesday that 30-year-old [Marine Corps vet]  Jeffrey L. Maxwell should be suspended until the end of the spring term despite the fact that he has a concealed handgun license.

Maxwell won't be allowed to re-enroll until a licensed mental health professional notifies the university that he is not a threat to himself or others, the panel concluded. The student must also write a 10-page paper that addresses the impact the possession of weapons on college campuses has on others as well as the importance of following the law. . . .

The case has drawn the ire of some state legislators, who [have complained] that legal gun owners' rights are being infringed upon by policies that prevent people with concealed handgun licenses from taking their firearms on public campuses.

Check out the full story and tell us what you think?

Comments (25)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Sharkfin wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I think this is garbage! He should wright "My carrying a concealed weapon on campus has no impact on others unless some wacko comes on campus and starts shooting randomly. Then the first impact will be my bullet and his head. The second impact will be the lives that are spared as a result." Then copy it for 10 pages! Also, he was obeying the law, he broke a rule!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I'm all for carry rights, but if he was carrying concealed, how did it become an issue in the first place? My experience with campus security isn't that they're going to notice a properly concealed weapon. I do think if anyone's earned the right to arm themselves, it's our servicemen and women.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I should have read the story first. Someone happened to glimpse his knife. He didn't do anything that drew attention otherwiese. I'm not sure that would have had me running for security, but college kids are different these days.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Appears that WOU is actually breaking the law, not Mr. Maxwell. Unfortunately, the best recourse might be to bring a lawsuit against the campus - threaten to hit them hard in the pocketbook so they, and other Oregon public colleges, take notice.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Heard about this a few days ago. From what I've read the "tribunal" was not particularly interested in either the facts of the case. I particularly am annoyed by the demand for Communist Self Criticism, and the implication that Mr. Maxwell might be unhinged for engaging in lawful conduct. I think the students on the tribunal should be suspended pending consideration of permanent dismissal from the school. Words come to mind that I can't print in their entirety, that the tribunal is full of petty popinjay chickens**ts.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Since when is carrying a pocket-knife or it being visible reasonable cause to question a person. Hell I have carried one since middle school.
As for guns on campus and the essay I completely agree with Sharkfin's comment. I had just graduated and was working on campus at VA Tech when Cho went crazy. Imagine if this man had been in the first or second room that Cho broke into. For sure there would have been a monumental court case on the right to carry and breaking campus rules. More importantly however 30 more people might be alive learning and teaching.
Lastly the man was a Marine. How is it that in this country a law enforcement officer can carry anywhere such as campuses and government buildings but a service veteran cannot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I agree with most everyone. Mike that was a good one. The only thing I would add is that a veteran should have no more carry rights than Joe Citizen. Please do not misinterpret my intentions because I believe everybody should enjoy the right to carry concealed equally whether they are a former police officer, veteran, or Joe Poop the rag man. I had to explain that so it is clear I am not disrespecting our vets and former law enforcement.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deaddiver wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

This is disgusting, a veteran of war that is willing to sacrifice his life for our FREEDOM is going to be suspended for excercising a FREEDOM he risked his life to protect. WTF is wrong with schools these days. My dad told me stories about his childhood and all the fun they had and nothing happened to them. Now you can be arrested and have charges pressed against you for toilet papering. PH*CKING PATHETIC.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deaddiver wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

And since he was a marine why does he have to be mentally evaluated, if he was sick in the head then why would the marines accept him???????????

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

im pissed. that dean must be s jackass. a law biddinng man is getting in trouble because of public view of firearms

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

i think i would find a different school, after i sued them for every thing they had.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chris95 wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Not only should WOU reinstate Mr. Maxwell immediately, they should issue a public apology for suggesting he needs a mental evaluation to prove he's not a danger to anyone. The knife that started this whole ordeal was bought ON CAMPUS! If he could buy a knife on campus, why would it be a problem for him to carry it on campus? As for the gun, he was carrying legally and the fact that he was so forthcoming when asked if he had any other weapons tells me that he had no intentions of harming anyone. Come on WOU, get a grip.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

--"Normal" is a very relative.

--Marines are crazy by the time they get out. That's the way we want 'em....and I wouldn't want it different.

--Schools and college campuses should be gun-free ...politics free....special oasis for learning and study.

--Most college prof's and Administration are not "normal". To expect them to be "normal" smacks a learning disability.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

If it was legal for him to carry on the street i see no reason why he shouldn't be allowed to carry on campus. Now if the school had a policy in place where the rule was stated and the consequences clearly laid out it is his fault for not following that rule and ignorance is no excuse. I don't agree with with the school but i do believe they have the right to set their own policies and if you break the rules the punishment is yours. Now if it were me i would challenge it and go to court if necessary. Put it this way, i take issue with the rule but i don't take issue with their enforcing it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckslayer7893 wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

This is stupid. This man, a marine, risked his life to serve these great United States of America and he isn't allowed to fufill his RIGHT to carry a concealed handgun. I know that the college has a no gun policy, but this man wasn't a psycho. He knew exactly how to handle guns and he knew the significance of carrying. He was a marine, so he had to do rigorous training and he had to do training to obtain the concealed carry permit as well. I believe this man is noble. He brought a gun on campus even when he wasnt supossed to. He wasn't doing it to harm anyone, on the contrary, he was trying to save himself and others if the situation arises. If this man would've followed the rules and stowed the gun in his car or elsewhere, and there wouldve been a shooting that he could have stopped, im sure he would feel bad and many people would be dead that he couldve saved. Sure, he probably would've faced criminal charges but if he saved lifes, isnt it werth it?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from William wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I don't begrudge the University for what it did. The University is private property so therefore they have the right to dictate what rules and policies they have on their own property. I do not believe that gun ownership rights should come at the expense of the right to own your own property and dictate what is acceptable on your own property. To take away a person's or institutions right to ownership of private property and the other liberties associates is outright communism. The Marine knew that what he did was against the rules so he has to suffer the consequences. A Marine would know that and respect that. As to the mental evaluation- that seems a bit draconian but they do have a responsibility to protect other students from another shooting happening and in this day and age you just can't be too careful. Military medical reports show that 25% of veterans coming back from Iraq have PTSD [a mental illness] and this concerns me quite a bit when 1/4 of the most heavily armed people in the world wouldn't be allowed to legally carry firearms if they were civilians. I'm all for concealed carry, but he knew the rules and if he didn't agree he shouldn't attend that University or he should vote to elect a student council representative and board of regents who would support concealed carry on campus.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sharkfin wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I agree that universities as well as grade schools should be a place of learning without fear. My problem and everyone else's too, is not the guy that has his conceal and carry permit and brings his gun on campus. It is the nut job that brings whatever he wants to use to kill as many people as possible on campus. I don't understand why the anti-gunners don't follow logic, or the lack of. If someone is not concerned with the legal penalties of taking a life, why would they care about the penalties for carry or owning a gun illegally? All gun control does is make life more difficult for the law abiding. Criminals don't care about the big laws, they are not going to care about the little ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

If he's carrying a concealed weapons permit it shouldn't matter where he was. The license trumps the college's rules.

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

William

You are wrong, sir. WOU is a public institution of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Oregon. So what private property rights are you referring to?

If he had a concealed permit, he should have kept his weapon concealed, period. If there is a lawful rule against carrying a concealed weapon on campus like there is on many other state and federal properties, he should abide by it or legally challenge. You can't carry a pistol in a bar or tavern in most states legally either. I think if you read the fine print on any CCW it reads that you will note that is says, "is licensed to carry concealed pistols as desribed by law..." etc. Vote to elect a student council? HA! There's a joke in the liberal Northwest.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The former Marine is owed an apology I think. If he had a concealed carry permit, he has the right to carry concealed and as far as the knife goes, people freak out over such tiny things these days. I have carried a knife continually since Middle School (and I'm a girl). I may go without jewelry but the knife is with me. How are you going to cut a crash victim's seatbelt if you don't have a knife. there was a story on the news just last week about a woman who got tangled up in automatic carwash brushes and nearly was garotted except for a customer with a pocketknife able to cut the ligature. Admittedly my boss prefers I not carry big pocket knives, but my Leatherman Wave has saved the day too many times for her to object now. When you kids get old enough to Bar (or Bat) Mitzvah, give em a knife and teach em right how to use and care for it. It might save their lives someday.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from William wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

WA MtnHunter,
I'm not quite wrong. As you did point out WOU is indeed a public university. Being a public univeristy does not mean that we all own this property collectively [as in communism] and can do whatever the hell we want to do on that property because it's "public". In fact, university property is indeed the legal property of that institution and not the federal goverment or even the state government. The state government has entrusted it's institution to the University for safe keeping and not to the general public. This is why the University gets to set the rules and policies and not the taxpayer or to a lesser extent the government. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that in regards to public universities that they are their own entity defined as "market participants" so they aren't mandated to protect any fundamental rights in regards to access other than equal opportunity based upon age, gender, sex, religion etc. This is how they remain competitive and how a public university is able to allow out-of- state students to attend schooling when they paid no taxes that supported that out-of-state University. In a nutshell, in Oregon the University owns that property and has all of the associates property rights afforded by state and government laws in order to protect said property. Without property rights protecting a public university Joe Schmoe can essentially do things like steal whatever he wants from the University under the guise that it is "public property" so it is his own property. They were well within their rights.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

William,

That is some pretty serious hair splitting. The U is still not private property owned by a citizen, it belongs to an institution of the state which is indeed entitled to regulate activities on that property. But it is not private property.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Andyhess4123 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Were is the 2nd admendment "the right to bear arms"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rrmont wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

It's a good thing he isn't mental or secuirty would have been in deep over thier heads.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TinEagle wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The colleges and universities of this country are consumed with their own importance and ideologies. These bastions of free speech and enlightenment are also the biggest hypocrites. In the week following the Virginia Tech massacre, Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts fired a tenured professor for the audacity to question the law that licensed concealed carry permit holders were not allowed to have a weapon on campus. His forum was his students in a political science classroom. His argument was that had even one person been armed, they might have been able to save any number of lives instead of huddling in the rear of a classroom under their desks. He opened the discussion up to the class for debate and moderated as his students argued both sides of the issue.
The next day he was notified that a student was upset by the dialog and complained to the administration. He was fired. So much for free speech and open, intelligent discussion.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Mike Diehl wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Heard about this a few days ago. From what I've read the "tribunal" was not particularly interested in either the facts of the case. I particularly am annoyed by the demand for Communist Self Criticism, and the implication that Mr. Maxwell might be unhinged for engaging in lawful conduct. I think the students on the tribunal should be suspended pending consideration of permanent dismissal from the school. Words come to mind that I can't print in their entirety, that the tribunal is full of petty popinjay chickens**ts.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sharkfin wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I think this is garbage! He should wright "My carrying a concealed weapon on campus has no impact on others unless some wacko comes on campus and starts shooting randomly. Then the first impact will be my bullet and his head. The second impact will be the lives that are spared as a result." Then copy it for 10 pages! Also, he was obeying the law, he broke a rule!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from JohnR wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I agree with most everyone. Mike that was a good one. The only thing I would add is that a veteran should have no more carry rights than Joe Citizen. Please do not misinterpret my intentions because I believe everybody should enjoy the right to carry concealed equally whether they are a former police officer, veteran, or Joe Poop the rag man. I had to explain that so it is clear I am not disrespecting our vets and former law enforcement.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deaddiver wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

This is disgusting, a veteran of war that is willing to sacrifice his life for our FREEDOM is going to be suspended for excercising a FREEDOM he risked his life to protect. WTF is wrong with schools these days. My dad told me stories about his childhood and all the fun they had and nothing happened to them. Now you can be arrested and have charges pressed against you for toilet papering. PH*CKING PATHETIC.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

i think i would find a different school, after i sued them for every thing they had.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I should have read the story first. Someone happened to glimpse his knife. He didn't do anything that drew attention otherwiese. I'm not sure that would have had me running for security, but college kids are different these days.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Appears that WOU is actually breaking the law, not Mr. Maxwell. Unfortunately, the best recourse might be to bring a lawsuit against the campus - threaten to hit them hard in the pocketbook so they, and other Oregon public colleges, take notice.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Since when is carrying a pocket-knife or it being visible reasonable cause to question a person. Hell I have carried one since middle school.
As for guns on campus and the essay I completely agree with Sharkfin's comment. I had just graduated and was working on campus at VA Tech when Cho went crazy. Imagine if this man had been in the first or second room that Cho broke into. For sure there would have been a monumental court case on the right to carry and breaking campus rules. More importantly however 30 more people might be alive learning and teaching.
Lastly the man was a Marine. How is it that in this country a law enforcement officer can carry anywhere such as campuses and government buildings but a service veteran cannot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deaddiver wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

And since he was a marine why does he have to be mentally evaluated, if he was sick in the head then why would the marines accept him???????????

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

im pissed. that dean must be s jackass. a law biddinng man is getting in trouble because of public view of firearms

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from chris95 wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

Not only should WOU reinstate Mr. Maxwell immediately, they should issue a public apology for suggesting he needs a mental evaluation to prove he's not a danger to anyone. The knife that started this whole ordeal was bought ON CAMPUS! If he could buy a knife on campus, why would it be a problem for him to carry it on campus? As for the gun, he was carrying legally and the fact that he was so forthcoming when asked if he had any other weapons tells me that he had no intentions of harming anyone. Come on WOU, get a grip.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nick Jensen wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

If it was legal for him to carry on the street i see no reason why he shouldn't be allowed to carry on campus. Now if the school had a policy in place where the rule was stated and the consequences clearly laid out it is his fault for not following that rule and ignorance is no excuse. I don't agree with with the school but i do believe they have the right to set their own policies and if you break the rules the punishment is yours. Now if it were me i would challenge it and go to court if necessary. Put it this way, i take issue with the rule but i don't take issue with their enforcing it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckslayer7893 wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

This is stupid. This man, a marine, risked his life to serve these great United States of America and he isn't allowed to fufill his RIGHT to carry a concealed handgun. I know that the college has a no gun policy, but this man wasn't a psycho. He knew exactly how to handle guns and he knew the significance of carrying. He was a marine, so he had to do rigorous training and he had to do training to obtain the concealed carry permit as well. I believe this man is noble. He brought a gun on campus even when he wasnt supossed to. He wasn't doing it to harm anyone, on the contrary, he was trying to save himself and others if the situation arises. If this man would've followed the rules and stowed the gun in his car or elsewhere, and there wouldve been a shooting that he could have stopped, im sure he would feel bad and many people would be dead that he couldve saved. Sure, he probably would've faced criminal charges but if he saved lifes, isnt it werth it?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

If he's carrying a concealed weapons permit it shouldn't matter where he was. The license trumps the college's rules.

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

William

You are wrong, sir. WOU is a public institution of the Peoples Democratic Republic of Oregon. So what private property rights are you referring to?

If he had a concealed permit, he should have kept his weapon concealed, period. If there is a lawful rule against carrying a concealed weapon on campus like there is on many other state and federal properties, he should abide by it or legally challenge. You can't carry a pistol in a bar or tavern in most states legally either. I think if you read the fine print on any CCW it reads that you will note that is says, "is licensed to carry concealed pistols as desribed by law..." etc. Vote to elect a student council? HA! There's a joke in the liberal Northwest.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The former Marine is owed an apology I think. If he had a concealed carry permit, he has the right to carry concealed and as far as the knife goes, people freak out over such tiny things these days. I have carried a knife continually since Middle School (and I'm a girl). I may go without jewelry but the knife is with me. How are you going to cut a crash victim's seatbelt if you don't have a knife. there was a story on the news just last week about a woman who got tangled up in automatic carwash brushes and nearly was garotted except for a customer with a pocketknife able to cut the ligature. Admittedly my boss prefers I not carry big pocket knives, but my Leatherman Wave has saved the day too many times for her to object now. When you kids get old enough to Bar (or Bat) Mitzvah, give em a knife and teach em right how to use and care for it. It might save their lives someday.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from William wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

WA MtnHunter,
I'm not quite wrong. As you did point out WOU is indeed a public university. Being a public univeristy does not mean that we all own this property collectively [as in communism] and can do whatever the hell we want to do on that property because it's "public". In fact, university property is indeed the legal property of that institution and not the federal goverment or even the state government. The state government has entrusted it's institution to the University for safe keeping and not to the general public. This is why the University gets to set the rules and policies and not the taxpayer or to a lesser extent the government. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that in regards to public universities that they are their own entity defined as "market participants" so they aren't mandated to protect any fundamental rights in regards to access other than equal opportunity based upon age, gender, sex, religion etc. This is how they remain competitive and how a public university is able to allow out-of- state students to attend schooling when they paid no taxes that supported that out-of-state University. In a nutshell, in Oregon the University owns that property and has all of the associates property rights afforded by state and government laws in order to protect said property. Without property rights protecting a public university Joe Schmoe can essentially do things like steal whatever he wants from the University under the guise that it is "public property" so it is his own property. They were well within their rights.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

William,

That is some pretty serious hair splitting. The U is still not private property owned by a citizen, it belongs to an institution of the state which is indeed entitled to regulate activities on that property. But it is not private property.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Andyhess4123 wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

Were is the 2nd admendment "the right to bear arms"

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rrmont wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

It's a good thing he isn't mental or secuirty would have been in deep over thier heads.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TinEagle wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

The colleges and universities of this country are consumed with their own importance and ideologies. These bastions of free speech and enlightenment are also the biggest hypocrites. In the week following the Virginia Tech massacre, Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts fired a tenured professor for the audacity to question the law that licensed concealed carry permit holders were not allowed to have a weapon on campus. His forum was his students in a political science classroom. His argument was that had even one person been armed, they might have been able to save any number of lives instead of huddling in the rear of a classroom under their desks. He opened the discussion up to the class for debate and moderated as his students argued both sides of the issue.
The next day he was notified that a student was upset by the dialog and complained to the administration. He was fired. So much for free speech and open, intelligent discussion.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

I'm all for carry rights, but if he was carrying concealed, how did it become an issue in the first place? My experience with campus security isn't that they're going to notice a properly concealed weapon. I do think if anyone's earned the right to arm themselves, it's our servicemen and women.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sharkfin wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I agree that universities as well as grade schools should be a place of learning without fear. My problem and everyone else's too, is not the guy that has his conceal and carry permit and brings his gun on campus. It is the nut job that brings whatever he wants to use to kill as many people as possible on campus. I don't understand why the anti-gunners don't follow logic, or the lack of. If someone is not concerned with the legal penalties of taking a life, why would they care about the penalties for carry or owning a gun illegally? All gun control does is make life more difficult for the law abiding. Criminals don't care about the big laws, they are not going to care about the little ones.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 5 years 9 weeks ago

--"Normal" is a very relative.

--Marines are crazy by the time they get out. That's the way we want 'em....and I wouldn't want it different.

--Schools and college campuses should be gun-free ...politics free....special oasis for learning and study.

--Most college prof's and Administration are not "normal". To expect them to be "normal" smacks a learning disability.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from William wrote 5 years 8 weeks ago

I don't begrudge the University for what it did. The University is private property so therefore they have the right to dictate what rules and policies they have on their own property. I do not believe that gun ownership rights should come at the expense of the right to own your own property and dictate what is acceptable on your own property. To take away a person's or institutions right to ownership of private property and the other liberties associates is outright communism. The Marine knew that what he did was against the rules so he has to suffer the consequences. A Marine would know that and respect that. As to the mental evaluation- that seems a bit draconian but they do have a responsibility to protect other students from another shooting happening and in this day and age you just can't be too careful. Military medical reports show that 25% of veterans coming back from Iraq have PTSD [a mental illness] and this concerns me quite a bit when 1/4 of the most heavily armed people in the world wouldn't be allowed to legally carry firearms if they were civilians. I'm all for concealed carry, but he knew the rules and if he didn't agree he shouldn't attend that University or he should vote to elect a student council representative and board of regents who would support concealed carry on campus.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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